Staff

 

Commanding Officer  -  Captain Wood

Captain Richard K. Wood II, a native of Annandale, Virginia, graduated from the University of Virginia, earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After teaching math and physics for four years at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virginia, he received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in October 1987 and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in April 1989.

Captain Wood’s operational assignments included two tours and three deployments with the VAW-121 BLUETAILS flying the E-2C Hawkeye in support of DESERT SHIELD/STORM, ALLIED FORCE and SOUTHERN WATCH. Additionally, he served as the Assistant Navigator and Officer of the Deck on the USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) for two years. His command tour was with the VAW-126 SEAHAWKS from September 2005 to March 2008 during which time the squadron supported relief operations following Hurricane Katrina and deployed in support of IRAQI FREEDOM. The SEAHAWKS earned the Battle “E” and the AEW Excellence Award in 2005 and 2008.

Shore assignments included duty as an E-2C flight instructor with the VAW-120 GREYHAWKS where he was selected as the Airborne Early Warning Wing (US Atlantic Fleet) Hawkeye of the Year in 1994, service on the Joint Staff as Senior Emergency Actions Officer and Assistant Deputy Director of Operations in the National Military Command Center (NMCC) and assignment to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as the E-2/C-2 Requirements Officer in N88 and N2/N6. Captain Wood served as the Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Base Guam from July 2010 to June 2012 prior to reporting as the Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science at Oregon State University.

Captain Wood has flown over 2700 hours and has 575 traps in the E-2C Hawkeye. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Joint Forces Staff College, and Old Dominion University where he earned a Master of Engineering Management and he earned designation as a Joint Qualified Officer. Awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal (Strike Flight).

Captain Wood and his wife, Betsy, and have three children – Caroline, Catherine, and Chip.

Executive Officer  -  Commander Christensen
 
Commander Christensen is a native of Soldotna, Alaska and attended the University of Alaska Anchorage, followed by the University of Arizona earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. He was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy upon graduation in December, 1995 and began Navy Nuclear Power training in Orlando, Florida.

After completing Naval Nuclear Power training in June, 1997, CDR Christensen reported to his first assignment on USS Indianapolis (SSN 697) home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served as Electrical Assistant completing deployments to Chinhae, Korea and Sasebo, Japan. Transferring to USS Pasadena (SSN 752) in July 1998, to serve as Assistant Operations Officer and Communications Officer he completed deployments throughout the Western Pacific region.

In October 2000 CDR Christensen reported to Commander Strike Force Training Pacific as the Submarine exercise planner at North Island Naval Complex Coronado, CA. He planned numerous exercises that trained and certified Carrier Strike Groups and Expeditionary Strike Groups for deployment.  Attending night school he earned a Master of Science degree in Global Leadership at University of San Diego in January, 2003.

After completion of Submarine Officer Advanced Course in June, 2003, CDR Christensen was assigned to USS Portsmouth (SSN 707) as Weapons Officer and again deployed throughout the Western Pacific region to include Singapore, Guam, and Yokosuka, Japan. Conducting a homeport shift to Norfolk, Virginia and entering Portsmouth Naval Shipyard he relieved as Executive Officer for the final 3 months of the ship’s decommissioning process.

He was next assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he served as an Operations planner and completed two deployments to support OIF/OEF campaigns. During this tour he qualified as a Joint Specialty Officer following graduation from the Joint Forces Staff College in June, 2007.

CDR Christensen reported December, 2007 to USS San Juan (SSN 751) at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut where he served as Executive Officer and completed a deployment to SIXTH Fleet, in direct support of the Global War on Terrorism.  This deployment included a historic port call to Simon’s Town, South Africa.

Upon completion of his Executive Officer tour CDR Christensen was assigned as the Military Sealift Command Liaison Officer to European Command, in Stuttgart, Germany.

CDR Christensen’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal , Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (2 awards), and various other personal and unit awards.