Capt. Rafael “El Diablo” Facundo was commissioned from Officer Candidate School as a surface warfare officer in 1997. He served one tour as weapons officer aboard USS Oak Hill (LSD 51). In 2000 he re-designated as a naval flight officer. He served two tours conducting anti-submarine missions aboard the Navy P-3C Orion aircraft and a tour as air officer aboard the USS America (LHA 6). Ashore, he served as U.S. Pacific Command J-5 Australia desk officer and commander, Training Squadron Four.