PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (Aug. 31, 2017) - Capt. Jason Hammond assumed command of Naval Air Station Patuxent River in a change of command ceremony Aug. 31 at the installation’s Hangar 110. Hammond’s role as NAS Patuxent River commanding officer follows his previous position as the base executive officer (XO).
“The experience of being Pax River’s XO has been extremely rewarding,” said Hammond. “It’s provided the opportunity to learn the installation’s operations inside and out, and each day has been different.”
Hammond has served since April 2014 as the air station’s XO, a position that falls under the Navy’s Fleet-Up program. In that program, executive officers serve in that position for a year and a half before they “fleet up” to become the commanding officer for their command tour on the same ship or station.
This practice provides focused command leadership stability throughout a base’s life, according to OPNAVINST 1412.14. Commanding officers reap the benefits of the actions and policies they institute as executive officer.
A native of Danville, Kentucky, Hammond is the son of Ray Hammond and the late Carolyn Hammond, and stepson of Cindy Corcoran Hammond. He graduated from Danville High School in June, 1989, and the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He was winged as a Naval Aviator in October of 1995. Hammond also holds a master's degree in public administration from Old Dominion University. He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Jaida, 6, and Jonah, 4.
Hammond is no stranger to command. He became the commanding officer of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, the “Providers,” in San Diego, California, in April 2010. During his tour, VRC-30 supported the deployments of every Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier while transitioning into the improved LOT 4 C-2A.
As for Pax River, Hammond said he’s enjoyed the opportunity to serve at a unique installation like this.
“NAS Pax River is one of kind,” said Hammond. “The scope of work that’s done here for the entire Department of Defense and our allies is truly incredible, and the close relationship that the base shares with the surrounding community is something that we’re proud of. In my time as XO, I was able to see first-hand the incredible work our professionals do here.”
In his new role as commanding officer, Hammond said he will continue to build on the foundations of leadership laid by his predecessor, Capt. Scott Starkey.
“Captain Starkey and I have worked closely in the day-to-day operations of Pax River,” said Hammond. “There are two things he always maintained exceptionally well: respect and communication. Mutual respect is vital when working with departments, tenant commands, and your fellow teammates and clearly communicating up and down the chain of command is absolutely essential to any operation. I look forward to continuing Captain Starkey’s phenomenal legacy and empowering our talented professionals to provide the best possible base operation support to the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation mission.”