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May 23 – Rear Admiral Craig T. Mattingly, Commander, Navel Service Training Command

Posted on May 20, 2024

LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington held its weekly meeting on Thursday, May 23, at The Mane on Main, Chase Bank building on Main St. The guest speaker was  Rear Admiral Craig T. Mattingly, Commander, Navel Service Training Command.

This meeting will also be on Zoom. For the Zoom link please email, [email protected].

If you would like to have lunch, please contact [email protected] to reserve your meal.


Rear Adm. Craig T. Mattingly, a native of Austin, Kentucky, departed the family dairy farm in 1987 to enlist in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator. He is a 1991 Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) graduate and a 1995 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. He was designated as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) in 1997. He holds a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, Executive Leadership and Management certifications from the University of Notre Dame, is Joint Qualified and an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI.

Mattingly’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) operational assignments include Patrol Squadron (VP) 50, Naval Air Station (NAS) Moffett Field, CA; VP-8, NAS Brunswick, ME; and VP-26, NAS Brunswick, ME. He served as the Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of VP-9, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, HI. He led his squadron on deployment supporting EUCOM, AFRICOM, and CENTCOM Areas of Responsibility (AOR) as Commander of multiple Task Groups (CTG). His major command tour was Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven (CPRW-11), NAS Jacksonville, FL. During his tenure as Commodore, CPRW-11 supported global initiatives to include the inaugural INDOPACOM deployments of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System and P-8A Poseidon Advanced Airborne Sensor as well as the P-3C Littoral Surveillance Radar System; P-8A deployments supporting all Geographic Combatant Commanders; Commander, Task Force 47 supporting SOUTHCOM; and Task Group 84 supporting NORTHCOM.

Mattingly’s overseas tours include U.S. SIXTH Fleet N5 Theater Security Cooperation Officer, Gaeta, Italy; Flag Aide to Commander, U.S. SIXTH Fleet/Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO/Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Lisbon; Special Assistant/Aide de Camp to the Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa/Commander, Allied Joint Force Command, Naples; and N3 Operations Officer/Chief Staff Officer for Commander, Task Force 72, Misawa, Japan where he conducted MPRF operations including support of Operation Damayan, a humanitarian response to the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Republic of the Philippines.

Other assignments include VP-30 Fleet Replacement Squadron NFO Instructor, Fleet NATOPS Evaluator; Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (PMA-290) and Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges (PMA-205) P-8A Poseidon, P-3C Orion and EP-3 Aries Training Systems Assistant Program Manager at Naval Air Systems Command where he earned Acquisition Program Management Level III; and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (OPNAV N3/N5).

Prior to reporting as Commander, Naval Service Training Command, Mattingly’s most recent assignment was serving as Senior Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy.

He has accumulated more than 3,900 flight hours in the P-3C Orion and P-8A Poseidon aircraft and served on teams that have received various awards and recognition.


The Rotary Club has always demonstrated both a strong belief and the utmost respect for any of the United States Armed Forces.  So whenever a member of the Armed Forces is our speaker it is a very special day.  Rear Admiral Craig T. Mattingly Commander, Naval Service Training Command from Austin, Kentucky began his presentation with a recognition of Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Lexington.  He was recruited to the Navy while in high school in southcentral Kentucky and left the farm life behind.  We learned much about his personal life, including how he “won” his wife over, his children, and his family.  (I highly recommend that if you were unable to attend you should watch his presentation on video). 

Rear Admiral Matting made several references during his speech comparing the Rotary service model to serving in the Navy. 

He told us that in a landlocked state we tend to not think about what our need for the Navy is.  We learned that 90% of our commerce travels by sea and the Navy provides “freedom of commerce” on the sea for $1,67 per day per taxpayer.  He believes that’s a pretty good deal.  The Navy protects $10 Trillion dollars of transactions per day through undersea cables that take place over the sea routes that we protect.  He mentioned that there are “bad actors” around the world whose mission it is to disrupt this commerce.  Mattingly identified in our audience someone whose son in the Commander of the Roosevelt that was the first responder ship in the Red Sea when the Israeli – Gaza conflict began.  This is the first time in history that missiles have be fired on U.S. ships in the Red Sea.   

The Navy’s impact on Kentucky is global.  In 2023 $40 Billion in goods and services from Kentucky were sold abroad and 480,000+ jobs in Kentucky are supported by international trade.    He listed what the Navy is to  the United States as 1) Decisive Naval Power (many exports from Kentucky travel by sea), 2) the Navy is a key component for the safety of all international trade that includes shipping lanes and undersea cables, 3) to protect global competition (Russia/Ukraine and China/Taiwan as examples), 4) Integrated Deterrence – to deter the bad actors including cyber and space, 5) our allies and partners that is our key strategic advantage, 6) building enduring warfighting advantages that includes our #1 asset – our people. 

The Admiral shared the Crucible event that is held during graduation at the Naval Academy at Great Lakes/Chicago.  In Fayette County we have 236 students graduating from high school that are entering one of the Services.  He believes joining one of the services should be a priority. 

Jim Richardson

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