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Capt. Darren W. Nelson

Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4

02 July 2021


Capt. Darren W. Nelson is a native of Rushville, Nebraska. He received his commission and Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska in December 1993.

His initial sea tour was aboard USS Bainbridge (CGN 25), where he served as the communications officer and administrative officer. 

His second sea assignment was as the damage control officer on USS Barry (DDG 52), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf conducting visit, board, search, and seizure  operations. Following Barry, he was assigned to Regional Support Group Ingleside Texas and served on the Integrated Support Group (ISG) as Officer in Charge. ISG was a Chief of Naval Operations sponsored group to improve the reliability of mine hunting sonar.  

Upon completion of Department Head School, he served aboard USS Ingraham (FFG 61) as the Combat Systems Officer which deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility during the initial operations of Enduring Freedom. Subsequently, he was assigned as the First Lieutenant aboard USS Saipan (LHA 2) in which he conducted the back load of Marines for operation Iraq Freedom. Following his department head tours, he was assigned as the Assistant Surface Operation Officer for Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8. 

Capt. Nelson then served as Executive Officer of USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), where he participated in another 5th Fleet deployment. Following his executive officer tour he was assigned to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island were he received a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.

While at the Naval War College Capt. Nelson was selected for Command and was assigned the Commissioning Commanding Officer of USS Arlington (LPD 24). He then reported to the Joint Deployment Training Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia, as the program manager for Global Command Control Systems training.  

Following his joint tour he reported to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) in March of 2016 as the executive officer and fleeted up to Commanding Officer in July 2016. 

After his major command tour he served as Director of Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Amphibious Warfare Division, and Chief of Staff at Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various campaign and service ribbons.



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