Cmdr. Donald “Slomo” Emerson, a native of Great Bend, Pennsylvania, graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He reported to flight school and earned his wings in December 2004.
At sea, Emerson served in operational assignments with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Cowpens (CG-63) and USS George Washington (CVN 73); and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) where he was instrumental in transitioning the CVW-5 helicopter force from legacy SH-60F/HH-60H to MH-60S/R. At the time, he was also hand-selected to act as liaison officer to the Joint Task Force 505 for Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief when the Typhoon Haiyan struck the Republic of the Philippines in 2013.
Emerson was also assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 as the operations officer. While also serving as the acting training officer for HSC-6, the commanding officer selected Emerson to serve as the acting officer-in-charge for the first-ever Helicopter Sea Combat Carrier Air Wing Special Operations Forces detachment workup and deployment certification. He was the officer-in-charge for six different squadron unit-level and Special Operations Forces support training detachments.
His shore assignments include a tour at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) Fallon, Nevada and a tour at the Contingency Operations Division J38 for United States Northern Command Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR) where he served as the Contingency Coordination Center (CCC) officer-in-charge within the National Capital Region Coordination Center (NCRCC). His joint team was an essential part to the continuous readiness of several classified national-level Continuation of Operations and Continuation of Government programs. His team successfully completed three National Special Security Events that included two Presidential State of the Union Addresses and one State Funeral.
Emerson assumed command of Naval Magazine Indian Island and Naval Munitions Command Pacific CONUS West Division Unit Indian Island on June 28, 2019.
Emerson has more than 2,400 flight hours in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. His personal awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.