Commanding Officer: Captain Kevin Lenox

Captain Kevin P. Lenox is a 1990 graduate of Duke University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and was commissioned through the NROTC unit.

Captain Lenox assumed command of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Jan 12, 2017.

He was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1990 and his initial assignment was to NAS North Island, CA with the "Eightballers" of HS-8 embarked on USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) and USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). Flying SH-60F and MH-60H, he completed two deployments and served in numerous junior officer billets. Returning to sea duty in April 1998, Captain Lenox reported to the Carrier Air Wing FIVE staff in Atsugi, Japan. In December 2001 he reported to HS-4 "Black Knights" where he completed a 9-month deployment on USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) and flew numerous combat sorties in the opening days of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

In December 2006, he reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron SEVEN as Executive Officer. Nine months later he assumed command. During his CO tour, the "Dusty Dogs" completed a 7-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf which included 13 rescues, small boat defense in the Strait of Hormuz, defense of Iraqi Oil platforms and logistics support to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. At home the "Dusty Dogs" provided helicopter rescue support for hurricanes Gustav and Ike. He reported to USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76) as Executive Officer in September 2010. During this tour, REAGAN was first on the scene for Operation Tomodachi providing support to Japan in the wake of 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami. Captain Lenox commanded USS Denver (LPD 9) in Sasebo, Japan from October 2012 to October 2013.

Shore Duty Assigments include flight instructor at HS-10 (1996-98); U.S. Naval War College where he graduated with distinction and earned and M.A. in Strategic Studies (2000-2001); Naval Air Systems Command where he was the team lead for Navy Helicopter Weapon Systems (2004-2006); Navy Nuclear Power training where he graduated with honors (2009-2010); and Director, JFCC Space Missile Warning Center inside Cheyenne Mountain, CO.

Captain Lenox's personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards, 1 combat "V") and the Navy Acheivement Medal (2 awards, along with various unit and campaign awards).

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Executive Officer: J.W. David Kurtz

CDR Dave Kurtz grew up in Coatesville, Pennsylvania and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1996. Following flight training and designation as a Naval Flight Officer, he reported to VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for initial training in the EA-6B Prowler. In 2011, CDR Kurtz transitioned to the EA-18G Growler.

CDR Kurtz’s sea duty assignments include Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of VAQ-132, the “Scorpions,” leading the command on the first expeditionary Growler deployment in the U.S. Pacific Command Area of Responsibility; Maintenance and Tactics Officer at VAQ-136, homeported at NAF Atsugi, Japan; Training and Quality Assurance Officer at VAQ-138; and Strike Operations Officer at Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN.

Ashore, CDR Kurtz earned designation as a Prowler Tactics Instructor and served as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) Weapons Subject Matter Expert and Air Wing Instructor at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, NV; SEAD Planner for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where he planned and scheduled over 800 Prowler missions in support of combat operations; Legislative Fellow in the office of Rep. Robert A. Brady (PA-1); and Deputy Division Chief and Electronic Warfare Branch Chief in the Cyber and Electronic Warfare Operations Division, J-39, in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

CDR Kurtz has earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, a Certificate of Advanced Legislative Studies from Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute, and has completed training at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command and Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina.

CDR Kurtz has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Strike Flight Air Medal (with bronze numeral 3) for having flown over 60 combat missions in the EA-6B in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM. He has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours and over 650 arrested landings.

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Command Master Chief Richard L. Mengel

Command Master Chief Rick Mengel enlisted in the Navy on 17 November, 1993 and received basic training at Recruit Training Command Orlando, FL.

His first sea tour was aboard USS Camden (AOE 2), PSNS Bremerton, WA as an Undesignated Seaman and later a Signalman Third Class. In 1998, be cross rated to Aviation Structural Mechanic and reported to his first shore tour at the EA-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron, home of the Vikings of VAQ- 129, NAS Whidbey Island, WA. His second sea tour was with the Zappers of VAQ-130, NAS Whidbey Island, WA where he qualified as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist deployed aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). His second shore-tour was at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, IL where he served as a Recruit Division Commander and RDC "C” School Instructor and qualified as a Master Training Specialist.

His third sea tour was with the Zappers of VAQ-130, NAS Whidbey Island, WA.

Master Chief Mengel was selected for the Command Senior Chief program in 2011 and reported for his first command tour with Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Crew Persistent aboard six different MCM hulls. His second command tour was with USS Shoup (DDG 86), homeported at Naval Station Everett, WA. His third command was the Command Master Chief for Navy Recruiting District Seattle.

He is currently the Command Master Chief aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

He is a graduate of the Naval Senior Enlisted Academy, class 147 (Gold Group) and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat class 10701. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Good Conduct Medal (eight awards) and various unit awards.

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