Commanding Officer (April 2010 - April 2012) 
Captain David Fluker 
Commanding Officer (April 2010 - April 2012)

CAPT Dave Fluker is a native of Boston, New York. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1988.
 Upon completing SH-2F Pilot training, CAPT Fluker reported to HSL-35, where he deployed in numerous ships including USS HORNE (CG-30) for Operation DESERT STORM. During his tour, HSL-35 was awarded the Battle “E.” In 1993, CAPT Fluker transitioned to fly the SH-60B, and was assigned to HSL-41 as a SH-60B instructor pilot. In 1995, CAPT Fluker was recognized as the SH-60B Flight Instructor of the Year.
In 1996, CAPT Fluker reported to USS BOXER (LHD-4), and served as the Flight Deck Officer and Mini Boss, where he deployed in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and numerous multi-national exercises. In 1999 he reported to HSL-45, where he deployed as Detachment OIC in USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CG 57) in support of Maritime Interception Operations and Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
Other shore tours include HSL Readiness Officer for Commander, Naval Air Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet, and the Naval Helicopter Transition Team in 2002, where he led the planning for the Navy Helicopter Concept of Operations and the fleet introduction of the MH-60R and MH-60S aircraft. In March 2002, CAPT Fluker graduated from the Naval War College with a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
CAPT Fluker reported to HSL-43, in April 2003, as the Executive Officer. In September 2004, he assumed Command of the “BattleCats.” During his tour, HSL-43 deployed detachments in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM, counter narco-terrorist operations, and Joint Task Force KATRINA. In 2006, he reported to USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD-6) as Air Boss, and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. BONHOMME RICHARD was awarded the Battle “E” during his tour.
CAPT Fluker’s most recent assignment was Director, Joint Advanced Warfighting Program – Analytical Project Office, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), in Alexandria, Virginia. He assumed duties as USS ESSEX (LHD-2) Executive Officer in September, 2009 and Commanding Officer in January 2011.
CAPT Fluker has accumulated nearly 3,000 flight hours in Naval aircraft including over 800 small deck landings. He is a Joint Qualified Officer and his awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal as well as various unit and campaign awards.

 NEWS

Ships of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), USS Stockdale and Royal Thai Navy ship HTMS Surin
USS Essex Returns to Sasebo
USS Essex sailors participate in command physical training
USS Essex (LHD 2) in support of Operation Tomodachi
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
Senior military and civil leaders of the United States and Japan observe a fireworks display aboard USS Essex (LHD 2)
Hull Technician 3rd Class Rachel Stubbs demonstrates how to use a self-contained breathing apparatus as part of a Board of Inspe
Lt. j.g. Peter Rusch points to a ship in Sasebo Harbor as the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) gets un
An AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft lands on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2).
Marines assigned to the 31st MEU, embarked aboard USS Essex enter the well deck during CRRC operations
Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit fire handguns on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assau
Marine aviation ordnancemen move away from a AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft after arming a GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb on th
The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) launches a RIM-7P Sea Sparrow missile from the ship's forward NAT
Members of the Indian armed forces tour the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2).
Seaman Brandon Cash assists in recovering Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
Commander James Johnson, command chaplain aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2)
M-240B Machine Gun Fire Exercise
Sea and Anchor Detail form the Flight Deck Of USS ESSEX (LHD 2)
Aviation boatswain's mates clean wheel stop combing.
USS Essex making a port visit to hong kong
A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Keen Sword 2011 in Japan
USS Essex Returns To Sasebo
Juliet Wharf provides upgraded facilities for the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), JMSDF Ships and other visiting ship
Capt. David Fluker walks through side boys during a change of command ceremony
Marines from the 31st MEU embark the USS Essex (LHD2) for a patrol in the Western Pacific.
Sailors and Marines unload 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit armories and equipment from a Landing Craft Utility 1634 to USS Denver
Marines board a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter while an MH-60S Sea Hawk prepares to land on the flight deck of USS Essex
 Sailors direct a Royal Thai Navy Bell 212 helicopter aboard USS Essex (LHD 2).
USS Essex Hosts Flight Deck Reception in Cambodia
USS Essex Sailors Visit Cambodian Orphanage
Sailors assigned to USS Essex (LHD 2) and Marines from the 31st MEU return to the ship at Sepangar Naval Base
Sailors on the bridge of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) navigate the ship to the coast of Japan.
An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter transports humanitarian assistance supplies.
Sailors move supplies into the hangar bay of USS Essex (LHD 2)
Radiological control technicians inspect cargo for possible low-level radioactive contamination
A member of a Navy radiological assistance team, undergoes a radiological scan after arriving on the flight deck of USS Essex
U.S. Marines and a member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force unload humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies
Sailors with Amphibious Squadron 11 direct Japanese utility repair vehicles onto Landing Craft Unit 1634.
Sailors attached to USS Essex (LHD 2) move a fishing boat from a harbor on Oshima Island, Japan.
USS Essex (LHD 2) transits in formation as JS Hyuga (DDH 181) transits in the background.
USS Essex (LHD 2) to offload vehicles from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
USS Essex LHD 2
Essex (LHD 2) departs Fleet Activities Sasebo
31st MEU walk down the pier at White Beach Naval Facility to embark the USS Essex
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force cadets during a tour of USS Essex
Biological and radiological protection gear drill on board USS Essex (LHD 2).
Fleet Master Chief Visits USS Essex
USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS ESSEX
USS Essex (LHD 2) Crew Celebrates Centennial of Naval Aviation
USS Essex (LHD 2) launches a RIM-7P Sea Sparrow missile during a live-fire missile exercise
AV-8B Harrier with Marine Attack Squadron 214 lands on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS Essex (LHD 2) Sailors Complete Ordnance Onload Prior to Deployment
High mobility multi-purpose vehicles with the 31st MEU drive onto the USS Essex (LHD 2) at White Beach Naval Facility Okinawa
USS Essex (LHD 2) Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Justin Mitchell, right, fires the shot line to  USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9)
Marines assigned to the 31st MEU prepare to disembark the USS Essex
Sailors take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony held aboard USS Essex
Marine Corps 236th Birthday Celebration
USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS Essex (LHD 2)
Sailors man the forward lookout watch on the signal bridge of USS Essex (LHD 2) as the ship arrives in Manila for a port visit.
USS Essex LHD 2
USS Essex (lhd2)
Chief of Navy’s Chaplain Corps Visits USS Essex
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
LCAC enters well deck of USS Essex.
Yeoman 2nd Class Kyle Parker takes his first class petty officer advancement examination.
Physical Training on board USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
Capt. David Fluker answers questions for the Japanese media.

 Served with...

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