Capt. Derrick Eastman
Capt. Eastman is a native of Phoenix. He joined the Navy in 1989. As a Yeoman assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, he deployed twice aboard USS Nimitz to support Operation’s Desert Storm and Southern Watch. In 1997 he entered the enlisted commissioning program and was winged a naval flight officer in March 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from San Diego State University, a Master of Science in Information Assurance from Norwich University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Air Force’s Air War College, and he is a joint qualified officer.
Eastman has completed three operational maritime patrol and reconnaissance tours, deploying multiple times to the 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Unified Protector, and Inherent Resolve. He served with the “Grey Knights” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 as a junior officer and the “Mad Foxes” of VP-5 as a department head. Returning to the “Grey Knights” in 2016, he was privileged to serve as executive officer, then the 82nd commanding officer, leading the squadron during a quad-site deployment to Bahrain, Djibouti, Turkey, and Okinawa. During this tour, the “Grey Knight” team won the 2017 and 2018 Battle Efficiency awards as well as the 2017 & 2018 Golden Wrench awards for maintenance excellence.
Afloat, Eastman served aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as a catapult and arresting gear officer, completing work-ups and a 5th Fleet deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His shore assignments include: fleet replacement squadron instructor at VP-30, action officer for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, operations officer at Task Force 57 in the Kingdom of Bahrain; integrated air defenses branch chief at Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command; operations officer and deputy commander for Task Force (CTF) 72, battle director for the 609th Combined Air Operations Center in Qatar, and he completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase II at the Air War College.
Eastman has flown over 2,800 hours in the P-3C Orion & P-8A Poseidon. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with valor), and the Association of Naval Aviation's 2003 Navigator of the Year.