Captain Christopher Brunett
Captain Brunett hails from Buffalo, NY. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989, with a degree in engineering and was designated a naval aviator in August 1991.
During his initial operational assignment to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron EIGHT (HC-8) in Norfolk, Virginia, Brunett deployed aboard USS PONCE (LPD 15), USS SAVANNAH (AOR 4) and USS DETROIT (AOE 3), flying the CH-46 Seaknight in support of Operations PROVIDE COMFORT, DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
His subsequent seagoing assignments include: USS NASSAU (LHA 4) as Flight Deck Officer/Handler and Public Affairs Officer in support of Operations NOBLE ANVIL and ALLIED FORCE; Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6) as Operations Officer and Detachment Officer-in-Charge, leading amphibious SAR detachments aboard USS BATAAN (LHD 5) and USS NASSAU (LHA 4), participating in Operations EASTERN ACCESS and MARG 01-1. He is a qualified Officer of the Deck (underway/inport) and Command Duty Officer (underway/inport).
Brunett’s first shore assignment was as an FRS Instructor Pilot, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron THREE (HC-3), serving as Aviation Safety Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer. During this time he was selected as Instructor Pilot of the Year and was awarded the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) President’s Award for contributions as a national officer and volunteer. His subsequent shore assignments include: Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps; Senior Military Operations Analyst, Project Manager and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff at the NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT); Director, Current Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Brunett attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, earning a Master of Arts in Military Studies. He is also a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College and is a Joint Qualified Officer.
In 2005, Brunett transitioned to the MH-60S Knighthawk and commanded Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE (HSC-25), located on the island of Guam. In addition to preparing and deploying multiple helicopter detachments, he helped establish the Naval Air Ambulance Detachment (NAAD) in Camp Buehring, Kuwait and deployed flying Army MEDEVAC missions in Kuwait and Southern Iraq directly supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He was twice awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award by Commander, Naval Air Forces – once in 2006 and, again, in 2007.
Captain Brunett has logged nearly 3000 flight hours in fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5), Army Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2). He assumed duties as Executive Officer of USS NEW YORK (LPD 21) in September 2012.