Commanding Officer
Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 62 RES
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Commanding Officer 
Cmdr. Katharine B. Sears



A native of Washington, D.C., Cmdr. Katharine B. Sears graduated from Kenyon College in 1995 with a bachelor’s of arts in Foreign Affairs.  From 1995 until 2001 she worked in business development, event management, and corporate training.  In 2002 she entered the Navy, completed Officer Candidate School and received her commission in June of that year.

In 2003, upon completing flight training in Pensacola, FL and San Antonio, TX, Sears earned her naval flight officer (NFO) wings.  She completed fleet replacement training with Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 30 and reported to VP-1 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA.  Her duties included readiness officer and NFO NATOPS officer.  She qualified as a tactical navigator, tactical coordinator, mission commander, instructor tactical coordinator and squadron NATOPS instructor.

In July 2007, Sears joined the staff at US Pacific Command (PACOM), Joint Intelligence Operations Center (JIOC) in Honolulu, HI. She served as the junior officer aviation specialist to the J2; working in the China division as an air and air defense analyst and as the China division Collection Management Branch Chief.

In April 2010, Sears transitioned to become a Full Time Support (FTS) officer.  As her first tour in this role she served as the Operational Support Officer for Reserve Forces under Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 in Whidbey Island, WA.  She completed nine detachments in support of wing readiness and training exercises and events while attached to Wing 10.

In July 2012, Sears joined VP-62 in Jacksonville, FL. During her department head tour the squadron completed multiple detachments to 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) and two partial unit mobilizations to 7th Fleet AOR. Her duties included training officer, operations officer and maintenance officer.

In November 2016 Sears joined the staff of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, FL. She served as the J7/J5 Lessons Learned Branch Chief and Navy/SOCOM warfighter talks action officer.

In July 2019, after her selection for Operational Aviation Commander Command, Sears returned to VP-62 as the executive officer and assumed command as the 37th commanding officer of VP-62 in October 2020.

Sears’ military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 Awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2 Awards) and various personal and unit decorations.  Sears attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI. She graduated with distinction in November 2016, earning a master of arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

 

 
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