|Commander David Gardella|
Upon completion of flight school, he earned his coveted "Wings of Gold" and was designated as a Naval Aviator in April 1996. He subsequently was a member of Patrol Squadron THIRTY on two separate occasions, Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN, Patrol Squadron FOUR, and Special Projects Patrol Squadron TWO. During these tours he served multiple roles including Mission Commander and Instructor Pilot.
Commander Gardella reported to Fort Dix, NJ in July 2011 for Army familiarization training and subsequent deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He was assigned to Rule of Law Field Force - Afghanistan, a specialized unit under Commander, Joint Inter-Agency Task Force - 435, to develop and sustain the Afghan statutory justice system. He was embedded in the British-led Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province.
In June 2012, Commander Gardella once again reported to Patrol Squadron THIRTY where he now serves as the squadron's Executive Officer.
Awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (3 Strike/Flight Awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various service and unit awards. He has attained over 4500 flight hours in three different aircraft.
Commander Gardella resides in Fleming Island, FL with his wife Mona, and their three daughters.