Leaders

Capt. Christopher M. Engdahl

Mission commander

Capt. Chris Engdahl is a native of South Bend, Indiana and a 1990 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history and was commissioned as an ensign. Additionally, Engdahl completed Naval Nuclear Power Training and has received a Master of Science degree in national strategic studies from the Naval War College.

Engdahl’s initial sea tour was as damage control assistant aboard USS California (CGN 36). Subsequent sea tours include duties as nuclear quality assurance officer and reactor training assistant aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), operations officer aboard USS Fletcher (DD 992), executive officer aboard USS Rentz (FFG 46) and commanding officer aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55). Ashore he served as department head, Steam Engineering directorate at Surface Warfare School Command, Newport, Rhode Island. Subsequent shore tours include strategic planner for the War on Terrorism directorate on the Joint Staff. Most recently, Engdahl served as director for surface nuclear programs at Navy Personnel Command Millington, Tennessee. Engdahl is currently serving as commander, Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 9.

Engdahl’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and various unit and campaign awards.

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Captain Brian Delamont

Mission deputy commander

Captain Brian Delamont was born and raised in Bowral, Australia and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1981. Graduating from HMAS CRESWELL with a Diploma of Applied Science, he proceeded to the fleet for navigation and seamanship training onboard HMAS Tobruk (LSH 50), Cessnock (FCPB 210), Perth (DDG 38) and Hobart (DDG 39), where he was awarded his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate. Following an Officer of the Watch posting to HMAS Parramatta (DE 46), he completed analyst training for assignment to the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

Returning to sea as Communications Officer onboard HMAS SWAN (DE 50), he then completed the Principal Warfare Course and specialist qualifications as a Signals Communications Officer, undertaking these roles on HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) and Canberra (FFG 02). He was then posted as Chief Communications Officer at the Multinational Headquarters, Integrated Air Defence System at Butterworth, Malaysia. He returned to the Directorate of Naval Warfare with responsibility for new fleet communications systems, before moving to the United States as the RAN representative to the Coalition Interoperability Council. During this period he also completed self-study for a Master’s of Business Administration. Living in Washington during the September 11, 2001 attacks, Captain Delamont returned as a Warfare Officer onboard HMAS Sydney (FFG-03) and deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This was followed by a posting as Executive Officer, HMAS Success (AOR 304), after which he joined the Fleet Battle Staff (FBS) as Communications and Operations Officer. Deployments included Battle Watch Captain and Communications Officer with Task Force 158 (Commander Iraq Maritime Forces) embarked on USS Mcfaul (DDG 74) and USS Phillipine Sea (CG 58). He was promoted to Commander and remained with FBS as Chief of Staff.

Following another Iraq deployment as CTF 158 Operations Officer, Captain Delamont was selected for exchange duties with U.S. Central Command in Florida. He was embedded with Task Force 236, responsible for designing the communications, command and intelligence network for US forces in Afghanistan. In 2011, he deployed to Bagram to lead a team of U.S. engineers fielding the new network linking the 101st Airborne Division Regional Command with combat outposts, for which he was awarded the United States Joint Service Commendation. Captain Delamont returned from CENTCOM to assume command of HMAS Sirius (AO 266) in late 2011.

In 2013, he was promoted to Captain and posted as Director General of Navy Communications and Information Warfare.

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Capt. James G. Meyer

Deputy mission commander

Capt. James Meyer is a native of Glenwood City, Wisconsin. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned as an ensign. Additionally, Meyer earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University and a master’s in business administration from City University.

Meyer’s previous assignments include engineering officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, Port Hueneme, California; officer in charge, Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 418, Submarine Base Bangor, Washington; assistant public works officer, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; assistant resident officer in charge of construction and flag aide to commander, 3rd Naval Construction Brigade (NCB) and Pacific Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; assistant resident officer in charge of construction, Sigonella, Sicily; operations officer, NMCB-133, Gulfport, Mississippi, deploying to Okinawa, Japan and Iraq; commander, Navy Installations Command within the N5, Strategy and Future Requirements, department; executive assistant to the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (Installations and Facilities); public works officer, Naval Station Rota, Spain; commander, NCB-7, deploying to Afghanistan; and executive officer, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi. He now serves as commander, 30th Naval Construction Regiment, Port Hueneme, California.

Meyer is a registered professional engineer in the state of California, a member of the Acquisition Professional Community, and is designated as a Seabee combat warfare officer. Meyer’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and various individual and unit awards.

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Wing Commander Jennifer Atkinson

Chief of staff

In 2001, Wing Commander Jennifer Atkinson joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) after completing her master’s degree in psychology and joined the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Psychologist Registration Program.

Upon completion of officer training, she was posted to Wellington where she completed her registration under supervision and was promoted to flight lieutenant in August 2003. As a fully registered New Zealand psychologist, Atkinson was posted to Auckland as the base psychologist and specialized in human factors. During her time, she deployed three times, twice to support operation Troy (Middle East) and once to operation Rata in the Solomon Islands. In July 2006, Atkinson was posted to Wellington to become the director of psychology for the RNZAF and promoted to squadron leader. In 2009, Atkinson accompanied her husband on a posting to Washington D.C. where she worked part-time as a deployment psychologist at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Upon return to New Zealand in January 2011, Atkinson worked briefly as the NZDF specialist training psychologist before she was posted to the role of assistant director of NZDF psychology. In this role, she oversaw the NZDF registration scheme and psychology center of expertise. During this post, Atkinson deployed again to both the Solomon Islands and operation Crib in the Middle East. She was also seconded temporarily to equity and diversity where she represented NZDF at an interagency working group to develop a national action plan for women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325).

At the end of 2013, Atkinson became the director of organization research and development where she is currently leading the NZDF Culture Program and overseeing the NZDF Research Cell and Organizational Development team, lending support to high profile projects such as Joint Enablers.

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Capt. Thomas J. Giudice

Master, USNS Mercy

Capt. Thomas Giudice is a native of Bay Shore, Long Island. After retiring from the United States Navy as a senior chief quartermaster, he joined the Military Sealift Command in 2000 as an able seaman. He worked his way up the hawse pipe, acquiring a United States Coast Guard master’s license. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in business & management in 1995 through the University of Maryland.

Giudice’s first command was USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), followed by command of USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) both on extended deployments in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Aden in 2011 and 2012. His next assignment was port captain at Military Sealift Command Headquarters, followed by a command tour on USNS Howard Lorenzen. He was assigned as master, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in November 2013 for her emergency activation in support of operation Damayan, as well as the first hospital ship deployment in RIMPAC 2014.

Giudice’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, three Navy Achievement Medals, Navy and Joint Meritorious Unit Commendations and service awards.

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Capt. Melanie J. Merrick

Commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility, USNS Mercy

A native of Winter Haven, Florida, Capt. Melanie Merrick graduated from Santa Fe Catholic High School in 1983. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. Joining the Navy in 1989 through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program, she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1993 from the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.

Following a family practice internship at Naval Hospital Charleston, South Carolina, she served as a general medical officer in the Charleston Naval Shipyard Occupational Health Clinic and at Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois until attending undersea medical officer instruction in 1995 at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Connecticut. Her tour as an undersea medical officer onboard USS Frank Cable (AS-40) included a change of homeport venue from Charleston, South Carolina to Agana, Guam during which she earned her surface warfare medical department officer qualification and achieved the distinction as a golden shellback. In 1997 she then returned to residency training at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida and achieved board certification in family medicine. Merrick’s next tour was as a staff family physician at the Bangor Submarine Base Branch Medical Clinic, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington.

One year following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she transferred to Branch Medical Clinic Bahrain as staff family physician and later advanced to senior medical officer during operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, she returned to Washington state as department head of family medicine at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor. In 2006, Merrick deployed for seven months to Al Taqqadum, Iraq with First Medical Battalion, First Marine Logistics Group out of Camp Pendleton, earning her fleet marine force officer qualification. Returning to Oak Harbor, she resumed her department head duties as well as becoming the physician advisor for referral management and convening authority for medical boards.

In 2008, she assumed duties as senior medical officer onboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) out of Norfolk, Virginia. She led her department and over 60 embarked medical personnel during the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group deployment to 5th and 6th Fleets in 2009 and then provided humanitarian assistance disaster relief in support of the Haiti earthquake during operation Unified Response in 2010. In October 2010, she transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella and served as director for branch clinics until June 2012. During this time, she supervised branch health clinics in three countries supporting NATO and DOD forces deployed to 5th and 6th Fleets during operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector. She most recently served as executive officer, Naval Hospital Beaufort, South Carolina from July 2012 to August 2014.

Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Navy Battle “E” Ribbon (2), Iraq Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal as well as various personal and unit citations.

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Capt. Timothy Lockwood

Master, USNS Millinocket

Capt. Timothy Lockwood is a 1990 graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in marine transportation. Lockwood currently holds a United States Coast Guard (USCG) license for Unlimited Master of any Gross Tons upon oceans and holds a USCG Unlimited Master of Towing Vessels license upon oceans and western rivers. He has been employed with the Military Sealift Command since March 1990 and has been sailing as an MSC master since January 2008.

Lockwood has been a U.S. Merchant Marine officer and Civil Service marine employee with the Military Sealift Command since 1990. He has served as master of the following MSC vessels: USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204); USNS Navajo (T-ATF 169); USNS Shasta (T-AE 33); USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3); USNS Laramie (T-AO 203); USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199); USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53) (two tours); USNS Yukon (T-AO 202); USNS Flint (T-AE 32); USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15); and USNS Spearhead, which he took through final contract trials and initial operational test & evaluation periods.

Lockwood’s first officer assignments include: USNS Hayes (T-AG 195), USNS Mohawk (T-ATF 170) (two tours), USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34) (two tours), USNS Kilauea (T-AE 26), Shasta (two tours), USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194), USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1), and Alan Shepard.

His professional specialties are highlighted in towing and salvage, ordnance handling and the commissioning/pre-delivery/post-delivery processes of the Lewis and Clark and Alan Shepard, and the recent re-commissioning of Ponce and USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3).

Lockwood’s assignment as the plank owner and first active civilian MSC master aboard a U.S. Navy combatant, Ponce, earned him the Military Sealift Command’s First Command At Sea Pin and a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal by commander, Military Sealift Command, Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby.

Lockwood was assigned as the master of the Millinocket since September 2013. He currently resides in Melbourne, Florida.

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