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Commander Brandon D. Smith is a native of Sperry, Oklahoma and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in oceanography and a commission as an ensign in May, 2002. After graduation, Cmdr. Smith attended flight training and was designated a Naval aviator in February 2004 at Whiting NAS in Milton, Florida.

Smith’s first sea tour was with the “Chargers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO SIX (HSC-26) at NS Norfolk, Virginia from 2004 to 2007.He completed deployments on board USS Nashville (LPD-13) and USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), supporting the American Citizen (AMCIT) evacuation from Lebanon, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

Ashore, Commander Smith next served as a MH-60S flight instructor with the “Fleet Angels” of HSC-2 at NS Norfolk, Virginia from 2007 to 2010. Also during this tour, he volunteered and was selected for individual augmentee (IA) duty to Baghdad, Iraq in support of OIF Detainee Operations. He served as a multinational force review committee (MNFRC) member, then flag aide to the Multinational Forces Iraq Deputy Commanding General for detainee operations. During this tour, Cmdr. Smith also earned a master of public administration degree at Old Dominion University.

 

In 2011, Smith was selected as a Legislative Fellow to the 112th Congress, where he served as the military legislative assistant to Representative Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District. As the MLA, he supported and coordinated the congressman’s veteran outreach initiatives while advising on defense policy issues in support of the congressman’s service on the House Armed Services Committee.

 

Cmdr. Smith returned to sea duty in 2012 as the aircraft handling officer on board USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), deploying with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Arabian Gulf. There, he earned his officer of the deck (OOD) qualification and was selected for operational department head.

 

Cmdr. Smith reported in 2013 to the “Screamin’ Indians” of HSC-6 at NAS North Island in Coronado, California where he deployed on board USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Independence (LCS-2) and served as the squadron operations officer. During this tour, he completed JPME I through the Navy War College.

 

In 2016, Smith completed JPME II through the joint combined warfare school course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. He then reported to the Joint Staff, J-3 directorate at the Pentagon as an operations officer in the National Military Command Center, where he qualified and served as a presidential strike advisor.

 

Commander Smith reported as executive officer in April 2019 and took command of NTAG Pittsburgh in July 2020.
 
 
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Updated October 1, 2018 (kbh)