Captain Pat “Fin” Hannifin
Commanding Officer, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
Captain Pat “Fin” Hannifin is a native of San Diego, California and was commissioned in May 1991 after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (NROTC) and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego. Graduating from Legal School in July 1991, his first tour of duty was as legal officer for the Pacific Fleet adversary “Bandits” of VF-126 at NAS Miramar, San Diego, California.
He attended flight school in May 1992 and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1994 at NAS Kingsville, Texas. Hannifin was trained as an F/A-18C Hornet pilot at VFA-125 in Lemoore, California and joined VFA-27 in Lemoore by January of 1995. He led the adv det for a homeport change to Atsugi, Japan later that summer and completed the remainder of his tour with the “Royal Maces” in Japan. He served as First Lieutenant Division Officer, Information Systems Security Manager, Aviation & Armament Division Officer, and Air-to-Ground Weapons Training Officer during his three years with VFA-27, completing numerous deployments to the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Independence
Selected to attend U. S. Air Force Test Pilot School, he departed the “Maces” in November 1998 for Edwards AFB, California. Graduating from Class 99A in December 1999, Hannifin was assigned to Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. After serving one year in the Ordnance Support Team he led the T-45 test program as T-45 Project Coordinator, testing F/A-18 A-Fs and T-45s.
Hannifin completed his Department Head tour in NAS Oceana with the VFA-81 “Sunliners” from December 2001 to April 2004. Serving as Safety, Operations, and then Maintenance Officer, he participated in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations from the USS George Washington while deployed in the Persian Gulf.
Selected as CNAL VFA Readiness Officer in April 2004, Hannifin led TSPAT (Transition Support Process Action Team) / MAP (Master Air Plan) efforts and managed CNAF resources to meet Fleet readiness needs through September 2006. Hannifin rejoined the VFA-81 “Sunliners” in February 2007 and held command from May 2008 through July 2009, serving in CVW-11 with F/A-18Cs and CVW-17 with F/A-18Es. Hannifin was selected to the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program while completing the Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy course at the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) in Norfolk, VA. Hannifin completed nuclear power training in March of 2012 and served as Executive Officer of USS Harry S Truman from April 2012 through April of 2014. He served as the Joint Staff J35S Joint Force Coordinator division chief, and most recently as Commanding Officer of USS ARLINGTON (LPD-24).
Hannifin has over 2,800 hours of flight time in 33 different aircraft, of which approximately 2,300 are in the F/A-18. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medals, an Air Medal Strike/Flight Award, and selection as Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron’s Test Pilot of the Year in 2000.