Commander Cristobal Yera

Commanding Officer, Naval Aviation Training Support Group

31 December 2020 CDR. Cristobal Yera is native of  Newport, Rhode Island, however, as a “Navy Brat,” he considers himself a native of Norfolk, Virginia.  He was commissioned as part of the United States Naval Academy Class of 2003, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.  He also holds a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College.

Following the completion of flight training, CDR Yera received his wings in July of 2005, beginning his career as an Unrestricted Naval Aviator at HSC-3 as a fleet replacement pilot in the MH-60S.  His first fleet assignment was with the “Chargers” of HSC-26, where he served as the Aviation Life Support Systems (ALSS) and Power Plants Division Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and NATOPS Officer.  While at HSC-26 CDR Yera made two deployments to the Fifth Fleet AOR in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
Following his first sea tour, CDR Yera was selected to attend the U.S. Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School at NAS Fallon, Nevada, earning qualification as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI).  He was then assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Atlantic where he served as the Expeditionary HARP Program Manager, and Operations Officer, while also serving as the Aircraft Survivability Equipment and LINK-16 Subject Matter Expert.  CDR Yera then returned to HSC-26 for his second sea tour, serving as the squadron SWTI and Training Department Head.
 
After completing his tour at HSC-26, CDR Yera reported to HSC-28 as the Detachment FIVE Officer-In-Charge, deployed on board USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7).  While attached to the HSC-28, “Dragon Whales,” CDR Yera also served as the Training Department Head and Operations Department Head, contributing to the Squadron’s back-to-back Battle Efficiency Awards.
 
Following his tour of duty at HSC-28, CDR Yera reported as an Exercise Support Officer on the Joint Staff J7 in Suffolk, Virginia, providing modeling and simulation and communications planning support to various combatant command exercise events, including Exercise Vigilant Shield, Judicious Response/Epic Guardian, and Cyber Flag.  During his time on the Joint Staff, CDR Yera became a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, Joint and Combined Warfighting School, earning his designation as a Joint Qualified Officer.
 
CDR Yera’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign, unit, and service awards.  He has accumulated over 2200 flight hours in various fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. 
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