COMMANDING OFFICER, VAW-120
Commander Wastak’s recent assignment was to the Chief of Naval Operations Staff (OPNAV N2/N6F33 Integrated Fires Division) at the Pentagon as a Deputy Branch Head and Action Officer.
A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Wastak was commissioned in 1998 via the Naval ROTC scholarship program at The Ohio State University and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in February 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and is a George Washington University Organizational Management Fellow where he earned a Master of Arts Degree in 2009.
Wastak’s command tour was with the Seahawks of VAW-126 from June 2015 to December 2017. Other operational assignments include tours with VAW-123 as a junior officer, VAW-125 as a Department Head, and Carrier Strike Group Twelve (CSG-12) as a Flag Aide to the Admiral. He has deployed on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64) in support of OPERATION’s Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Summer Pulse 2004, Baltic Operations 2008, and OPERATION Unified Response in Haiti. He was selected as the 2004 Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer of the Year at Sea while serving with VAW-123 and awarded the 2010 Navy and Marine Corps Association 0-4 Leadership Award while serving with VAW-125.
In May 2006, Ashore, Wastak served as an instructor Naval Flight Officer at VAW-120 Fleet Replacement Squadron where he qualified in all variants of the E-2C Hawkeye and was a Naval Air Forces Evaluator. In 2009, as a George Washington University Fellow, he served at the Department of State in the Political-Military Affairs/International Security Office and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-5 Directorate, Strategy and Concepts Division as an Action Officer. In May of 2012, he reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J35 South Directorate (Regional, Force Management and Future Operations) at NSA Hampton Roads in Norfolk, VA. He served as the Aviation Joint Working Group Lead and a Secretary of Defense Orders Writer responsible for sourcing rotational and emergent solutions for Geographic Combatant Command requirements.
Wastak has logged more than 2,300 hours in the E-2C and E-2D Hawkeye and flown more than 120 combat missions with U.S. Navy. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medals (6), Navy Commendation Medals (5), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (3) as well as other individual, campaign and unit awards.