Capt. Gabe Varela, USN
Commodore, Military Sealift Command Pacific
Commander Task Force 33
Capt. Gabe Varela is the Commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific and Commander Task Force 33. He assumed command in May 2019.
Capt. Varela is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. In September 1987, he enlisted as an Aviation Electronics Technician, Aircrewman. From 1989 to 1994, he was stationed with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One(VQ-1) forward deployed from Agana, Guam and subsequently the Naval Air Warfare Center in Indianapolis IN. After achieving the rank of Petty Officer First Class, he was selected for the Seaman to Admiral Program and received his commission through Officer Candidate School in July 1995.
Between 1996 and 2007, he served as an Engineering Division Officer aboard USS Rushmore (LSD 47), as Navigator aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), as Weapons Officer, Combat Systems Officer, and Executive Officer aboard USS McCampbell (DDG 85).
From 2008 through 2010 Capt. Varela served as the Assistant Chief of Staff(ACOS) for Material(N4) with Commander Carrier Strike Group SEVEN (CCSG 7) embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
From 2011 through 2014 Capt. Varela served as USS Kidd (DDG 100) Executive Officer and subsequently fleeted up to Commanding Officer.
From 2014 through 2016 Capt. Varela served as the Sea Combat Syndicate Lead for Carrier Strike Group FIFTEEN (CCSG 15), responsible for deployment certifications in sea combat operations for all Pacific Fleet Expeditionary Strike Groups, Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, Destroyer Squadrons and independent deploying ships.
From 2016-2019 he served as the Requirements, Doctrine, Tactics and Experimentation Department Head (N8/9), Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center in San Diego.
Capt. Varela holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems from the University of San Diego and is a graduate of the Naval War College with a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
His awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, and various unit, campaign, and service awards.