Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell

Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Mr. Bryan Scurry

Executive Director, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Captain Walt ''Sarge" Slaughter

Chief of Staff, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Force Master Chief H. Trenton Schmidt

Force Master Chief, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Commander Michael Patterson

Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97

25 October 2020 Commander Patterson is a native of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University in 2001 before earning his commission through Navy Officer Candidate School in August 2001 in Pensacola, Florida.
CDR Patterson completed flight training in the T-34C Turbo Mentor (VT-27) at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and the T-2C Buckeye (VT-9) and T-45C Goshawk (VT-7) at NAS Meridian, Mississippi. Designated as a Naval Aviator in April of 2004, he began flying the F/A-18C Hornet at the "Rough Raiders" of VFA-125 in Lemoore, California.

CDR Patterson's first fleet tour with the "Dambusters" of VFA-195 from 2005 to 2008 included six WESTPAC deployments on the USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63). Upon completion of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in Fallon, Nevada, CDR Patterson remained in Fallon from 2008 to 2011 as a TOPGUN Instructor and Subject Matter Expert. His Training Officer tour with the "Sidewinders" of VFA-86 from 2011 to 2012 included numerous exercises and detachments as the squadron transitioned to Super Hornets. CDR Patterson completed his Department Head tour with the "Argonauts" of VFA-147 from 2012 to 2015 during which he deployed on board the USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

In 2015, CDR Patterson reported to the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) J3 Directorate in Stuttgart, Germany where he served in the Special Operations Branch and the Current Actions Branch as a Joint Strike Planner and Focal Point Operations Center Team Chief. CDR Patterson returned to NAS Lemoore in 2018 to VFA-122 for refresher training in the F/A-18E Super Hornet.

Commander Patterson has over 2,600 flight hours and 460 arrested landings. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), and various unit and service related awards.
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