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Chief of Staff

Rear Admiral Will Pennington, a native of Wilton, Iowa, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Pennington was designated a naval aviator in 1991 and has deployed ten times with operational tours in F-14 and FA-18 aircraft supporting Operations Southern Watch, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom Sentinel.  Early assignments include Fighter Squadron (VF) 154 forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan, the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Eight Staff, and Fighter Squadron (VF) 14.  He later returned to command Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14.  Additional sea tours include Executive Officer, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77); Commanding Officer, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19); Commanding Officer, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN77); and Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIVE and Task Force 70 homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Pennington’s shore tours include instructor duty with Fighter Squadron (VF) 101, Executive Assistant to the Director of Plans and Policy (J5) at USSTRATCOM, and Special Assistant to Commander USSTRATCOM.  He has also served at Navy Personnel Command as the Commander Detailer for Tactical Aviation, Naval Air Force Atlantic as Chief of Staff, the Navy Staff as Director of Plans, Policy, and Integration (N5), and US TENTH Fleet as Deputy Commander.

He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and completed both the Senior Executives in National and International Security and Cyber Security courses at Harvard Kennedy School.