Cmdr. Phillip "Jeezus" Krites
Cmdr. Phillip R. Krites, a native of Lima, Ohio, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned in May 2003. He reported to Pensacola, Florida for flight training and was designated a naval aviator in May 2005.
Krites reported to his first sea tour with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 in Mayport, Florida in 2006. During his tour he held positions as detachment administrative officer, squadron assistant training officer, and detachment maintenance officer. He served onboard USS Kauffman (FFG 55) off the coast of western Africa and throughout the Mediterranean Sea in the Sixth Fleet area of operations. Additionally he served onboard USS Halyburton (FFG 40) in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa conducting NATO Counter-Piracy operations in support of Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2.
In November 2009, Krites graduated from the Navy’s Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI) course and reported to Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Atlantic. During this tour, he served as Airborne Use of Force (AUF) Program manager and operations officer. He was awarded the “Chief of Naval Air Forces Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award”, selected by his peers for exhibiting the highest levels of excellence in leadership.
In September 2013 reported to HSM-70, serving as squadron SWTI. During this tour, he deployed onboard USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. While deployed, he helped author a complete re-write of the Arabian Gulf Special Instructions (SPINS) and developed the CTF-50 “Smart Pack”, ensuring standardized operation of all joint forces in the region. While assigned to HSM-70, Krites was awarded the “Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic and Naval Helicopter Association Region 3 Pilot of the Year Award”.
His most recent sea duty assignment was in April of 2015. He checked in as aviation department head at Helicopter HSM -72, serving as the training and maintenance officer during the squadron’s maiden CVN deployment, onboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, and holds of Masters of Arts in National Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Commendation Medal, and various unit commendations, service, and other campaign awards. He has accumulated over 2,850 flight hours.
Krites reported to HSM-74 as the executive officer in June 2021, and assumed the role of commanding officer in July 2022.