|CDR Stephen D. McKone
Commander McKone spent his childhood living in various locations in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East while his parents were on assignment with the U.S. State Department. He is a 1991 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.
Upon graduation he reported to USS SARATOGA (CV-60) for duty as Assistant Air Transport Officer. Upon completion of flight training in Corpus Christi, TX and Pensacola, FL in March 1994, Commander McKone was designated a Naval Aviator. Prior to reporting to HSL-40 in Mayport, FL for training in the SH-60B SEAHAWK, he served as a Search and Rescue (SAR) pilot flying the UH-1N helicopter for NAS Corpus Christi.
In June 1995 Commander McKone reported to HSL-44 in Mayport, FL. He deployed aboard USS VICKSBURG (CG-69) to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and the oil embargo against Iraq. During his second deployment, he served as the Assistant Officer in Charge and Maintenance Officer for Detachment SEVEN in USS UNDERWOOD (FFG-36).
Commander McKone was assigned to HSL-40 in May 1998 as a SH-60B Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Instructor Pilot. He served as the Public Affairs Officer, Communications Officer, Quality Assurance Officer and NATOPS Officer.
Rotating back to sea duty in October 2000, he reported as Flag Lieutenant and Aide to Commander Carrier Group THREE. During this tour he deployed onboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In August 2002 Commander McKone reported to HSL-48 in Mayport, FL for his department head tour. He deployed as the Officer in Charge of Detachment EIGHT onboard USS ANZIO (CG-68) during an accelerated deployment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. Under his leadership as Maintenance Officer, the “Vipers” won the 2004 COMHSLWINGLANT Golden Wrench Award. Additionally, he was chosen as the HSL-48 2003 Officer of the Year.
Commander McKone's next assignment was to Operations Team THREE, National Military Command Center, Operations Directorate, the Joint Staff. He served as Assistant Deputy Director for Operations, Senior Emergency Action Officer, Global Strike Advisor and Surveillance Officer.
Commander McKone reported as the HSL-51 Executive Officer in August 2007. He assumed command of HSL-51 in December 2008 as the 14th Warlord Commanding Officer. Under his subsequent leadership the Warlords were awarded the 2009 CNAP Battle ‘E’, COMHSMWINGPAC Golden Wrench, and Golden Anchor for retention excellence.
Post command, Commander McKone served as the Air Officer in USS WASP (LHD 1). During this tour he led a year-long multi-agency planning effort resulting in the completion of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Initial Sea Trials, the most significant shipboard flight test of a new airframe in 30 years.
His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4 awards) and various unit commendations and service medals.