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Derek Escalante

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, CDR Escalante graduated from North Carolina State University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Technology and Society with a Biomedical concentration, and received his commission from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.  He holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration through the Naval Postgraduate School, and completed the U.S. Marine Corps Joint Professional Military Education Phase I seminar.
He attended Primary Flight School at VT-27 in Corpus Christi, TX, and completed Advanced Helicopter Training with HT-18 in Pensacola Florida in 2008.  He then selected to fly the MH-60S with the HSC-26 “Chargers.” 
At HSC-26, he completed multiple helicopter detachments in in support of Special Operations Forces, SAR DETs, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) on an assortment of carriers and amphibs.  Primary deployments were to Bahrain and the 5TH Fleet AOR in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; Operation Unified Response, Haiti; and Operation Continuing Promise 2011 on the USNS Comfort.  During his tenure he accumulated over 100 medical evacuations.
In 2015, he reported aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer (Shooter) and Division Officer.  He executed a combat deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR, completed an around the world deployment, and executed the first ever three carrier hull swap with a division of 105 Sailors.  Additionally, he qualified and stood as Assistant Air Officer and was designated “Top Cat” in charge of all Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer operations and training.
In 2019 he reported to the HSC 23 “Wildcards” as a squadron department head, where he deployed in the 7TH Fleet AOR aboard USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) as the aviation Officer in Charge operating the MH-60S and MQ-8B Fire Scout. As the Operations Officer, he led the command in becoming the first operational squadron in the Navy achieving the Safe to Operate milestone for the MQ-8C Fire Scout.
Staff assignments include serving at Navy Cyber Forces (NCF), the Navy’s global C5I TYCOM, as a readiness analyst and training officer in the N3 directorate; Flag Aide to Commander Navy Cyber Forces; Deputy Executive Assistant to Commander Navy Information Forces (NAVIFOR); Squadron Combat Systems (N6) Department Head of all CONUS MCM 1 Avenger Class ships at Mine Countermeasures Squadron 3 (MCMRON THREE); and the Missile/Space Domain Senior Evaluator and Stan/Eval Chief of the Joint Operations Center at US Northern Command.
His personal awards and accolades include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), USNORTHCOM Field Grade Officer of the Year, the Sikorsky Rescue Award, as well as various service and campaign awards.

Last Updated: 12 July 2023

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