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Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 “Flying Eagles”

Commander Kristen M. Findlay

Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122

CDR Kristen M. Hansen
CDR Kristen M. Hansen
CDR Kristen M. Hansen
CDR Kristen M. Hansen
Photo By: CDR Kristen M. Hansen
VIRIN: 230417-N-VD554-1001

CDR Findlay grew up in Weymouth, MA and accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy to join the Class of 2003 and study Astronautical Engineering. After graduation, CDR Findlay attended flight school in Pensacola, Florida and Meridian, Mississippi. She subsequently selected F/A-18 Hornets and joined VFA-125, the “Rough Raiders.” After training, she joined the Vigilantes of VFA-151 where she made her first deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operations ENDURING FREEDOM onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).


After completing her tour with the “Vigis,” CDR Findlay graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in 2010, and became a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor at Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific. In the fall of 2012, CDR Findlay returned to the “fleet” for her “Training Officer” tour with VFA-146, the “Blue Diamonds.” In March 2013, the Diamonds deployed on the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) to continue support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and extended in 5th Fleet during heightened tensions in Syria.


CDR Findlay moved onto her Department Head tour with VFA-113, the “Stingers” in March of 2014. The squadron deployed onboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in August 2014 to join Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Iraq and Syria. Post deployment, CDR Findlay and the Stringers transitioned from the last operational West Coast FA-18C Hornets to the FA-18E Super Hornet.


Leaving the Stingers in December 2016 Stingers, CDR Findlay joined Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) as the Air Wing Training Officer at STRIKE. There, CDR Findlay and her staff ensured high-end, relevant training was delivered to deploying air wings.


Departing STRIKE, CDR Findlay joined VFA-25, the Fist of the Fleet, in May 2020 and took command in June the following year. During her time with the Fists, the squadron concentrated on fleet support and accepted the first operational Block III Super Hornets. CDR Findlay turned over in September of 2022 and is looking forward to joining the Flying Eagles of VFA-122 in April of 2023.


Combined, CDR Findlay has accumulated over 2700 hours of flight time, 66 combat sorties over Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, and just under 500 carrier landings. She completed her Master’s Degree in Project Management through Boston University in 2016, loves to ski, hike and participate in triathlons.


Commander Kristen M. Findlay

Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122

Commander Clifton Helterbran

Executive Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122

​Command Master Chief Conrad Hunt

Command Master Chief, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122

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