Commander February 26, 2016 - Present)

CDR Don McNeil

Commander McNeil, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida enlisted in the Navy in 1989. He completed recruit training and HM “A” school in San Diego, California. Additionally, he completed Aircrew Candidate School, Field Medical Service School, and Paramedic school. He served as a SAR Corpsman at Naval Hospital Orlando, 1st Marine Air Wing, Naval Air Station Key West, and Aviation Rescue Swimmer School.

He graduated from Saint Leo University in 1998, and received a commission through Naval Officer Candidate School and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2000.

After Fleet Replacement Pilot Training, he reported to the “Blackhawks” of HM-15 in Corpus Christi, Texas for his initial sea duty assignment. During this tour he completed two deployments in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. In January 2005, he served as the Detachment Operations Officer and flew humanitarian aid missions following the tsunami that struck Indonesia.

In June 2005, Commander McNeil was assigned to the “Pioneers” of VX-1 as a MH-60S/AQS-20A Operational Test Director. While on board VX-1, he qualified as an MH-60S aircraft commander and was the Officer in Charge of the first ever Operational Evaluation of the MH-60S as a mine countermeasures platform.

In June of 2008, CDR McNeil reported to COMCMRON ONE and served as the Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) Planner and as Director of Operations. During this tour he planned and executed exercises with the Republic of Korea and Japan.

CDR McNeil reported for his second tour with the Blackhawks of HM-15 in 2010 for his Aviation Department Head tour. During this time he served as Aviation Safety Officer, Operations Officer and as the Officer-In-Charge of the forward-deployed 4 aircraft detachment in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In October 2012, CDR McNeil reported to Navy Expeditionary Warfare (OPNAV N95) in Washington D.C. as the AMCM Requirements Officer where he oversaw all AMCM programs to include sustainment of the entire in-service AMCM community.

CDR McNeil earned a Master’s Degree in Executive Business Administration from the Naval Post Graduate School in 2005.

Commander McNeil has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours as a pilot and naval aircrewman, primarily in the MH-53E, MH-60S and UH-3H. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 5 stars and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as well as other personal, campaign and service ribbons.
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