Navy Tharp

Cmdr. Erik Thomas salutes and is relieved by Cmdr. Jared Tharp, right, as commander of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s VXS-1 Squadron during the VXS-1’s change of command ceremony Aug. 2.

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Cmdr. Jared Tharp of Middletown assumed command Aug. 2 of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1) “Warlocks.”

Tharp is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in economics and a master’s in business administration from the University of West Florida.

Prior to VXS-1, Tharp served as military lead for the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. He assumed command of the Warlocks after a 16-month tenure as executive officer.

“I am truly humbled, grateful, and excited to be standing before you today as the VXS-1 commanding officer,” Tharp said in a press release. “Grateful for the opportunity to serve in the greatest squadron, in the greatest Navy, for the world’s greatest nation.”

Tharp completed two deployments with Patrol Squadron 45 in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

He served as the officer-in-charge during the first counter-narcotics operation of an unmanned aerial system in Central America. That tour was followed by two more deployments as a department head in Patrol Squadron 8.

While at Training Squadron 6, Tharp was recognized as instructor of the year for 2009.

Tharp’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and campaign, service and unit awards.

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