Assistant Wing Commander
Brigadier General Sean M. Salene
BGen Salene began active duty in 1991 and graduated flight school on the Commodore’s List with Distinction in 1994. He joined HMH-461 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River and deployed twice with Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs), supporting operations in the Balkans and Africa. In 1998, he attended the Naval Postgraduate School as the Marine Corps' first study track sub-Saharan Africa Regional Affairs Officer. He planned and conducted African Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) activities for Marine Forces Europe and worked with interagency, Navy and African partners on a new, cross-sector approach.
He returned to HMH-461 in 2002 and deployed twice for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) Horn of Africa. In 2005, he attended Command and Staff College, graduating with honors. He attended the School of Advanced Warfighting and became a speechwriter for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In 2008, he deployed for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and led a cross-functional planning team for the Commanding General, Multi-National Force Iraq. In Baghdad, he became a lay minister for an Anglican priest who also led an Iraqi congregation.
In 2009, he took command of HMH-461. He led his team on three deployments: to Ghana for Presidential support; to the Caribbean as the commander of a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), with an infantry company and enablers attached to support TSC and interagency counter illicit trafficking operations; and, with 96-hours’ notice, to Haiti as the 22d MEU Aviation Combat Element for Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE in 2010. After relinquishing command, he deployed with II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) FWD to Afghanistan. He was the lead architect for the Regional Combined Team Plan, the first long-range plan signed by U.S., British and Afghan civil and military leaders in Helmand and Nimroz provinces.
BGen Salene attended the Marine Corps War College, graduating with honors. He presented his thesis work in Beijing and was selected to support a Commandant of the Marine Corps initiative on amphibious messaging. In 2012, he joined USCENTCOM and led a team to work with Joint, interagency and international partners to create Operation FREEDOM's SENTINEL, the post-2014 mission in Afghanistan. He traveled to Washington, Kabul, Brussels, Mons, Berlin, London and Moscow, culminating in Secretary of Defense approval of his team’s plan.
He returned to MCAS New River to command MAG-29 in 2015. His team supported the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade in 29 Palms, flew north of the Arctic Circle in Norway in COLD RESPONSE 2016 and led the command element for Marine Week Nashville. He left MAG-29 early to take command of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa 17.2 and deploy on short notice. Based in Spain and Italy, his team conducted activities in North, West and Central Africa, in addition to instituting a new model to sustain readiness and build capacity with NATO partners. Following deployment, he became the II MEF G-3 where he helped the MEF re-orient from being a force provider to a warfighter.
BGen Salene holds five masters degrees. His hobbies are reading, and exercising.