September 28, 2016 - Present
Colonel William W. Hooper
Deputy Commander

Colonel Hooper received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Richmond in Virginia and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1992. After graduating from the Basic School in April 1993, he reported to Naval Aviation Training Command, Pensacola, FL for flight training. Upon designation as a Naval Flight Officer in March 1995, and completion of training in the FA-18D Hornet, Colonel Hooper was assigned to VMFA(AW)-121 as a Weapons Systems Officer and served in the Administration Department.

Colonel Hooper completed two Western Pacific deployments in 1997 and 1998 with VMFA(AW)-121 during which he held billets in the Maintenance and Operations Departments. In addition, Colonel Hooper was designated a Strike Fighter Weapons Instructor upon completion of TOPGUN in 1999. Later that spring, Colonel Hooper reported to the Amphibious Warfare School and was a distinguished graduate of that program in May 2000.

Colonel Hooper returned to MCAS Miramar, CA and rejoined VMFA(AW)-121. Prior to his third Western Pacific Deployment, Colonel Hooper trained at Marine Aviation Weapons Tactics Squadron One and earned designations as Weapons Tactics Instructor, Forward Air Control (Airborne) Instructor, and Tactical Air Controller (Airborne) Instructor.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Colonel Hooper deployed to Egypt with VMFA(AW)-121 in support of Exercise Bright Star 2001. In March 2002 the squadron deployed to Ganci Air Base, Manas, Kyrgyzstan, from where Colonel Hooper conducted combat flights in support of ground forces in Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Colonel Hooper subsequently transferred to the Reserve Marine Corps and between 2003 and 2009 served in the Marine Forces Pacific Command and 3rd Battalion 14th Marines, an artillery battalion headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. In 2009, Colonel Hooper mobilized with Marine Aircraft Group 49 aboard NAS Willow Grove, PA, and served as the Future Operations Officer and Naval Aviation Enterprise Current Readiness Action Officer. He remained with this command until accepting mobilization orders to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (3d MAW) in August 2011. Colonel Hooper deployed in 2012 again in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, with 3d MAW (Forward) as a Senior Watch Officer in the Tactical Air Command Center supporting combat operations in Regional Command (Southwest) in the Helmand and Nimroz Provinces.

After this deployment he returned to Miramar and served as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations. After his promotion to colonel in May 2014, he assumed the duties of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. In June 2016, Colonel Hooper became the Chief of Staff. In September 2016, Colonel Hooper transferred to his current assignment aboard Naval Base San Diego as Deputy Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE - the operational command for all Naval Amphibious Forces on the West Coast.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/numeral 1, Navy-Marine Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Achievement Medal with Gold Star.



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