Capt. Patrick Smith assumed command of PMA-266, Multi-Mission Tactical UAS in June 2011.
Smith began his naval career in 1984 as a “plank-owner” of the newly established Naval ROTC program at the University of Arizona. After earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1988, he was commissioned an Ensign and reported to Pensacola, Fla. for initial flight training.
Following completion of training with Training Squadron (VT) 10, he was assigned to Naval Air Station Miramar, California as a student Naval flight officer with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 110. In 1990, he was designated a naval flight officer in the E-2C Hawkeye.
Following flight training in 1991, he joined VAW-112. As part of the “Golden Hawks”, Smith completed two deployments to the Arabian Gulf onboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68) flying combat missions supporting both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Southern Watch. Upon completion of his first operational tour, he reported to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. He completed the space systems engineering curriculum and graduated with a master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1996.
After completing refresher training at VAW-120, Norfolk, Va., Smith reported to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Five in Atsugi, Japan, serving with the Forward Deployed Naval Forces from May 1997 to May 1999. While serving as the Air Wing Anti-Air Warfare Officer and Operations Officer he completed two deployments to the Arabian Gulf onboard USS Independance (CV-62) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) supporting Operation Southern Watch and various operations in the Western Pacific.
Smith transitioned the Aviation Engineering Duty Officer (AEDO) community in April 1998 and reported to the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md. in July 1999. As an AEDO, Smith has served in multiple engineering and acquisition leadership roles including: Avionics Systems Program Officer (ASPO) for the E-2C Hawkeye, Project Officer for NC-130 Radar Modernization Project, Deputy Team Lead for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, Deputy Program Manager for Combat Identification Systems and Deputy Program Manager for AGM-88 Anti-Radiation Missiles.
During these tours, Smith earned a Master of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University, completed requirements for Defense Acquisition Work Improvement Act (DAWIA) certifications and in 2006 supported the Global War on Terrorism as an Individual Augmentee at U.S. Central Command. Since April 2009, Smith has been assigned to Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) as the NAVAIRSYSCOM Liaison Officer in Arlington, Va.
Smith has accrued more than 1,400 hours in the E-2C Hawkeye and is a member of the Navy’s Space Cadre and Acquisition Professional Communities. He is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University’s Program Managers Course. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (3), Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3) and the Navy Achievement Medal (2).