|Captain Steve Baxter
Commander (August 2010 - August 2012)
Captain Steven Baxter, a native of Lincoln, R.I, graduated from the Community College of Rhode Island in 1979 and Providence College in 1983.
After enlisting in the Naval Reserve in 1979, he served with the VP-92 Minutemen at NAS South Weymouth, Mass., as an aviation anti-submarine warfare technician (AX).
Commissioned in 1983 via Aviation Officer Candidate School, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1984. Following electronic warfare school, he reported to the VAQ-129 Vikings at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., for training as an Electronic Counter- Measures Officer (ECMO) in the EA-6B “Prowler”.
In October 1985 he was assigned to the VAQ- 134 Garudas, completing two deployments to the Bering Sea, Pacific and Indian Oceans aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) before returning to VAQ-129 as a flight instructor in January 1989. While in VAQ-129, he was selected as ECMO Flight Instructor of the year in 1990. While on shore duty, Captain Baxter voluntarily deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield to instruct Navy and Marine Corps Prowler Squadrons on improved High-Speed Anti Radiation Missile (HARM) employment Tactics.
In 1991, he reported to the VAQ-140 Patriots aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). While in VAQ-140, Captain Baxter completed a Mediterranean/Arabian Gulf deployment. During this tour he as selected for the AN/ALQ-99 Systems Excellence Award in recognition of significant contributions to the increased utilization of the EA-6B tactical jamming system. Following his “Super IO- tour” in VAQ-140, he attended the Naval War College and was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. In 1994 Captain Baxter returned to sea with the VAQ-132 Scorpions embarked in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), making another Mediterranean/ Arabian Gulf deployment, serving in the Electronic Warfare and Maintenance Officer Billets. Following his department head tour, he reported to the Pentagon in 1997 for joint duty in the immediate office of the Secretary of Defense. As Deputy Chief for “SECDEF Cables”, Captain Baxter led a joint team of officers and NCOs in providing the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense with communications, intelligence and administrative support 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
In March 2000, he joined the VAQ-136 Gauntlets aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV63) as Executive Officer and assumed command in May 2001. As part of Carrier Air Wing Five in Japan, VAW-136 is the only permanently forward deployed EA-6B squadron in the Navy and Marine Corps. During his command tour, the Gauntlets were selected as the EA-6B Maintenance Squadron of the Year and were Golden Anchor award winners for retention Excellence.
Following his command, Captain Baxter reported to NAS Fallon, Nevada, in September 2002 as Deputy Director of the OSD-sponsored Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Joint Test and Evaluation (JUSFCOM) program, tasked with development of tactics, techniques and procedures for UAV integration in time-sensitive targeting.
In January 2005, he joined the staff of Commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven embarked in USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as Assistant Chief of Staff/Operations (N3) and Strike Group Deputy Information Warfare Commander. While attached to CCSG-7, he made a Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In February 2007, he reported for a second joint assignment as Division Chief with the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Command Center of Excellence at Creech AFB, Indian Springs, Nev. a US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) organization, the JUASCOE is responsible for devolvement of joint UAS employment and training for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Captain Baxter has accumulated over 3000 flight hours in the EA-6B and more than 770 carrier landings. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Air Medal (Strike Flight), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Joint Services Achievement Medal (3 awards), Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal and various unit and campaign awards.