Captain David Dees is a native of Westlake, Ohio, and a 1997 graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a 2005 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a 2008 graduate of the United States Naval War College where he graduated with distinction with a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategies Studies.
Upon commissioning, he reported to VT-10 for training as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) at the completion of which he selected the E-2C Hawkeye pipeline. He received his Wings of Gold at VAW-120 in January 1999.
In July 1999, Dees reported to the Screwtops of VAW-123 in Norfolk, VA. During this tour, Dees deployed onboard USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) and USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM and participated in Counter Narcotics Detachments in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-East.
Dees then returned to VAW-120 in July 2002 as a NFO instructor. During his tour with the Greyhawks he served as the Head Schedules Officer, Hawkeye 2000 Training Officer and the NFO Training Officer. While at VAW-120, he was selected as the 2004 Hawkeye NFO of the Year.
Following his tour at VAW-120, Dees reported to USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) as the Assistant Navigator. During his tour onboard, he deployed with USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) and USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.
Dees reported to VAW-117 in Point Mugu, CA in 2008. Serving as Safety, Administrative, and Operations Department Heads, he deployed aboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in July 2009. He was selected as the 2010 COMNAVAIRPAC NFO of the Year and a 2011 Copernicus Award winner.
Following his department head tour, Dees was assigned to Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) J-33 Global Force Management and transitioned to the Joint Staff J-31 Joint Force Coordinator upon JFCOM’s decommissioning.
Dees reported as Executive Officer of VAW-124 in June 2013 and assumed command in August 2014. At VAW-124, he deployed with them onboard USS GEORGE H W BUSH (CVN 77) in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOVLVE. While in command of VAW-124, the squadron was awarded the 2014 CNAL Battle “E,” 2014 CNO Aviation Safety “S” award, and the 2014 RADM Frank Akers Award as the top E-2 squadron.
Following command of VAW-124, Dees served as the head of the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWWS) at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) from May 2016 to September 2019.
Dees reported to Naval Station Norfolk as the Executive Officer in March 2020 and assumed command as the 50th Commanding Officer in September 2021.
Dees has accumulated more than 3,500 hours in the E-2C and E-2D Hawkeye and 1000 carrier arrested landings. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air Medal (eleven awards), Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and various unit and individual awards.