USS WASP


Captain Kurt A. Kastner
Executive Officer

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Captain Kastner was born in Belleville, NJ and grew up in Union. After graduating from Union High School in 1985, he attended Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine as an NROTC scholarship student. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Engineering Technology, a U.S Coast Guard Third Engineer’s License, and was commissioned an Ensign in 1989.

Following pipeline training, Captain Kastner reported to the USS TORTUGA (LSD 46) to serve in her commissioning crew as Gunnery Officer then MPA. Upon completion of TORTUGA’s maiden Mediterranean deployment, he reported to the Commander Amphibious Group TWO staff as the Flag Lieutenant in 1993.

Captain Kastner graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in April 1997 with a Master of Science in Management. In October 1997, he reported to USS OAK HILL (LSD 51) as Operations Officer on deployment in the Black Sea. In 1999, he was ordered to the staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron EIGHT as Operations and Plans Officer and deployed with the staff as part of WASP Amphibious Ready Group. He was then ordered to Surface Warfare Development Group serving as the Amphibious Warfare Doctrine and Tactics Officer until May 2002.

Captain Kastner reported to USS ASHLAND (LSD 48) as Executive Officer in July 2002 where he deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He reported to the Surface Warfare Officer's School in Newport, RI as the Lead Expeditionary Warfare Instructor in the Maritime Warfare Division. He completed Joint Professional Military Education and graduated with distinction from the Naval War College in March 2007.

Captain Kastner took Command of USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) in July 2007. He led SAN ANTONIO and her crew on the ship's maiden deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Gulf, and conducted Maritime Security Operations around the Horn of Africa.

Upon scheduled relief, he assumed the duty as Commander, Engineering Assessments, Atlantic in January, 2009. In November 2011, he reported to Commander Naval Surface Force, Atlantic as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Engineering Readiness. Captain Kastner assumed duties as Executive Officer in USS WASP (LHD 1) in June 2013.

Personal awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) and numerous campaign and unit awards.