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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20)

CAPT. Mark James Colombo

A native of Media, Pennsylvania, Captain Mark Colombo graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) in 1992 and served as a Bombardier / Navigator in the A-6E Intruder Community until 1997. During that time, he was assigned to VA-35 and VA-75 and made deployments aboard USS SARATOGA (CV 59), USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65).

In 1997, Captain Colombo transitioned to the EA-6B Prowler Community as an Electronic Counter Measures Officer (ECMO). He was assigned to VAQ-140 and made deployments aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) and USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69); he also participated in an overseas detachment to Aviano AB, Italy in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE.

In 2000, Captain Colombo attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He returned to the EA-6B Community in 2002 and served as the Operations and Maintenance Officer with VAQ-138 aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70).

Captain Colombo reported to the Operations Directorate (J-3) of the Joint Staff in 2004 and served as an Action Officer in the Joint Operations Division and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Regional Operations. In 2007, he reported to VAQ-136 as the Executive Officer and served as the Commanding Officer of VAQ-136 from December 2008 to April 2010. During that time, he made deployments in the Western Pacific aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) and USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73).

Captain Colombo completed Nuclear Aviator training in 2011 and served as the Executive Officer of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) from March 2012 to April 2014. He reported to USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20) in July 2014.

Captain Colombo has accumulated more than 2500 flight hours and 800 carrier arrested landings in both the A-6E Intruder and EA-6B Prowler. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (four awards, one with combat V), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) and various unit awards and campaign medals.

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