Cmdr. Michael A. Zdunkiewicz
Cmdr. Michael A. Zdunkiewicz is a native of Houston, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August of 1994 as a Naval Aircrew Aviation Systems Warfare Operator, qualifying as an S-3B Viking SENSO, serving aboard both the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). After the mission of the S-3B altered in 1999, he later qualified as a P-3C Orion Acoustic/Non-Acoustic operator.
After graduating from Columbia College, Zdunkiewicz attended Officer Candidate School and then earned his "Wings of Gold" in Jacksonville, Florida. He reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 in March of 2008, and earned designations as patrol plane instructor tactical coordinator and mission commander. In early 2011, he qualified as a P-3C weapons and tactics instructor (WTI). Later in 2011, he was assigned to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 as a staff WTI and fleet replacement squadron instructor for the first ever P-8A Poseidon fleet introduction and weapons and tactics instruction for P-8A. He detailed command policy and processes for designing, creating, and implementing the first ever P-8A advanced readiness program and operational readiness evaluation for VP-16 and VP-5.
His next assignment was to Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 12 as flag lieutenant for Vice Adm. Andrew L. Lewis and Rear Adm. Roy J. Kelley, conducting an "around-the-world" deployment aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Zdunkiewicz returned to Jacksonville as the fleet training officer for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (MPRWS). He attained a Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas while assigned to MPRWS. He reported to Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19 in April 2017, as a department head of the first Navy unmanned operational squadron operating the MQ-4C Triton UAS, ultimately serving as the squadron’s maintenance officer in preparation for the first ever deployment of VUP-19 and the MQ-4C.
In December of 2019, he was assigned to the "Desert Sharks" of Task Force (CTF) 57, and assumed the duties of chief of operations in Manama, Bahrain, in August of 2020. In April of 2021, Zdunkiewicz was selected to become the executive officer of VP-45. Zdunkiewicz has been qualified and has over 3,000 hours across four naval aviation platforms. He has deployed to 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th fleet area of responsibilities on multiple occasions throughout his career.