Commanding Officer (April 2012 - June 2012) 
CAPT Chuck Litchfield 
Commanding Officer (April 2012 - June 2012)

Captain Litchfield is a native of Houston, Texas. He graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1988 earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering, and was designated a naval aviator in 1989.

His first operational assignment was with the HSL-44 Swampfoxes in Mayport, Fla. flying the SH-60B. He completed two carrier battle group deployments to the Arabian Gulf embarked aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55) and USS Stump (DD 978). In 1993, he was recognized as the HSL-44 Officer of Year.

Litchfield was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School Cooperative program, completing a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While serving as a developmental test pilot at the Naval Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Squadron in Patuxent River, Md., he conducted developmental flight test and evaluation of the H-60 armed helicopter integration, the MH-60R/S common cockpit design and the MH-60R Flight Envelope/Gross Weight Expansion program.

From 1999 to 2002, he served as a department head with the HSL-42 Proud Warriors in Mayport, Fla. While embarked aboard USS Hawes (FFG 53), his two SH-60B helicopters directly supported recovery operations for USS Cole (DDG 67) during Operation Determined Response. He also served as the squadron maintenance officer and was recognized as the 2001 COMHSLWINGLANT Officer of the Year.

Tours ashore include: Chief of Naval Operations staff, Office of Aviation Budget, Programming and Assessment, as an aviation budget programmer; and Standing Joint Force Headquarters, United States Northern Command as a team chief. While at USNORTHCOM, he led forward deployed elements for national special security events, space shuttle support operations, hurricane relief and other defense support to civil authority missions.

While HSL-46 executive officer in 2005, he led two divisions of H-60s conducting search and rescue operations in support of JTF Katrina/Rita. He commanded the HSL-46 Grandmasters from May 2006 to June 2007 during which the squadron won consecutive Sikorsky “Golden Wrench” maintenance awards and deployed seven detachments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.

Litchfield was selected for major sea command in 2009. He is a graduate of the Aviation Safety Officer course, Air Force Command and Staff College (JPME Phase I correspondence), and the Joint Staff College (JPME II) course. He has flown 34 different type model series aircraft, logging over 3000 flight hours. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2).

 NEWS

USS Essex Chief Petty Officers Stand in Formation for Hull Swap.
USS Essex (lhd2)
A Sailor assigned to USS Essex (LHD 2) reunites with his family after the ship arrived in San Diego.

 Served with...

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