Capt. Eric L. Conzen, USN
Commander, Task Force SIX THREE
Commodore, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa
Capt. Conzen is a native of Redondo Beach, California, the proud son of a police officer and a school librarian. In high school, Capt. Conzen was the Battalion Commander of his Marine Corps Junior R.O.T.C. unit – which paved the way to his appointment to the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1993. He holds a B.S. in Political Science from USNA and an M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
Capt. Conzen's sea assignments have been in USS Valley Forge (CG 50), as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer; USS Denver (LPD 9), as Navigator/Administrative Officer; USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), as Operations Officer; USS La Salle (AGF 3), as Operations Officer; and USS Shreveport (LPD 12), as Executive Officer and Decommissioning Commanding Officer. As Executive Officer and later Commanding Officer of USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), Capt. Conzen brought his ship and crew out of an extensive midlife modernization, through an emergent training regimen and deployed for 321 days in support of Operation Odessey Dawn/Unified Protector and to SIXTH/FIFTH Fleets with the USS Bataan ARG/22MEU. Post Command, he served as the Lead Amphibious Assessor and Current Operations Officer at Carrier Strike Group FOUR (CSG 4), certifying ARG/MEUs for deployment. Most recently, he served as Chief of Staff to Commander Task Force FIVE ONE, the Naval Amphibious Force commander for FIFTH Fleet. Midway through his tour as Chief of Staff he fleeted up to Deputy Commander of the Naval Integrated Staff comprised of the Commander Task Force 51 and Command Element, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Manama, Bahrain. Capt. Conzen has made deployments to Central and South America, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Arabian Gulf/Indian Ocean. He has made independent deployments and Strike Group deployments, with Marine Expeditionary Units and without, served forward deployed, overseas, and on both coasts of the U.S.
At the Naval Postgraduate School, in Capt. Conzen's first assignment ashore, his thesis showed there was little causal effect of fully funded graduate education on the retention of Naval Officers. After his Department Head tours, he served in the Combined/Joint Operations Directorate (C/J-3) of Striking and Support Forces, NATO in Naples Italy where he was the Amphibious/Maritime Strike (TLAM) Officer. Additionally, he has served on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, in the Assessment Division (OPNAV N81), as the Analysis Resource Management Branch Head, where he managed the funding of Navy's Analytic Agenda, oversaw the creation of the study portfolio for the Center for Naval Analyses and was the Officer Community manager for the over 500 Navy Operations Analysts. Immediately following Command, Capt. Conzen was the Director of Operations at the Headquarters, Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia responsible for Fire Protection Services, Port Operations, Airfield Operations, Security, Emergency Management and Safety for 8 Installations in 6 countries – including the stand-up of the first overseas Naval Installation in over 15 years in Deveselu, Romania.
Capt. Conzen's awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Joint Services Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation medal (four awards), the Navy Achievement medal, and various campaign and unit awards.