Commander Erik R. Nilsson 
Commanding Officer (February 2011 - June 2012)

Commander Nilsson was raised in Miami, Florida and is a 1993 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute; he earned his commission through the NROTC program. CDR Nilsson received his Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI in March of 2005.

His first sea tour was as the Electrical Officer and later Assistant First Lieutenant of USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47) homeported in San Diego, CA, from December 1993 to June of 1996. While onboard, he made his first deployment to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf with the USS TRIPOLI (LPH 10) Amphibious Ready Group.

CDR Nilsson next served as the Navigator of USS CURTS (FFG 38), forward deployed to the Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan from June 1996 to September 1997. While there he made his second deployment in the Western Pacific with the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) Battle Group.

Following, CDR Nilsson attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA enroute to his assignment to the Italian Third Naval Division in Brindisi, Italy. His duties while attached to the Italian Navy from May 1998 to May 2000 included Amphibious Operations Planning Officer, Battaglione San Marco Liaison Officer, and Staff Operations Officer.

In February 2001 CDR Nilsson reported onboard USS ROBERT G. BRADLEY (FFG 49) homeported in Mayport, FL as the Operations Officer. While there, the BRADLEY conducted an exceptionally successful Counter Narcotics and UNITAS deployment to the Caribbean, Eastern Pacific and Southwestern Atlantic.

He reported in August of 2002 as the Operations Officer of Destroyer Squadron TWO SIX then embarked in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) deployed to the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean conducting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and SOUTHERN WATCH.

CDR Nilsson completed his tour as Executive Officer of USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL (DDG 81) where he served from August 2005 to July 2007; completing a deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean (where the ship captured ten Somali pirates and liberated sixteen Indian hostages), and Persian Gulf in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.

CDR Nilsson reported to US Joint Forces Command in August 2007 where he served in the Directorate for Human Capital Resource Management (J02HR).

CDR Nilsson reported to Beachmaster Unit ONE as Executive Officer in August 2009. In February 2011, CDR Nilsson became the Commanding Officer of Beachmaster Unit ONE.

His personal awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with three gold stars) and the Navy Achievement Medal (with two gold stars), along with various meritorious unit and campaign ribbons.


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