Commanding Officer (May 7, 2015 - Present)
CAPT Michael W. Baze
Commanding Officer

Captain Baze is a San Antonio, Texas native and earned a bachelor of arts in biology from Rice University. He commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1990 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1992.

While at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL 45) in San Diego, California, from June 1992 to 1996, he deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS ANTIETAM (CG 54) and USS HARRY W. HILL (DD 986). His first shore tour was at HSL 41 in San Diego from July 1996 to March 1998 as a flight instructor, and squadron operations and administrative officer. He served again with HSL 41 from September 2001 to June 2002.

He served as the aide to the president, Board of Inspection and Survey in Norfolk from April 1998 to August 1999. He then earned a master of science in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California from 1999 to 2001 and also served as an associate fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group in Newport, Rhode Island.

Baze served at HSL 47 in San Diego from June 2002 to October 2004 as the safety and Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization officer, Det. Five officer in charge on USS PRINCETON (CG 59), and the squadron maintenance officer.

From January 2005 to November 2006, he served on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. as an action officer in the J-3 Joint Operations Division, and then as aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During his tour as executive and commanding officer of HSL 45 in San Diego from August 2007 to February 2010, HSL 45 was awarded the Battle “E” twice, the Golden Wrench Award for Maintenance Excellence, and the Commander, Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award for three consecutive years.

From March 2010 to February 2012, Baze served as the deputy director for aviation distribution and head air combat placement officer at Naval Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.

Baze currently serves as the USS AMERICA (LHA 6) commanding officer and is authorized to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and multiple joint, unit and campaign awards.
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