Commander David M. Halpern

Chief Operational Test Director, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9

21 January 2021 Commander David Halpern, a native of Middletown, New York, is a 2000 graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 2002.  He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master’s of Science Certificate in System Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, an Executive MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Class 134.

Halpern’s’ operational assignments include tours with Electronic Attack Squadron 142 (VAQ-142) as a Junior Officer, and with Electronic Attack Squadron 131 (VAQ-131) as a Department Head.  He commanded the “Wizards” of Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133).  During his time as CO the squadron was awarded the Battle E, Safety S, Tactical Excellence, Maintenance Squadron of the year, Retention Excellence and its fifth consecutive Blue M. He has completed multiple deployments in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and INHERENT RESOLVE prior to reporting to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron NINE (VX-9) in October 2020 as Chief Operational Test Director.

His shore assignments include a developmental test tour with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23), and a joint tour at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, where he served as the J313 Branch Head supporting U.S. CENTCOM, EUCOM, AFRICOM and the Joint Forces Component Command for Space.

Halpern has accumulated over 3,000 flight hours and 400 arrested landings in the EA-18G, EA-6B and 24 other aircraft.  He is the 2020 Vice Admiral John Perry award and the 2010 Test Flight Officer of the Year award recipient.  His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (five awards), and various other personal and unit awards.


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