Chief of Staff
Commander Kevin M. Meinert
Born and raised in Simi Valley, CA, Commander Meinert attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, graduating with honors in May 2000 and was selected to the Voluntary Graduate Education Program, graduating Johns Hopkins University in December 2000, earning a BS and MS in Computer Science. He then attended flight training at NAS Corpus Christi, TX, earning his Naval Aviator wings in June 2002. He attended P-3 Fleet Replacement training with Patrol Squadron THREE ZERO (VP-30) and was then assigned to Patrol Squadron FIVE (VP-5), both located at NAS Jacksonville, FL, in April 2003. While attached to VP-5, Commander Meinert deployed to the U.S. Southern, European, and Central Command Areas of Operation, including combat operations in support of Task Force FIVE SEVEN, Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM, counter-drug operations supporting JIATF South, and relief operations following Hurricane Katrina. He was also forward deployed as the Liaison Officer afloat during Exercise NOBLE DINA providing operational coordination to U.S. and Israeli air, surface, and submarine forces.
In May 2006, Commander Meinert reported to Training Squadron TWO EIGHT (VT-28) at NAS Corpus Christi, TX, as a primary flight instructor. In July 2007 he was selected to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, MD, graduating with class 133 in June 2008. Following graduation, Commander Meinert reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX-20) as a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft project officer working as the primary test pilot on the MQ-4C Triton, T-6B Texan II, and P-3C/EP-3E Legacy Gyro Replacement System developmental programs as well as the supporting project officer on the Global Hawk Maritime Demonstrator and several other P-3 programs including Out-of-Tolerance Aircraft Flying Qualities. In September 2010, Commander Meinert was assigned as the Officer-in-Charge, Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator (BAMS-D), executing OCO missions in the CENTCOM AOR developing maritime environment UAS tactics, techniques, and procedures for use in the MQ-4C Triton program.
In February 2012, Commander Meinert was assigned as a Department Head with Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) located at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI, where he served as the Quality Assurance Officer, Safety/NATOPS Officer, Deputy Maintenance Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Officer-in-Charge of CTG 67.3, Rota, Spain, conducting combat operations in support of Commanders, U.S. European and African Command during Operations JUKEBOX LOTUS, OAKEN LOTUS, JUNIPER MICRON, and JUNIPER HERON.
Commander Meinert again reported to VX-20 in September 2014 as the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Air System Integrated Test Team Mission Systems Lead, Flight Systems Lead, and Government Flight Test Director, as well as the MQ-4C NATOPS Program Manager, ushering the test team through a successful Acquisition Milestone C decision and a successful Early Operational Capability. Commander Meinert then attended the Dwight D. Eisenhower School at National Defense University, earning a MS degree in National Resource Strategy. In June 2018, Commander Meinert was assigned to the Open Skies Department of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as Team Chief and Chief Flight Representative executing treaty verification missions between the United States, NATO partners, and the Russian Federation. While assigned to DTRA, he held positions as the Department Chief of Staff, Chief, Operations Division, and Deputy Chief, Technical Operations Branch.
In May 2021, Commander Meinert reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay assuming his current duties as Chief of Staff. Commander Meinert has over 2,500 hours in 32 models of military and civilian jet, propeller, and rotary wing aircraft. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Strike/Flight Award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and various other unit, campaign, and service awards.