Cmdr Danielle L. Leiby
A native of Rosemount, Minnesota, Cmdr Danielle Leiby graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. After completing initial flight training, Leiby reported to the “Airwolves” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 40 in Jacksonville, Florida for LAMPS MKIII flight training in the SH-60B Seahawk. Following training, she was assigned to the “Vipers” of HSL-48. There, she served as Detachment 10’s tactical D&E/assistant operations officer on USS Thorn (DD-963) in 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibilities (AOR) in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as part of the USS Enterprise battle group. Upon return, she served as the squadron quality assurance officer and assistant NATOPS instructor. Upon departure, she was recognized as the 2005 HSL-48 Pilot of the Year.
In October of 2005, Leiby reported to the “Seahawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41 in San Diego, California as a fleet replacement squadron instructor in the SH-60B and MH-60R. She went on to serve as the MH-60R NATOPS program manager. During this time, she completed her Masters in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego.
In September of 2008, Leiby served as the flag aide for Commander, naval Air Forces. In June of 2010, Leiby was selected to be the executive department head on board USS Makin Island (LHD 8) where she simultaneously gapped two billets – admin officer and ship secretary. On this tour, Leiby completed her Officer of the Deck underway.
In April 2011, Leiby completed a three year sabbatical from Naval Service (Career Intermission Pilot Program). She was one of the first naval aviators to participate in this new program.
In April 2014, she returned to active duty, completing the MH-60R FRS with the HSM-41 “Seahawks” before reporting to the “Magicians” of HSM-35. At HSM-35 she served as the training officer and the Detachment 1 officer in charge onboard the U.S. Navy’s first littoral combat ships, USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) where she was dual qualified in both the MH-60R and MQ-8B Firescout. She deployed to 7th Fleet AOR from October 2015 – April 2016 flying both the MQ-8B and MH-60R. Upon returning from deployment she finished her tour as the squadron operations officer.
In June 2017, she reported to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt AFB, Nevada. There she served as a J35 future operations branch chief where she managed the daily planning, coordination and execution of Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions for the B-1, B-2 and B-52 across seven combatant commands and their air components, the joint staff and OSD.
Leiby has accumulated over 1800 flight hours in five different variants of Naval Aircraft. Her awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (Four Awards), Navy Achievement Medal (Two Awards), and various unit, campaign and service medals.