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 M. E. Kawika Chang

Executive Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51

28 October 2020 CDR Chang was born in Honolulu, HI and lived numerous places around the world, finishing high school in Rockville, MD. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and commissioned via Naval ROTC. He was designated a Naval Aviator in August 2007.
CDR Chang began his career with two consecutive sea duty assignments. In July 2008, he reported to the World Famous “Vipers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR EIGHT (HSL-48) at NS Mayport, FL. He deployed onboard USS JOHN L. HALL (FFG-32), in support of 6th Fleet operations and was picked as the 2010 Administration Officer of the Year. CDR Chang also served onboard USS CARR (FFG-52), conducting Counter Illicit Trafficking (CIT) Operations in the south Caribbean.
In 2011, CDR Chang commenced a second operational sea tour assigned to HSL-51 at NAF Atsugi, Japan. He helped lead the “Warlords” through an unprecedented transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R, and from HSL-51 to HSM-51, while remaining fully operational. CDR Chang was also selected as the 2013 HSM-51 Pilot of the Year.
For his first shore assignment, CDR Chang attended the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI, graduating with a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
In June 2016, CDR Chang reported to HSM-74, the “Swamp Foxes” at NAS Jacksonville, FL for his Operational Department Head tour. He served as Combat Element TWO (CEL-2) Officer in Charge embarked onboard USS NITZE (DDG-94) as part of the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) Carrier Strike Group supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. While deployed he earned his Officer-of-the-Deck (OOD) Underway qualification. Upon returning to homeport, he was chosen as HSM-74’s Officer of the Year for 2018.
For his post-Department Head tour, CDR Chang reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Washington D.C. (J7, Joint Force Development Directorate) as the Program Manager for the Combatant Commander’s Exercise Engagement and Training Transformation (CE2T2) program, overseeing a budget in excess of $425 million. He subsequently served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director, J7 supporting the creation of a Joint Warfighting Concept and enhancement of the Joint Force Development and Design Enterprise.
CDR Chang has accumulated over 2,100 flight hours in the MH-60R and SH-60B and is designated a Joint Qualified Officer. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), the Combat Action Ribbon, and various unit and service awards.
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