Captain David Melin hails from Seattle, Washington, and graduated in 1984 from Maine Maritime Academy earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering.
At sea, he has served in numerous ships in the Pacific Fleet. He commanded USS PRINCETON (CG 59) deploying twice with the NIMITZ Strike Group as the Air Defense Commander. In 2003-2005 he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans on the staff of Carrier Strike Group Eleven (NIMITZ Strike Group). In 2001-2003 he commanded USS STETHEM (DDG 63). While under his command, USS STETHEM was the Navy’s test and evaluation ship for the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons System. Other sea tours include Executive Officer in USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50); Operations Officer in USS REEVES (CG 24) and USS HARRY W HILL (DD 986); and Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant in USS FRANCIS HAMMOND (FF 1067) home ported in Yokosuka, Japan.
Most recently, Captain Melin served as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5). He reported to the University of Washington NROTC unit in April of 2012.
Other shore assignments include Theater Anti-submarine Warfare Officer and Deputy for Training at Fleet ASW Command; politico-military analyst, Asia-Pacific region and War Game Director on the Joint Staff, Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate (J-8); Flag Secretary on the staff of Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific (CTF 73) in Singapore; and Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit, Maine Maritime Academy.
Captain Melin received the degree of Master of Business Administration from the University of Maine, and the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. Captain Melin holds various Merchant Marine licenses from the United States Coast Guard in both engineering and deck positions.
Commander Bruce Szymanski is a native of Fredonia, NY and a 1983 graduate of Brocton Central School. He is a 1987 graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy on June 13, 1987. Commander Szymanski was designated a Naval Aviator in 1990 and completed Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) training in the EA-6B Prowler in March of 1992.
Commander Szymanski’s junior officer sea-tour assignment was with the VAQ-134 “Garudas” where he served as Line Division Officer and Assistant Operations Officer while completing two Western Pacific Deployments in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and RESTORE HOPE.
From March to September 1995, he was assigned to the Crisis Action Team at Combined Air Operations Center Five in Vicenza, Italy as the Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) Planner in support of Operations DENY FLIGHT and DELIBERATE FORCE in the former Yugoslavia Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He returned to VAQ-129 in October 1995 as an Instructor Pilot serving as EA-6B Community Model Manager Standardization Pilot and Evaluator, Personnel Officer and Familiarization/Navigation Phase Instructor.
From June 1998 to June 1999, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas and earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas in May 1999.
In September 1999, CDR Szymanski reported to VAQ-128 where he served as Administration, Operations and Maintenance Department Head during squadron deployments to the United States European and Central Command theaters of operation in support of Operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH. As Operations Officer, he accumulated over 2000 EA-6B flight hours and the squadron was awarded the 2000 Association of Naval Aviation Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for Operational Excellence.
From February 2002 to January 2005, CDR Szymanski served as the Joint Command and Control Systems Integration Branch Chief, Operations Directorate at United States Central Command (CENTCOM). During his joint tour, Commander Szymanski deployed numerous times in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM and was recognized for outstanding achievement in Joint Common Operational Picture systems integration. He graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA in September 2004.
In January 2005, CDR Szymanski reported to the USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63), Forward Deployed Naval Forces, Yokosuka, Japan where he served as the Air Operations Officer and Combat Direction Center Officer leading the KITTY HAWK Strike Group through the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aerial refueling aircraft transition and multiple LIVEX weapon system firings.
CDR Szymanski reported to Allied Joint Force Command Naples where he served as the Operations Division Training Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer. In March 2011, he was selected to serve as the Command Liaison Officer to Joint Task Force ODYSSEY DAWN while coordinating the transition to the NATO-led, Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR.
CDR Szymanski reported as Executive Officer, NROTC University of Washington in May 2011. His personal decorations and awards include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Strike Flight Air Medal (four awards), Joint Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal and the CENTCOM Commander’s Coin (two awards).