Capt. Sean Haley will relinquish command of Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) to Executive Officer Capt. Michael Connor during a change of command ceremony April 12 at 10 a.m. at Hangar 117. Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) will be the guest speaker.
The station’s 100 tenant commands including 15 squadrons, thousands of civilians and Sailors, along with their families, have benefitted due to Haley’s staunch leadership during major projects improving military readiness.
His tour as commanding officer is characterized by unmatched readiness and support to the fleet, fighter and family.
Haley masterfully ensured the largest installation in the Navy Region Southeast, and third-largest in the Navy, delivered the most effective and efficient readiness from the shore by setting the highest standards of excellence – in all areas of business enhancements, innovation, quality of life, quality of service, and support.
Specific accomplishments include leading station personnel through two major hurricanes, Matthew (2016) and Irma (2017), ensuring Sailors, families and civilians remained safe and recovery efforts were effectively expedited. The station also provided support to Texas following Hurricane Harvey and Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Improving quality of life and service to more than 200,000 monthly patrons, NAS Jax staff partnered with the Defense Commissary Agency to build a new commissary. They also partnered with Navy Exchange Command to renovate the existing facility.
Haley was also the driving force behind installation awards including: Secretary of the Navy Blue Energy Award; Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Award for Environmental Quality, Industrial; City of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board Environmental Achievement Award in the government/institutional category; City of Jacksonville Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Award; Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Marina Award; Morale Welfare and Recreation earned their first 5-Star Accreditation; the Child Youth Program maintained their accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children; awarded seventh consecutive CEL “A List” Award for Excellence in Customer Service; CEL Platinum Award and Crystal Award for outstanding unaccompanied housing excellence; Navy’s Best Navy Lodge Award; nominated by Commander, Navy Region Southeast for the annual Capt. Edward F. Ney Award Large General Mess Category at the galley; CNIC FY17 Retention 00Excellence Award and several other awards and accreditations.
Haley will continue his naval career as he takes over as the CNRSE chief of staff.
Connor was commissioned in June 1993 after graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Systems.
After receiving his “Wings of Gold” in October 1996, he reported as a selectively retained graduate to VT-21 at NAS Kingsville, Texas where he served as a flight instructor in the T-45A Goshawk. Upon completion of FA-18 Hornet training with the “Gladiators” of VFA-106 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida in September 1998, he reported to the “Stingers” of VFA-113 at NAS Lemoore, California and deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch as part of Carrier Air Wing 14 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
After graduating from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in July 2001, he reported to the “Outlaws” of Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific at NAS Lemoore as a Strike Fighter Weapons and Tactics instructor.
He also served as the operations and training officer, Joint Direct Attack Munition and Joint Standoff Weapon subject matter expert, and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System program manager.
In December 2003, he reported to the “Kestrels” of VFA-137 at NAS Lemoore as training officer and later as a department head, deploying twice to the Western Pacific as part of Carrier Air Wing 2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and providing humanitarian assistance during Operation Unified Assistance to Banda Ache, Indonesia following the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
In November 2007, he reported to the Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, a component of United States Strategic Command, at Offutt AFB, Nebraska as a deterrence strategist in the J-5 Directorate and later as executive assistant to the commander.
In May 2011, he reported to the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina as executive officer and later as commanding officer from September 2012 to November 2013.
During this tour, he conducted a permanent duty station change to NAS Lemoore, an aircraft transition to the FA-18E Super Hornet, several detachments in the United States and Canada, and embarkations aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as part of Carrier Air Wings 11 and 2.
In January 2014, he reported to Battle Force 7th Fleet/Commander Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 as assistant chief of staff for operations at Yokosuka, Japan where he was responsible for the operational employment of the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed carrier strike group and all independently deployed carrier strike groups, cruisers, and destroyers in 7th Fleet and executed the USS George Washington (CVN 73)/USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) hull swap. In August 2016, Connor reported to NAS Jacksonville, Florida, as executive officer.
Connor is a 2012 distinguished graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Master’s of Science Degree in Aeronautical Science, a non-resident graduate of the Naval War College’s Command Staff Program, and a graduate of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College.
He has logged more than 3,100 flight hours in the FA-18EF Super Hornet, FA-18A-D Hornet, T-45A Goshawk, and T-34C Turbo Mentor, and he has logged 526 carrier-arrested landings.
Taking over as the NAS Jax executive officer is Capt. Brian Weiss.