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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Wolfgang Hechler

USS Portland (LPD-27)

CAPT. Matthew C. Thomas USN
Commanding Officer

Captain Thomas, a native of Nashport, Ohio, graduated with highest distinction with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1997, with distinction from the United States Naval War College in 2011, and from Navy Nuclear Power School in 2018. He earned his wings of gold in 1999 and was assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120 for initial training as an E-2C Hawkeye Replacement Pilot.

CAPT Thomas served as Executive Officer of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) from April 2019 until February 2021 and as Commanding Officer of VAW-116 “Sun Kings” from October 2015 until April 2017. In addition, his career as a Naval Aviator includes assignments with VAW-124, Air Wing Staff Landing Signals Officer (LSO) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Administrative and Maintenance Officer with VAW-117, and Executive Officer of VAW-116.

Ashore, he was assigned to VAW-120 as an Instructor Pilot and Carrier Qualification Phase Head; the Joint Staff, J-3, in the Deputy Directorate for Nuclear, Command and Control, and Homeland Defense (NC2HD); Navy Nuclear Power School; and Nuclear Power Training Unit. He has flown more than 4,300 flight hours in both the E-2C and F/A-18 and has made more than 500 carrier arrestments.

CAPT Thomas’ decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, seven Strike Flight Air Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other unit citations and campaign ribbons.

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