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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS New Orleans (LPD-18)

CAPT. Kenneth A. Strong, USN

Captain Strong is a native of Seattle, Washington and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 1989. He received a commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1992 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1994.

Captain Strong reported to the Seahawks of HSL-41 at NAS North Island, California for initial training in the SH-60B. His first operational assignment was with the Warlords of HSL-51 at NAF Atsugi, Japan from September 1995 to October 1998.

Captain Strong’s next assignment was to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada, where he helped stand up the Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course while also serving as the Surface Warfare Subject Matter Expert, the Navy’s Mountain Flying Program Manager, and an instructor for the Naval Special Warfare Close Air Support Terminal Controller Course, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapon School, and Carrier Air Wing training.

In March of 2002 he reported to the Saberhawks of HSL-47 at NAS North Island as the squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Following graduation from Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama in July of 2004, Captain Strong returned to HSL-47, completing two deployments as Combat Element TWO Officer-in-Charge onboard USS SHOUP (DDG 83) and as the squadron Maintenance Officer onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72). While Maintenance Officer the Squadron earned the 2006 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award and in 2006 Captain Strong earned the Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific, Helicopter Aviation Award.

From January 2007 until December 2008 Captain Strong served as the U.S. European Command J6 Liaison Officer to NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.

From October 2009 until January 2011 he served as the Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of the Saberhawks of HSM-77 at NAS North Island. During this time the squadron completed transition to the MH-60R, two work-up cycles, and two combat deployments onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) and Carrier Strike Group NINE ships. HSM-77 earned the 2010 and 2011 Commander, Naval Air Force Battle “E” Efficiency Awards, the 2011 Secretary of the Navy Safety Award, the Secretary of Defense Phoenix Award for 2011, and the 2011 Arnold J. Isbell ASW Excellence Award.

Following squadron command, he served as the OPNAV Air Warfare Directorate (N98) MH-60R Requirements Officer.

In September 2014, Captain Strong reported as the Executive Officer onboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73), NS Yokosuka, Japan, completing two deployment cycles, two crew swaps, an “Around the Horn” deployment, and a homeport shift to Norfolk, Virginia. In both 2014 and 2015, the ship earned the Commander, Naval Air Force Battle “E” Efficiency Awards and the 2015 Battenberg Cup. In 25 years of naval service, he has flown over 3,900 flight hours in 15 different aircraft.

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