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Commander Brett Elko
Commanding Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79
Commander Brett Elko hails from Charlotte, North Carolina and earned his commission and bachelor’s degree in physics at the United States Naval Academy in 2002. He graduated from the George Mason University in 2009 with a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution.
Commander Elko earned his Wings of Gold in 2004 and has piloted the SH-60B and MH-60R helicopters throughout his aviation career. His tours include detachment Maintenance Officer at HSL-45; Instructor Pilot and Assistant Training Officer at HSM-41; Plank Owner and Quality Assurance Officer at HSM-78; and Squadron Maintenance Officer and Operations Officer at HSM-73. CDR Elko has gained extensive experience operating from aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, and frigates in support of Third, Seventh, and Fifth Fleet Commanders. At sea he has served onboard
USS Lake Champlain
USS Carl Vinson
(CVN 70), and
USS Abraham Lincoln
His assignments to staff billets include Flag Aide to the Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, DC, and the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Requirements, Experimentation, and Innovation (N8/N9) at U.S. Third Fleet in San Diego, CA. Commander Elko’s joint duty assignment was at the White House where he served as the Navy Military Aide to Vice President Joseph R. Biden from 2014 to 2016.
Commander Elko joined HSM-79 as Executive Officer in November 2019 during the Squadrons inaugural deployment onboard
USS Abraham Lincoln
(CVN 72). He assumed command of the Griffins in May 2021.
Commander Elko’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), and the Navy Achievement Medal.
Last Updated: 17 May 2021