Capt. Frank “Spanky” Morley earned his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Course program at San Diego State University. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School and holds a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, Defense Systems Management College and George Washington University National Security Studies Program. Morley is a Joint Qualified Officer.
Morley’s sea tours include assignments with VFA-192 at Atsugi, Japan, onboard USS Independence; assistant navigator onboard USS Enterprise, VFA-83 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., onboard USS George Washington; and executive officer and commanding officer of the VFA-87 Golden Warriors at NAS Oceana, Va., onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt.
During these tours, Morley completed two Western Pacific / Arabian Gulf and four Mediterranean / Arabian Gulf deployments. He flew the first missions of Operation Southern Watch in August 1992, participated in Operation Desert Fox, led strikes on Iraq in Operation Southern Watch, flew missions over New York City immediately following Sept. 11, 2001 in Operation Noble Eagle, and supported troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. As assistant navigator, Morley was selected as the 1999 Naval Air Forces Atlantic Ship Handler of the Year, and while in command of VFA-87, the “War Party” was awarded the Battle “E”, Maintenance “M” and Safety “S” Awards.
Morley’s shore tours include assignment to NAS Patuxent River from April 1994 through August 1997. While there, he graduated from the Test Pilot School with Class 107 and was picked to be one of three original Navy Test Pilots for the beginning of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Engineering and Manufacturing Development flight test program.
Morley was assigned as the Navy’s performance, propulsion and carrier suitability test pilot for the first two years of the Super Hornet program. In this capacity, he conducted the first ever Super Hornet shipboard landing in January 1997 as part of Initial Sea Trials. Morley was assigned to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command from September 2002 through July 2004 as chief of the Air and Missile Defense Branch. While serving at USPACOM, Morley was selected as a 2004 Pacific Century Fellow.
Morley is currently serving in NAS Patuxent River as the program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265). He has more than 3,600 flight hours in 35 different aircraft and more than 750 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, one individual and five Strike Flight Air Medals, and numerous personal, campaign and unit level awards.