Commanding Officer (December 6, 2013 - Present) 
CAPT Paul C. Spedero, Jr.
Commanding Officer

Captain Paul C. Spedero, Jr. was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1990 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and entered pilot training the same year. He was designated a Naval Aviator in Meridian, Mississippi in 1992 and subsequently attended the Defense Language Institute at Monterey, California, earning a degree in French. In 1993, he reported to Fighter Squadron One Two Four (VF-124) based at Naval Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California to begin instruction in the F-14 Tomcat.
In December 1994, he joined the Bounty Hunters of Fighter Squadron Two (VF-2). He completed two deployments with VF-2 embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) flying the F-14D Tomcat in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
In 1998, Captain Spedero attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada. Upon completion of the TOPGUN course, he served as a TOPGUN Instructor from March 1998 to December 2000.
In March 2001, Captain Spedero joined the Swordsmen of Fighter Squadron Three Two (VF-32) based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He made two deployments while embarked in USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) flying the F-14B (Upgrade) in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM.
In November 2004 Captain Spedero graduated with distinction and earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Following school, he reported to the Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. While assigned to the Joint Operations Division of the Operations Directorate, he prepared and presented briefs to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense in support of global joint operations.
In May 2007, Captain Spedero reported as Executive Officer of the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Six (VFA-86). During his time serving as Executive Officer he deployed aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) flying the F/A-18C Hornet in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. In August 2008, he assumed command of VFA-86 and deployed aboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Following his command tour, he entered the Aviation Nuclear Officer training program and in August 2011 reported as Executive Officer, USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70).
Captain Spedero assumed command of USS PELELIU (LHA 5) in December 2013.
Captain Spedero has logged 3,700 hours in Navy aircraft, and 850 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include: Bronze Star; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards); Air Medal (9 total awards: 3 individual, 6 Strike/Flight, and the combat distinguishing device); the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards and the combat distinguishing device); and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards).
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