Naval Air Facility Atsugi Logo Commander, Navy Region Japan  |  Naval Air Facility Atsugi
Commander, Navy Installations Command
  Find Your Region or Installation
 Commander M.E. Kawika Chang

Executive Officer, HSM-51

CDR Chang was born in Honolulu, HI and lived numerous places around the world, finishing high school in Rockville, MD. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and commissioned via Naval ROTC. He completed initial flight training in Pensacola, FL, primary instruction at Vance AFB in Enid, OK and advanced helicopter training at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, FL and was designated a Naval Aviator in August, 2007.

CDR Chang began his career with two consecutive sea duty assignments. In July 2008, he reported to the World Famous “Vipers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR EIGHT (HSL-48) at NS Mayport, FL. He deployed as the Admin Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer for Detachment NINE onboard USS JOHN L. HALL (FFG-32), in support of 6th Fleet Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) and African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) operations and was picked as the 2010 Administration Officer of the Year. CDR Chang also served as the Detachment TWO Maintenance Officer, onboard USS CARR (FFG-52) conducting Counter Illicit Trafficking (CIT) Operations in the south Caribbean.

In 2011, CDR Chang transitioned to the MH-60R and commenced a second operational sea tour assigned to HSL-51 at NAF Atsugi, Japan. He helped lead the “Warlords” through an unprecedented transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R while the squadron remained fully operational as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) and was re-designated Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron FIVE ONE (HSM-51). From 2012-2014 CDR Chang served as the Squadron Safety Officer, NATOPS Officer, Functional Check Flight Standardization Pilot, and Search and Rescue Officer, and was selected as the 2013 HSM-51 Pilot of the Year.

For his first shore assignment, CDR Chang attended the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI, graduating with a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

In June 2016, CDR Chang reported to HSM-74, the “Swamp Foxes” at NAS Jacksonville, FL for his Operational Department Head tour. He served as Combat Element TWO (CEL-2) officer in charge embarked onboard USS NITZE (DDG-94) as part of the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) Carrier Strike Group supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE and contingency operations in the 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet AOR’s. While deployed he earned his Officer-of-the-Deck (OOD) Underway qualification. Upon returning to homeport, he served as squadron Training Officer and Maintenance Officer and was chosen as HSM-74’s Officer of the Year for 2018.

For his post-Department Head tour, CDR Chang reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Washington D.C. (J7, Joint Force Development Directorate) as the Program Manager for the Combatant Commander’s Exercise Engagement and Training Transformation (CE2T2) program overseeing a budget in excess of $425 million. He subsequently served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director, J7 supporting the creation of a Joint Warfighting Concept and enhancement of the Joint Force Development and Design Enterprise.

CDR Chang has accumulated over 2,100 flight hours in the MH-60R and SH-60B and is designated a Joint Qualified Officer. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), the Combat Action Ribbon, and various unit and service awards.

Share This Page