Executive Officer
Captain Mark A. Melson
Executive Officer

Captain Mark Melson is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1992 with a M.S. in Political Science and was awarded the NROTC Utah Distinguished Naval Graduate honor that year. After commissioning, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer in November 1994.

His first operational tour was with Patrol Squadron TWENTY-SIX at NAS Brunswick, Maine. During his tour with the “Tridents” he completed deployments

to Keflavik, Iceland and Sigonella, Sicily on a CNO Project BEARTRAP crew and served as the NFO Training Officer.

In May 1998, Captain Melson reported to Commander, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet / Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean in Naples, Italy in May 1998, where he served as Flag Lieutenant / Flag Aide until May 2000.

Following this tour, Captain Melson reported to USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) as Assistant Navigator. During this tour, he qualified as Officer of the Deck (Underway) and was awarded the COMNAVAIRLANT Shiphandler of the Year Award for 2001.

In March 2002, he was assigned to the Bureau of Naval Personnel where he served as P-3 Aviation Assignments Officer for shore and sea detailing. Captain Melson then reported to the “Golden Eagles” of Patrol Squadron NINE, at MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in February 2004, where he served as the Maintenance Officer and completed a FIFTH and SEVENTH deployment.

In June 2006, Captain Melson reported to the Office of the Vice President in the White House, where he served as the Naval Aide to the Vice President of the United States. During this tour, Captain Melson accompanied the Vice President on over 50 domestic and international trips.

Captain Melson reported to VP-16 as the Executive Officer in May 2009 and assumed command of the “War Eagles” in April 2010. During his time as Commanding Officer, the squadron completed a successful and demanding tri-site deployment to the AFRICOM, EUCOM and SOUTHCOM areas of responsibility. In May of 2011, Captain Melson was assigned to the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs and served as Deputy Director, Navy Senate Liaison.

Captain Melson assumed the duties of Executive Officer, USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD 8) in December 2014.

Captain Melson’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2) and various other service and joint awards. He is a graduate of the Eisenhower School of National Security Management, earning a masters degree with a focus on the aircraft industry and is also a graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College Distance Learning Program.

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