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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Wasp (LHD-1)

Andrew F. "Mongo" Smith USN
Commanding Officer

Captain Smith, a native of Montclair, New Jersey, graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, earned his commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School in July 1991, and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in July 1992. Captain Smith reported in April 1993 to his first operational tour with the "Seahawks" of Patrol Squadron TWENTY-THREE, VP- 23, at NAS Brunswick, ME, flying the P-3C Orion. After completing a Mediterranean deployment in 1994 in support of Operations Sharp Guard and Deny Flight, he was reassigned to the "Red Lancers" of VP-10 following VP-23's disestablishment in December 1994. While assigned to VP-10, CAPT Smith deployed again to the Mediterranean and completed a third deployment to the Caribbean and North Atlantic region in 1996.

Captain Smith's first shore tour in 1996 was as an instructor in Patrol Squadron THIRTY, VP-30, the P-3C Fleet Replacement Squadron, at NAS Jacksonville, FL, where he served as the NFO NATOPS Officer, and as a Fleet NATOPS Evaluator.

He next reported to USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as the Operations Administration Officer in 1999 where he earned his qualification as Officer of the Deck (Underway), and deployed in 2001 to FIFTH Fleet, taking part in the opening strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his disassociated sea tour, Captain Smith returned in May 2003 to the "Red Lancers" of VP-10 at NAS Brunswick, ME, for his Department Head tour, serving as the Safety/NATOPS Officer, Administration Officer, and Maintenance Officer, deploying to the SIXTH and FOURTH Fleets.

In June 2005, Captain Smith's next shore tour was as the Operations Officer in Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing ELEVEN (CPRW-11) at NAS Jacksonville. He was reassigned in June 2006 to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC, where he served as an Action Officer in the Command, Control, Communications and Computers (J6) Directorate.

Captain Smith reported to the "Pelicans" of VP-45 at NAS Jacksonville, FL, in April 2008 as the Executive Officer and assumed command in June 2009. During his tour, VP-45 conducted a split site deployment to FOURTH and SEVENTH Fleets, was awarded consecutive CNO Aviation Safety "S" Awards (2009, 2010) and the Battle Efficiency Award in 2010.

Following his command tour, Captain Smith reported to Commander Task Force 72 in NAF Atsugi, Japan, as the Operations, Plans and Policy Officer, participating in Operation TOMODACHI following the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. His next shore assignment in 2013 was at U.S. Fleet Forces Command serving as the head for the Fleet Execution and Certifications (N71) Branch.

Captain Smith assumed duties as Commanding Officer of USS WASP (LHD 1) in April 2016.

Captain Smith is a graduate of the Naval War College in 2002 and the National War College in 2013. Over his career he has accumulated over 3,400 flight hours, primarily in the P-3C Orion. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy Commendation Award (4), and other personal, campaign and service ribbons.

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