Commanding Officer (October 17, 2015 - Present)
CAPT Jason A. Burns
Executive Officer

Captain Burns is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. A 1993 graduate of San Diego State University, he received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps program and was designated a Naval Aviator upon completion of flight training in August 1996.

Captain Burns began his Naval Aviation service flying the SH-60B Seahawk assigned to The Swampfoxes (HSL-44). During his three year initial tour, Captain Burns deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Arabian Gulf embarked in USS Conolly (DD 981), USS Scott (DDG 996), USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), and USS Cape St. George (CG 71). While assigned to HSL-44, Captain Burns served as Detachment Administration, Training, Operations, Maintenance Officer, and assistant Officer In Charge. He also qualified as Officer Of the Deck Underway onboard USS Stephen W. Groves.

Captain Burns’ initial shore assignment was Flight Instructor duty with The Seahawks (HSL 41), the west coast Fleet Replacement Squadron for the SH-60B. There he served as Quality Assurance Officer and Night Vision Goggle Program Manager for Helicopter Antisubmarine Light Wing Pacific. He has logged over 900 shipboard landings and over 2,700 hours in tactical helicopter aircraft.

Captain Burns’ next assignment was Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Carrier Group THREE, embarked in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). While assigned to Carrier Group THREE, Captain Burns completed a temporary assignment as Aide and Tactical Coordinator for the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, supporting Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM from May to September 2002. Upon returning from the Fifth Fleet Area Of Responsibility, Captain Burns participated in an abbreviated inter-deployment training cycle and an extended Western Pacific Deployment as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Carl Vinson Strike Group/Battle Force Seventh Fleet.

After graduation from the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center’s Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (SEAWOLF), Captain Burns reported to The Scorpions (HSL-49) for his Officer In Charge/Department Head tour. As Officer In Charge, Detachment TWO, Captain Burns completed a Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf/Horn Of Africa deployment embarked in USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE. During the deployment, Detachment TWO supported Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and UNIFIED ASSISTANCE, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations for the island of Sumatra. Upon return from deployment, Captain Burns served as Squadron Training and Maintenance Officer and deployed as Maintenance Officer for the combined HSMWINGLANT/PAC composite squadron in support of Joint Task Force Katrina hurricane relief efforts.

Captain Burns is a graduate of the Naval War College, Newport Rhode Island, and holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies. While attending the Naval War College, Captain Burns completed the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School’s Naval Operational Planners Course.

In 2007, Captain Burns was assigned to the Joint Staff’s Strategic Plans and Policy Division (J5) in Washington, DC. While there he served as a Strategic Planner, country Action Officer, and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director, Political Military Affairs, Middle East Region.

In 2010 Captain Burns returned to HSL-49 serving as Executive Officer and eighteenth Commanding Officer of The Scorpions. During his tour The Scorpions were the recipients of the 2010 and 2011 CNO Safety and 2012 COMPACFLT Retention Excellence Awards.

Upon completion of his command tour, Captain Burns reported to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as Navigator. There he completed an extended deployment to the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Fleet Areas of Responsibility supporting both Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Syria Contingency Operations in the Red Sea.

He is currently serving as USS Essex (LHD 2) Executive Officer.

Captain Burns’ awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign decorations.

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