Luncheon featuring Admiral John C. Aquilino
17 October, 2022
Admiral John Aquilino is the 26th Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, the nation’s oldest and largest combatant command. USINDOPACOM includes 380,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Guardians, Coast Guardsmen and Department of Defense civilians and is responsible for all U.S. military activities in the Indo-Pacific, covering 36 nations, 14 time zones, and more than 50 percent of the world’s population.
A native of Huntington, NY, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984, earning a Bachelor of Science in physics. He subsequently entered flight training and earned his wings in August 1986.
Operationally, he served in numerous fighter squadrons flying the F-14 A/B Tomcat and the F-18 C/E/F Hornet. His fleet assignments included the Ghostriders (VF-142) and Black Aces (VF-41). He commanded the famous Red Rippers (VF-11) and Carrier Air Wing 2. His extended deployments were in support of Operations Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
Ashore, Aquilino’s assignments included duties as an adversary instructor pilot flying the A-4, F-5, and F-16N aircraft for the Challengers (VF-43); operations officer for the Strike Weapons and Tactics School, Atlantic; flag aide to the vice chief of naval operations; special assistant for weapons systems and advanced development in the office of legislative affairs for the U.S. secretary of defense; director of air wing readiness and training for the commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and executive assistant to the commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
His flag assignments included director of strategy and policy, U.S. Joint Forces Command; deputy director, joint force coordinator, the Joint Staff; commander, Carrier Strike Group 2 aboard USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77); director of maritime operations, U.S. Pacific Fleet; deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy; and commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces. Prior to his assignment to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Aquilino served as the 36th commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Aquilino graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and the Joint Forces Staff College. He completed Harvard Kennedy School’s executive education program in national and international security.
He is entitled to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal as well as several other personal unit and campaign awards. He accumulated more than 5,100 mishap free flight hours and over 1,150 carrier-arrested landings.