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Mr. Gil Birklund

Executive Director (CSG) 4

21 July 2023
Mr. Birkland, MHQ
Mr. Birkland Official photo
Mr. Birkland, MHQ
CSG4 Public Affairs
Mr. Birkland Official photo
Photo By: CSG4 Public Affairs
VIRIN: 220210-N-N0729-1002
Mr. Birklund, a native of Thayer Missouri, entered the U.S. Navy after graduating from Southwest Missouri State University. He was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate Program and designated a Naval Aviator.

Fleet assignments included Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6) in Norfolk, Virginia flying the H-46 Sea Knight, Air Officer onboard the Third Fleet Flagship, USS CORONADO (AGF 11) home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, HC-11 where he deployed as Officer in Charge (OIC) onboard USS SACRAMENTO (AOE 1) with the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) Strike Group, Air Officer onboard USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) where the ship conducted combat operations in direct support of operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO (ESG-2) supporting amphibious ship readiness and Joint-forward deployed operations.

Command tours included Helicopter Combat Support Squadron TWO (HC-2), the Navy’s combined multi-mission and single-site Fleet Replacement Squadron for U.S. Navy Sea King aircrew and Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, facilitating joint operations in support of operation and ENDURING FREEDOM. Shore assignments included Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHTEEN (HT-18) in Milton, Florida where he was selected as the Squadron and Air Wing Instructor of the Year and earned a Master of Science in International Relations; HC-3, the H-46 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) in San Diego, CA. where he served as Operations Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Executive Officer; Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as the helicopter readiness Officer and SAR program manager; HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO’s North American Strategic Command, working in Joint Exercises, Experimentation, and Analysis and Director, Strategy and policy (N5) in U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

In June 2009, Mr. Birklund attended the National Defense University’s Joint Advanced War fighting School (JAWS) earning a Master of Science in Strategy and Joint Campaign Planning. Next he returned to HQ SACT as Director of Staff Operations and CO of U.S. Navy personnel. Mr. Birklund retired in September 2012. Civilian positions include Program Manager for U.S. Navy Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE), Joint planner in Current Operations on the staff of U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Project Officer in Military Sealift Command for hospital ships, submarine tenders, and the command ship, USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20).

In May 2020, Mr. Birklund assumed duties as Executive Director on the staff of Carrier Strike Group FOUR in Norfolk, VA. He has compiled 4,400 flight hours and over 1500 shipboard landings. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Air Medal (with Bronze Star), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), Humanitarian service medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and various other unit awards and service ribbons.

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