Cmdr. Mark D. Kurtz is a Naval aviator with over 1,600 flight hours in the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter. He has served in HSL-42, HSL-40 and HSM-37, deploying on U.S Navy frigates, destroyers and cruisers, and conducting numerous deployments in support of UNITAS, counter narcotics trafficking operations, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Western Pacific operations, and counter piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa. He earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2016. Cmdr. Kurtz is a native of Alexandria, Virginia and 2001 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in ocean engineering.