Chief of Staff
Capt. Gerald Smith
Capt. Gerald Smith hails from Ronan, Montana and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 with a degree in aeronautical engineering.
Designated a Naval Aviator in Corpus Christi, Texas on June 18th 1999, Smith then completed P-3C flight training at Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 in Jacksonville, Florida. His first operational tour was with the “Fighting Marlins” of VP-40 in Whidbey Island, Washington. He served as a personnel officer and pilot NATOPS officer. He completed a deployment in support of Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf and, immediately following the attacks of 9/11, he again deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) followed by a deployment to the Seventh Fleet AOR.
In April of 2003, Smith joined VP-30 as a fleet replacement squadron instructor pilot. He served in the Weapons Tactics Unit as a survivability systems subject matter expert and fleet standardization officer.
He then qualified as a catapult and arresting gear officer (Shooter) onboard U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Norfolk, Virginia, and completed a deployment in the U.S. Central Command AOR supporting OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Smith was selected for department head and joined the ranks of the “Pelicans” of VP-45. He served as the safety/NATOPS officer and operations officer and deployed to the Fourth Fleet AOR, serving as officer in charge of P-3C Detachment, Comalapa, El Salvador and again to the Seventh Fleet AOR.
In October 2010, Smith joined U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, Florida where he served as an action officer in the Directorate of Force Structure, Requirements, Resources and Strategic Assessments (J-8).
On 19 September 2014, he assumed command of the fledgling Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (MPRWS) in Jacksonville, FL. Under his command, MPRWS experienced rapid growth as it transitioned into a separate and distinct organization responsible for advanced tactical development for our deployable maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces.
Subsequent to his time at MPRWS, Smith served as deputy director of plans at Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, director of plans at Fourth Fleet in Mayport, FL, and as executive officer, VP-30 in Jacksonville, FL. He currently serves as chief of staff for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group/Pacific.
His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign, service, and unit awards.