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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Essex (LHD-2)

CAPT. Dave Fluker

CAPT Dave Fluker is a native of Boston, New York. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1988. Upon completing SH-2F Pilot training, CAPT Fluker reported to HSL-35, where he deployed in numerous ships including USS HORNE (CG-30) for Operation DESERT STORM. During his tour, HSL-35 was awarded the Battle “E.” In 1993, CAPT Fluker transitioned to fly the SH-60B, and was assigned to HSL-41 as a SH-60B instructor pilot. In 1995, CAPT Fluker was recognized as the SH-60B Flight Instructor of the Year.

In 1996, CAPT Fluker reported to USS BOXER (LHD-4), and served as the Flight Deck Officer and Mini Boss, where he deployed in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and numerous multi-national exercises. In 1999 he reported to HSL-45, where he deployed as Detachment OIC in USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CG 57) in support of Maritime Interception Operations and Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Other shore tours include HSL Readiness Officer for Commander, Naval Air Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet, and the Naval Helicopter Transition Team in 2002, where he led the planning for the Navy Helicopter Concept of Operations and the fleet introduction of the MH-60R and MH-60S aircraft. In March 2002, CAPT Fluker graduated from the Naval War College with a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. >p>CAPT Fluker reported to HSL-43, in April 2003, as the Executive Officer. In September 2004, he assumed Command of the “BattleCats.” During his tour, HSL-43 deployed detachments in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM, counter narco-terrorist operations, and Joint Task Force KATRINA. In 2006, he reported to USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD-6) as Air Boss, and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. BONHOMME RICHARD was awarded the Battle “E” during his tour. CAPT Fluker’s most recent assignment was Director, Joint Advanced Warfighting Program – Analytical Project Office, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), in Alexandria, Virginia. He assumed duties as USS ESSEX (LHD-2) Executive Officer in September, 2009 and Commanding Officer in January 2011.

CAPT Fluker has accumulated nearly 3,000 flight hours in Naval aircraft including over 800 small deck landings. He is a Joint Qualified Officer and his awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal as well as various unit and campaign awards.

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