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Commanding Officer

Capt. Richard Blank, USN

Captain Richard Blank assumed command of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division on July 2, 2013.  He is the 36th Division Commander to lead the organization since its founding as the Experimental Model Basin in 1898.  As commanding officer, Captain Blank leads more than 2,000 employees who provide the Navy a broad range of technical support specializing in hull, mechanical and electrical engineering.

 

Captain Blank was born and raised in Connecticut.  In 1987 he graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He received his ROTC commission from the College of the Holy Cross in 1987.

 

After commissioning he served aboard USS Suribachi (AE 21) as Auxiliary and Electrical Division Officer and later as STREAM (Replenishment at Sea) Division Officer.  While aboard, he completed two deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean and participated in Operation Desert Shield.

 

In September 1993, Captain Blank graduated from Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.  After completing Basic Diving and Salvage Officer School and Engineering Duty Officer School, he reported to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in August 1994.  He initially served as the Docking and Diving Officer and later as Deputy Business Operations Officer for Emergent Work.

 

In November 1997, Captain Blank reported to COMNAVSURFLANT as the Auxiliary Type Desk Officer. He later served as the LHA/LHD Type Desk Officer until October 2000.  During this tour he assisted USS La Moure County (LST 1194) as a senior salvage engineer after her grounding in Chile.

 

From October 2000 to August 2003, he was assigned to NAVSEA 05 and was matrixed to PMS 500. He served as Deputy Ship Design Manager and then as Deputy for Test & Evaluation on the DD(X) Program.

 

In September 2003, Captain Blank reported to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) serving as the Deputy Program Manager and Chief Engineer for the Combatant Craft Program Management Office.  In 2007, he served an Individual Augmentee tour as an Engineering Planning Officer for the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan.  He was then selected as the Program Executive Officer Maritime for USSOCOM, serving from February 2008 to June 2011.

 

In July 2011, Captain Blank returned to the Naval Systems Engineering Directorate (SEA05) and assumed duty as Technical Director for Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering (SEA05D).

 

Captain Blank’s personal decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit Medal.

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