CJ Simonsen, LCDR
Glasgow Hall, Room 342
Contract RepresentativeJFAO/RSEP Operations Officer
Lieutenant Commander C.J. Simonsen is a native of Coon Rapids, Minn. and graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1995. In January 1996, he enlisted in the Navy and completed Basic Training at Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, Ill. in March 1996.
C.J. then reported to Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Orlando, Fla., for Machinist Mate “A” school and Nuclear Power School. Upon completion in June 1997, he reported to Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, S.C., to complete his training aboard USS Daniel Webster (SSN 626), where he served as a nuclear machinist mate.
While in Charleston, C.J. was accepted to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, R.I., which he completed in May 1998. He then attended the United States Naval Academy, where he was captain of the track team and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering in May 2002 and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
C.J. reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla. for aviation indoctrination in July 2002. He completed primary flight training in the T-34C Mentor in Milton, Fla., and transferred to NAS Meridian, Miss. for intermediate and advanced flight training in the T-2C Buckeye and T-45C Goshawk. He received his wings of gold in April 2005.
C.J. then reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122), the “Flying Eagles” in Lemoore, Calif. for initial training in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. In January 2006, he reported to VFA-102 “Diamondbacks” stationed in Atsugi, Japan. While assigned to VFA-102, C.J. completed multiple Western Pacific deployments aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS George Washington (CVN 73). He also participated in several multilateral international exercises with Canadian, South Korean, Thai, Republic of Singapore, Japanese and Australian Marine, Naval and Air Forces. While with the Diamondbacks, C.J. served as airframes branch officer, schedules officer, aircraft division officer, and operations administration officer and directly contributed to the Diamondbacks receiving the 2007 Battle “E” for sustained superior performance in an operational environment. In February 2009, C.J. received orders to VFA-106, the “Gladiators” in Oceana, Va. While serving as an instructor pilot with the Gladiators, he served as the schedules officer.
C.J. then reported to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstrations Squadron, the Blue Angels in September 2009 and was a member of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 teams as Blue Angel #7-Narrator, #6-Opposing Solo, and #5-Lead Solo, respectively. While assigned to the Blue Angels, C.J. served as advanced pilot, NATOPS officer, and operations officer.
Following his tour in the Blue Angels, C.J. reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) the “Argonauts,” in Lemoore, Calif., where he served as a department head. While assigned to VFA-147, C.J. completed a 10-month combat deployment aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the summer of 2013. While with the “Argonauts,” C.J. served as safety officer, maintenance officer, and operations officer.
Following his Department Head tour in December of 2015, C.J. was assigned to Command Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and served as the F-35C Site Activation Task Force lead where he oversaw the expansion of NAS Lemoore as they prepared for the arrival of the F-35C Lightning II.
In July of 2016, C.J. reported to the Naval Postgraduate School and is currently serving as the contract officer representative as well as the RSEP operations officer. He has accumulated more than 3,300 hours and 570 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include one Meritorious Service Medal, one Navy Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various personal and unit awards.