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Commander Ryan Heykens

A native of Lakeland, Florida, Commander Heykens graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering.  CDR Heykens was commissioned and reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for flight training in November 2006.  He earned his Naval Aviator Wings in August 2008.  In September 2008, CDR Heykens reported to the VQ-7 “Roughnecks” for initial fleet training as an E-6B Pilot.  

CDR Heykens began his operational flying in March 2009 with the “Shadows” of VQ-4.  While a “Shadow”, he made numerous deployments in support of USSTRATCOM nuclear deterrence missions.  During his tour, CDR Heykens qualified as an E-6B Instructor Pilot and Mission Commander Evaluator. 

CDR Heykens then reported to the VT-3 “Red Knights” at NAS Whiting Field, FL in May 2012 for instructor duty flying the T-6B Texan, teaching student naval aviators in the primary phase of flight training.  CDR Heykens then reported aboard the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in March 2015, where he served as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer in Yokosuka, Japan.  In March 2018, CDR Heykens reported to the “Ironmen” of VQ-3 for his Department Head tour, serving as Training and Maintenance Officer. 

Following his department head tour, CDR Heykens served as an action officer, Joint Staff, J-6 Directorate.  While on the Joint Staff, he directly supported the Director, J6 in the execution of DoD policy for cryptographic modernization efforts.  He selected for squadron command in March 2022 and is scheduled to report to VQ-7 as Executive Officer in June 2023. 

CDR Heykens has accumulated over 2,200 flight hours in various naval aircraft.  His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various service awards and ribbons. 

Last Updated: 23 June 2023

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