|CAPT Mark Melson
Commanding Officer (August 2016 - November 2017)
Captain Mark Melson is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah in 1992, where he was awarded the NROTC Utah Distinguished Naval Graduate honor, and earned a masters degree from the Eisenhower School of National Security Management in 2014, with a focus on the aircraft industry. After commissioning, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer in November 1994.
His operational sea tours have spanned both coasts, commanding Patrol Squadron (VP) 16, where the squadron completed a demanding tri-site deployment to the AFRICOM, EUCOM and SOUTHCOM areas of responsibility. He also completed operational tours in VP-9 and VP-26, qualifying as Instructor TACCO and Mission Commander. Captain Melson also served aboard USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) as assistant navigator, where he qualified Officer of the Deck (Underway) and earned the 2001 COMNAVAIRLANT Shiphandler of the Year Award.
Ashore, Captain Melson served as Deputy Director, Navy Senate Liaison; Naval Aide to the Vice President of the United States, serving in the White House; as P-3 Aviation Assignments Officer for shore and sea detailing at Navy Personnel Command; and as Flag Lieutenant / Flag Aide Commander, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet/Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean in Naples, Italy.
Captain Melson’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2) and various other service and joint awards.
Captain Melson reported in USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in December 2014 as Executive Officer and assumed duties of Commanding Officer on August 4, 2016.