Cmdr. Nathan D. Atkinson
Cmdr. Nathan D. Atkinson graduated from Texas A&M University in 2003 earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School in November 2003 and earned his “wings of gold” in May 2006 being named to the Training Air Wing (TW) 2 Commodore's List. He is a 2014 graduate of Johns Hopkins University earning a Master of Science in Systems Engineering and a 2022 graduate of United States Naval War College earning a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
After the completion of E-2C flight training at Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 120 in Norfolk, Virginia, Atkinson was assigned to the “Black Eagles" of VAW-113 where he completed two combat deployments with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He then transferred to shore duty at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 to begin initial operational test and evaluation of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. He was selected to class 141 of the United States Naval Test Pilot School and upon graduation in 2012 was assigned to VX-20 as the aerial refueling project officer developing and testing the auxiliary stability augmentation system (AUX SAS) for E-2D aerial refueling. He was selected as the 2014 Hawkeye Pilot of the Year, Ashore.
He transitioned to the Selected Reserves (SELRES) in 2015 and was selected to Airborne Command and Control and Logistics Wing (ACCLOGWING) Squadron Augment Unit (SAU) supporting VAW-120 as an E-2 flight instructor. He continued testing and qualifying the E-2D for aerial refueling behind the KC-130, Omega, KC-10, KC-135, and F/A-18 tankers, developed the E-2 AR training syllabus, and trained the initial cadre of VAW-120 aerial refueling instructors. He was awarded the 2017 Commander, Tactical Support Wing (CTSW) SAU Officer Leadership Award. He was selected for command in 2022 and is currently the commanding officer of ACCLOGWING SAU.
Atkinson has flown over 25 type aircraft, accumulated over 3000 E-2 Hawkeye flight hours, and 168 arrested landings. His personal awards include Strike Flight Air Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various other personal, expeditionary, unit and campaign awards.