Commanding Officer 
CDR Fermin Espinoza “Espi”
Commanding Officer

A native of El Paso, Texas, Commander Espinoza enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1985. Serving in submarines as a Petty Officer 1st Class Electronics Technician (SS), he was selected in 1993 to participate in the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in international business and commissioned in December 1995.

At sea, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf in USS Ford (FFG 54) as Undersea Warfare Officer, Ordnance Officer and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as Interior Communications Officer. As a department head, he served as commissioning crew Operations Officer in USS Shoup (DDG 86) test and evaluation platform for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM); Operations Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron Nine, while deployed with Carl Vinson Strike Group; and as Operations Officer in USS Coronado (AGF 11), while deployed as the Seventh Fleet Flag Ship. In USS Dewey (DDG 105), the first Standard Missile Six (SM-6) test and evaluation platform, he served as commissioning crew Executive Officer. Most recently, he served as Pacific Partnership 2011 Chief of Staff, while deployed in support of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief training and operations in the Oceania Island Region.

Ashore, he graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., with a Master of Science in Space Systems Operations. His thesis on Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Triple Canopy Foliage Penetration Capabilities was recognized as an outstanding thesis for his graduating class.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), Good Conduct Medal (two awards) and various unit, campaign, and service awards. He was presented with a Shiphandling Award from Commander Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet for his performance as the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) 1999 Shiphandler of the Year. 


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