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His second sea assignment was as Damage Control Officer onboard USS Barry (DDG 52), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf conducting visit board search and seizure operations. Following Barry, he was assigned to Regional Support Group Ingleside, Texas to serve on as the Officer in Charge of the Integrated Support Group (ISG). ISG was a CNO-sponsored group tasked to improve the reliability of the mine hunting sonar. Upon completion of Department Head School, he served onboard USS Ingraham (FFG 61) as the Combat Systems Officer and completed a deployment to the 5th fleet (C5F) area of responsibility (AOR) during the initial actions of Operation Enduring Freedom. Subsequently, he was assigned as the 1ST Lieutenant onboard USS Saipan (LHA 2), homeported out of Norfolk, Virginia.
During his tour on Saipan, he conducted the back load of U.S. Marines for Operation Iraq Freedom. Following his department head tours, he was assigned as the Assistant Surface Operation Officer for Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight. Nelson then served as Executive Officer onboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), where he participated in another C5F AOR deployment. Following his executive officer (XO) tour, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he received a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
While at the Naval War College, Nelson was selected for Command and was assigned as the Commissioning Commanding Officer (CO) of USS Arlington (LPD 24). He then reported to the Joint Deployment Training Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia, as the program manager for GCCS-J training. Following his Joint tour, he reported to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) in March of 2016 as the XO and fleeted up to CO in July of 2016. He then served as Director of Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, Amphibious Warfare Division.
He served as the Chief of Staff at Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 from SEP 2019 to SEP 2020. On September 2020, he assumed duties as Commodore of Amphibious Squadron FOUR (CPR-4). During his tour at CPR4 he lead the IWO ARG during the 2021 deployment where they operated in 6th fleet and 5th fleet AORs and participated in the Afghanistan NEO operation Allied Refugee, the largest NEO operation in the nation’s history.
He is currently the Executive Officer at EWTGLANT.