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DEPUTY COMMANDER

Brannon S. Bickel

Captain, United States Navy


Captain Brannon S. Bickel, a native of Massillon, Ohio, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in English. He completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in February 1999. In 2008, he earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies and National Security from the Naval War College in Newport, RI. 
 
CAPT Bickel’s sea duty assignments include tours in USS BOONE (FFG-28), USS ROOSEVELT (DDG-80), and USS GETTYSBURG (CG-64) while assigned to the Vipers of HSL-48. While assigned to the Battlecats of HSL-43, he deployed in USS HOWARD (DDG-83) and USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76) and served as the squadron’s Operations Officer. He commanded HSM-37 Easyriders in Kaneohe Bay, HI from April 2013 to July 2015. During his command tour, the Easyriders earned the COMPACFLT Retention Excellence Award for 2015, the SECNAV Safety Award submission in 2015, the CNAF Battle “E” in 2013 and 2015, and the CNAF Golden Wrench for excellence in maintenance in 2015. 
 
Between sea duty assignments, CAPT Bickel completed an instructor pilot tour with the Seahawks of HSL-41, served as Flag Aide to Commander Naval Air Forces, and was the Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He served as the Helicopter Community’s Commander Detailer, PERS-431B, at the Naval Personnel Command in Millington, TN. Additionally, he commanded HSM-41 Seahawks, the West Coast MH-60R Fleet Replacement Squadron, from June 2017 to July 2019. While under his command, the Seahawks earned the COMPACFLT Retention Excellence Award and the CNO Aviation Safety Award for 2018. He was selected to assume duties in November 2019 as Deputy Wing Commander for Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific. 
 
            Captain Bickel has accumulated over 2,700 flight hours in Naval aircraft. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit awards.