COMMANDER TRAVIS E. WANDELL
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, CDR Wandell was commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of California Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in June 2004. Additionally, he is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College where he earned a Masters of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies in 2018.
Designated a Naval Aviator in October 2006, he reported to the Raptors of HSM-71 for his initial operational assignment. He deployed on multiple ships within Carrier Strike Group THREE during the 2009 Western Pacific deployment in support of SEVENTH Fleet operations.
In 2010, CDR Wandell qualified in the MH-60S and reported to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, NV. As part of the U.S. Navy's Rotary Wing Weapons School, he served as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI) and Air Wing instructor in support of SWTI production and Carrier Air Wing training.
Following shore duty, CDR Wandell reported to the Carrier Airwing NINE staff as the helicopter operations officer where he developed live and synthetic exercises to integrate warfare commander staffs during a protracted inter-deployment maintenance period.
In 2014, CDR Wandell rejoined the Raptors for his Department Head tour where he served as the Combat Element TWO Officer in Charge aboard USS WILLIAM P. LAWRENCE (DDG-110) for the 2016 deployment and Squadron Operations Officer aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2016. Following a successful tour, CDR Wandell was selected as the 2017 HSM-71 Officer of the Year and received the Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific “Moose” Donovan Officer Leadership award.