CAPT Don Hornbeck
Commodore (November 2010 - April 2011)
Captain Don Hornbeck resides from Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Physics) in 1982. Following graduation, he worked in the private sector as a geophysicist from 1982-1984. He entered Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island through the Engineering Duty Option Program and was commissioned an Ensign in 1984. Following his initial sea tour, he elected to remain an Unrestricted Line Officer.
Captain Hornbeck has served at sea aboard ten ships, including: USS GATO (SSN 615) as Sonar Officer, Torpedo/Fire Control Officer, and as First Lieutenant; USS SPRUANCE (DD 963) as Strike Warfare Officer and Operations Officer; USS FORRESTAL (CV 59) as Propulsion Maintenance Officer and Propulsion Group Officer with the Aircraft Carrier Readiness Improvement Program (CV-RIP); USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54) as Commissioning Weapons Control Officer, Combat Systems Officer, and Senior Watch Officer; MINE COUNTERMEASURES SQUADRON TWO, embarked aboard USS INCHON (MCS 12) as Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator during Albanian refugee assistance operations from April to June 1999; USS SENTRY (MCM 3) as Commanding Officer from August 1999 to March 2001; and USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) as Commanding Officer from August 2003 to June 2005. During his tour, BENFOLD deployed to South America in support of the escort of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) to San Diego, deployed to the Western Pacific, where they supported Operation UNIFIED ASSISTANCE tsunami relief efforts with the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Strike Group, received the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy Award for 2003-2004, the Battle Efficiency Awards for 2003, 2004, and 2005, and won the 2005 Pacific Fleet ASW Bloodhound Award. He was assigned as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at CTF 70, embarked aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) from August 2005 to January 2007. From February 2007 to January 2009, Captain Hornbeck served as Deputy Chief of Staff / Fleet Operations Officer at U. S. SEVENTH Fleet, embarked aboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19). He reported as Deputy Commodore for Destroyer Squadron ONE, embarked aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), in January 2010.
Ashore, Captain Hornbeck served as a Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) Program Integrator at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). In addition to his duties at BMDO, he attended Georgetown University, graduating with a Master of Arts Degree (National Security Studies). He then attended USMC Command and Staff College and was awarded his second Master’s Degree (Military Science). Following USMC Command and Staff College, he graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College and was subsequently designated a Joint Specialty Officer (JSO). From 2001 to 2003, Captain Hornbeck served as a Policy Planner on the Joint Staff (J5). While assigned to the Joint Staff, he was the lead Action Officer for what the Secretary of Defense called “the most significant changes to the Unified Command Plan since its inception in 1946.” Captain Hornbeck completed the National Security Management Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 2007. He served at OPNAV N52 as Branch Head for Global Engagement Planning from January to October 2009 before Major Command.
Captain Hornbeck’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards). He assumed Command of DESRON ONE on 23 November 2010.