Commanding Officer (July 2011- Present) 
Captain Richard Lawrence Whipple, III
Commanding Officer (July 2011 - July 2013)

A native of Wilton, Connecticut, and commissioned through the University of Virginia’s NROTC program in 1989, Ensign Whipple was first assigned to USS O’BRIEN (DD 975), homeported in San Diego, California.  Assigned as First Lieutenant and later as Navigator, he completed a Western Pacific/Persian Gulf deployment in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and three law enforcement/counter-narcotics patrols off Central and South America.

Transferring to the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps in late 1992, Lieutenant Whipple served as the Assistant Resident Officer in Charge of Construction at the Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.  In 1994, he was assigned to the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he served as the Staff Civil Engineer.  In 1996, he transferred to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FORTY, homeported in Port Hueneme, California, where he served as the Bravo and Delta Company Commander, as well as the Officer-in-Charge of the Battalion’s detail assigned to San Diego, California.  Following his first Battalion tour, Lieutenant Whipple completed postgraduate study at Stanford University in 1999.

Lieutenant Commander Whipple joined the staff of the SECOND Naval Construction Brigade in Norfolk, Virginia in 1999, where he served as the Assistant Operations Officer/Future Operations Officer.  During this tour, he also temporarily served as the Operations Officer for the TWENTY-SECOND Naval Construction Regiment during two multinational exercises in Estonia and Albania in support of the U.S. European Command. In 2001, he was assigned to U.S. Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy, to serve as Assistant Public Works Officer.

In 2004, Commander Whipple was assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE, homeported in San Diego, California, where he served as Executive Officer.  During his tour, the Battalion supported humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; completed a successful Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore exercise; and completed the operational test and evaluation of the Improved Navy Lighterage System. Commander Whipple was then assigned to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 2006, where he served as Public Works Officer, and then to the Navy Installations Command in Washington, D.C. in 2008, where he served as Deputy Director of the Facilities and Environmental Department (N4).

In 2010, Captain Whipple served a one-year Global War on Terror support assignment in Iraq.  Serving on the U.S. Forces – Iraq staff, he led the J7 Engineer Program Management Division, responsible for the construction program supporting the Iraqi security forces.

Captain Whipple is a qualified Surface and Seabee Combat Warfare Officer.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in construction management from Stanford University.  His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (4), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and the U.S. Army Engineer Association’s DeFluery Medal. 

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