EL CENTRO — Captain William Perkins relieved Captain Derrick Kingsley and assumed command of Naval Air Facility El Centro Thursday, March 26, on base at NAF El Centro. In an abbreviated ceremony with limited participants conducted at the installation’s main flagpole, leadership of the installation was transferred as scheduled.
Kingsley has served as the installation’s commanding officer since January 2020 to bridge the gap between the installation’s previous commander, Captain Brent Alfonzo and incoming Captain Perkins. Kingsley is scheduled to transfer to Naval Air Station Patuxent River where he will serve as that installation’s executive officer before fleeting up to the role of commanding officer.
“Many thanks to the men and women who bring NAF El Centro to life everyday — both in and out of uniform. While my time here was short, I leave with fond memories and great thanks for the immense support from our neighbors in the Imperial Valley,” said Kingsley during the ceremony.
Captain William A. Perkins is a native of South Windsor, CT. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program in April 1994. Following flight school and initial training, in January 1997, he reported to Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4). During this tour he earned his initial qualifications as a Patrol Plane Instructor Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander, completing two deployments in support of US FIFTH FLEET operations.
In May 2000, Captain Perkins reported to Tactical Support Center, Sigonella, Italy. While assigned, he earned qualification as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor through the Orion Weapons/Tactics Instructor (WTI) course in May 2001.
During this tour, he was awarded the coveted Copernicus Award for advances in C4I mission areas. Captain Perkins next reported to USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CV-67) as Operations Administration Officer. During this tour, he earned qualification as Officer of the Deck and Command Duty Officer. As the senior OOD and Navigation Training Team Leader during Kennedy’s final combat deployment in 2004 supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, he was selected as CV-67 Ship Handler of the Year.
In September 2005, Captain Perkins reported back to VP-4 for his department head tour. He completed a deployment serving as squadron Operations Officer, supporting Joint Special Operations Task Force, South and US SEVENTH FLEET theatre ISR and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions.
Captain Perkins then reported to US Strategic Command’s Joint Task Force Global Network Operations in November 2007. Initially he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff. He finished this tour as Chief of Plans and Strategy and was selected as the Joint Task Force Field Grade Officer of the Year for 2008.
Captain Perkins served as Commanding Officer of Tactical Air Control Squadron ELEVEN from November 2009 - December 2012. During his tour, the command supported Special Force operations in the CENTCOM AOR and earned the Meritorious Unit Citation. He then served as Navigator, USS George Washington, forward deployed to Japan, during which time he was the first aviator recognized as Honor graduate from the Naval Surface Warfare Navigation school.
During his subsequent time at NATO’s Joint Air Power Competence Centre, CAPT Perkins authored a key study into Alliance ASW which was a driver to re-establish Theater ASW Warfare Commander in the European theater. He was also a principle author of NATO’s first ever Air Power Strategy and served as the Commander of Red Air Forces during NATO’s JTF certification exercises.
He reported to US SEVENTHFLT in Jan 2018 as Director, Maritime Operations Center during which time he oversaw certification of SEVENTHFLT as a JTF HQ, a Combined MOC (Korea) HQ as well as bi-annual certification as a Fleet Maritime Ops Center.
Captain Perkins’ personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), and various individual and unit awards / campaign medals. He has amassed over 3,000 hours in the P-3C Orion. He is married to the former Melissa Sedlak.