Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Allied Joint Force Command Naples

Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, USN (Ret.)

About the Speaker

Admiral Mark Fitzgerald was born in Winchester, Mass., and graduated from Northeastern University, Boston in June 1973. He was commissioned in 1973 and retired from active duty on 1 December 2010. He currently consults with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors. He is Chairman of the Board of the Association of Naval Aviators and Vice Chairman of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He holds a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Systems Engineering from the University of West Florida (1975) and attended the Naval War College, Newport, R.I (1983-84).

From November, 2007 to October 2010, he was Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples. Fitzgerald with operational responsibility for NATO missions in the Balkans, Iraq and the Mediterranean, and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa, responsible for providing overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. Naval forces in the European and African Command.

Selected for flag rank in September 1998, he was deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, commanded Joint Task Force Determined Response in Aden, Yemen (2000) and Carrier Group 8 / Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group during Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2002). He served as director, Air Warfare, Director, Naval Warfare (2003-2004), and Commander, 2nd Fleet/Director, Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence (2004-2006). In December 2006 he was the director, Navy Staff in the Pentagon.

Fitzgerald flew the A-7E Corsair II during numerous sea tours and commanded VA-46 (1990-1991) aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) leading the first Navy strike on Baghdad during the opening hour of Operation Desert Storm. He assumed command of Carrier Air Wing 14 (1994-95) while deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) supporting Operation Southern Watch.

During his career, Fitzgerald was assigned as deputy commander, Joint Air Force Component Commander for Provide Promise Yugoslav Operations and assistant commander for Deny Flight NATO operations (1993) and executive assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1996-98).

Fitzgerald’s awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3 awards), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4 awards), Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat V (2 awards), Bronze Star (2 Awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Air Medals, and numerous individual, Campaign and Unit awards as well as numerous foreign awards. He has logged over 4,800 flight hours and has over 1,100 carrier arrested landings from the decks of 13 aircraft carriers.