Commanding Officer (January 10, 2014 - Present)
CAPT Jonathan L. Harnden
Commanding Officer

Captain Jonathan L. Harnden is a Surface Warfare Officer.  He is a native of Virginia Beach Virginia and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Naval Architecture in 1986.  He is a Joint Qualified Officer and has a Masters of Engineering Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Loyola College in Maryland.

Captain Harnden has extensive experience at sea on the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Red, North, Baltic, and Black Seas, and the Arabian Gulf.  He served his initial Division Officer assignment in USS EL PASO (LKA 117) in the billets of Electrical Division Officer, Auxiliaries Officer and Navigator.  As a Department Head he served as Engineer Officer in USS MERRIMACK (AO 179) and USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38), homeported in Norfolk, VA.  He served as Executive Officer in USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47), homeported in San Diego, CA, from 2000 to 2001.

Captain Harnden’s shore duty assignments include the U.S. Naval Academy as a Leadership Instructor from 1990 to 1992, a joint duty assignment with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) from 1996 to 1999 as a Project Manager for the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program with the Former Soviet Union, assignment as Chief Staff Officer at Regional Support Organization San Diego from 2002 to 2004.  He served as Current Ship’s Branch Head from 2006 to 2008 at OPNAV N86, responsible to the Director of Surface Warfare for resourcing CG, DDG, FFG and PC Modernization as well as development of the replacement Command Ship LCC(R).  He served most recently as Chief of Staff of Expeditionary Strike Group Three (ESG 3) from February 2012 to December 2013.

Captain Harnden has had multiple command tours.  He commanded USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD 52), from 2004 to 2006, during which his crew earned the Battle “E” and CNO Safety Award and deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of operations as part of Expeditionary Strike Group One, including a leading role in disaster relief efforts in support of response to an earthquake in Pakistan.  He served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), from 2008 to 2012, during which his crew earned multiple Battle E’s and other unit awards and completed a 9 month $140 million dry-docked phase maintenance availability (DPMA), one of the largest and most successful on record.  In addition, while serving at ESG 3, he assumed command of USS ESSEX (LHD 2) on short notice due to exigent circumstances and led her for 5 months through a RIMPAC exercise and initial phase of DPMA. 

Captain Harnden assumed command of the “Swift Intruders” of Assault Craft Unit Five in January 2014.

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