Cmdr David M. Bigay
Cmdr. David Bigay, a native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
After completing initial flight training as a Commodore’s List with Distinction graduate, Bigay reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 40 in Jacksonville, FL for LAMPS MKIII flight training in the SH-60B Seahawk. Following training, he was assigned to HSL-46. There, he served as Detachment 8 operations officer in USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29) and Detachment 7 maintenance officer in USS Simpson (FFG-56). He conducted multiple Counter Narco-Terrorism (CNT) deployments, including leading the squadron’s first Airborne Use of Force (AUF) interdiction of a drug-laden “go-fast” vessel. Before departing, he was recognized as the 2008 HSL-46 Pilot of the Year.
In May of 2008, Bigay reported back to HSL-40 as an instructor pilot and maintenance division officer. He went on to serve as squadron quality assurance officer and SH-60B Functional Check Flight Program manager. In 2010, he was awarded HSM-40 Officer of the Year.
In August 2010, Bigay was hand-selected to join Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 84, the Navy’s only dedicated Special Operations Forces (SOF) Support Squadron. After transitioning to the HH-60H, he conducted multiple combat deployments in support of Operation New Dawn and as a plank owner of the USCENTCOM Special Operations Crisis Response Element Air Detachment.
In March 2013, he reported to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72. After completing the MH-60R transition and the Seahawk weapons and tactics instructor (SWTI) course, he deployed to Souda Bay, Crete as officer in charge (OIC) of Detachment 2, supporting the at sea destruction of Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles. He finished his tour as the squadron maintenance officer and was selected as the 2015 HSM-72 Officer of the Year.
In September 2015, he reported to U.S. Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) at MacDill AFB, FL. There here he served as the J37 Arabian Peninsula Branch Chief, Joint SOF exercise planner, and operational rotary wing planner.
In June 2020, he assumed command of HSM-48.
Bigay has accumulated over 2,800 flight hours in eight different variants of naval aircraft. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Single Action), Navy Commendation Medal (Three Awards), Navy Achievement Medal (Four Awards), the Sikorsky Rescue “S” and various unit, campaign and service medals.