|Lieutenant Commander Paul Austin
Executive Officer (May 2011 - October 2012)
Lieutenant Commander Paul Austin was commissioned through Officer Candidate School, Pensacola Florida following his graduation from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University in 1996. After Division Officer School, he reported to USS THOMAS S GATES (CG 51) where he served as Damage Control Assistant and deployed in support of counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific. His next tour was as Navigator in USS JOHN L HALL (FFG 32), completing two STANAVFORLANT Deployments.
In lieu of shore duty he chose to stay at sea and sought assignment in the Belgian Navy through the NATO Personnel Exchange Program. LCDR Austin was posted to BNS WESTDIEP (F 911) as Navigator, where he made one deployment in European waters. Later he served as Navigator in BNS WANDELAAR (F 912) deploying to North American waters as well as conducting counter drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. As Navigator in BNS GODETIA (A 960) he deployed to West African waters in support of Belgian regional interests.
LCDR Austin returned from the Belgian Navy in 2005 and commenced the training pipeline for his Department Head tours. After attending school in Newport, Rhode Island he was posted to USS SIMPSON (FFG 56) as Operations Officer, deploying with NATO’s STANMARGRU ONE supporting OPERATION ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. His second department head tour was as Operations Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69) deploying to the FIFTH Fleet AOR in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.
LCDR Austin went ashore and attended the Koninklijke Militaire School/École Royale Militaire in Brussels, Belgium where he earned his Staff Brevet and also completed his graduate education and professional educational requirements. He returned to sea as Executive Officer in USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CG 57) during her independent deployment to the FIFTH Fleet AOR.