Commanding Officer
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81
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 Commander Patrick “DIRCA” Durnin 


CDR Patrick Durnin Commander Patrick “DIRCA” Durnin is a native of Wimberley, TX and attended Texas A&M University, where he received an undergraduate degree in accounting and a masters in financial management.  Post graduate study, he briefly worked with Deloitte and Touche in Houston, TX before commissioning through Officer Candidate School (OCS) in NAS Pensacola, FL in January 2005.  He subsequently completed flight school in Kingsville, TX where he was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2007. Immediately following flight school, he reported to VMFAT-101 at MCAS Miramar, CA where he finalized his initial training in the FA-18 Hornet.
 
His follow on operational at-sea assignments include serving as a Junior Officer in VFA-87, deploying onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). He also served as Training Officer for VFA-136 where he completed a second tour on board CVN-71 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) in 2015.  He was subsequently assigned to a department head billet with VFA-34 where he served onboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in support of two WESTPAC deployments and was awarded the Michael Longhardt Leadership Award as the 2017 VFA Department Head of the Year by Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic (CSFWL).
 
His non-operational assignments include serving as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor for Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic (SFWSL) from 2011-2014.  Upon graduation from the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), he was selected to serve as SFWSL’s Director of Tactics Development as well as the east coast AIM-120 and Advanced Tactics and Training Program Subject Matter Expert (SME).  In 2018, CDR Durnin attended the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI where he was designated a distinguished graduate as well as a National Maritime Strategist while earning his Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
 
In August 2020, Commander Durnin reported for duty as the Executive Officer of VFA-81 before assuming the role of command on December 2nd of 2021.
 
CDR Durnin has accumulated over 2,900 flight hours and 600 arrested landings during his career. His personal awards include three Strike Flight Air Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, one Navy Achievement Medal and multiple unit commendations and awards.

 
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