Commanding Officer, Singapore Area Coordinator
CAPT Frank E. Okata
Frank Okata is from Washington DC. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996.
Following initial training at the Surface Warfare Officer’s School Division Officers Course in Newport, RI, he reported to USS NORMANDY (CG 60) based in Norfolk, VA and served as First Lieutenant and Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. His second Division Officer assignment was onboard USS DEYO (DD 989) also based in Norfolk, VA, as the Auxiliaries and Electrical Officer. After further training at the Surface Warfare Officers School, Captain Okata served in USS HAWES (FFG 53) as Engineer Officer, followed by assignment as the Pre-Commissioning Staff Materiel Officer for Riverine Group One in 2006.
In 2012 he reported to USS PINCKNEY (DDG 91) based in San Diego, CA as the Executive Officer taking command in 2013. From 2015 to 2017, Captain Okata served as the Surface Operations Officer for Carrier Strike Group TEN embarked USS DWIGHT D EISENHOWER. From 2019 to 2022, commanded Task Force 63 Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa based in Naples, Italy.
Ashore, Captain Okata attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA, and graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs in 2003. He served in the International Engagement Division of Chief of Naval Operations Staff as the Northern Europe/NATO Action Officer from 2007 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011, he served as a joint planner at US Northern Command’s Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region. From 2017 to 2019, he served in the Office of the Senior Director for Intelligence - Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy.
Captain Okata has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and the French Medal for National Defense (Gold Echelon). Captain Okata assumed command of Singapore Area Coordinator on 17 March 2022.
Singapore Area Coordinator Executive Officer
Lieutenant Commander Waidelich
Lieutenant Commander Waidelich, a native of North Brunswick, New Jersey, graduated from the University of Maryland in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He reported to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in January of 2008 at Naval Station Newport and received his commission in April of 2008. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in June of 2010. Post earning his wings of gold, he received orders to the east coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) and reported to the GLADIATORS of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VFA-106). Following initial FRS training, Lieutenant Commander Waidelich reported to the BLACKLIONS of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO THIRTEEN (VFA-213) at NAS Oceana and deployed twice aboard USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77) in support of Operations NEW DAWN (OND), ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR). While assigned to VFA-213, he served as Legal Officer, Operations Administrative Officer, Avionics and Armament Division Officer, Air to Surface Weapons Training Officer and earned his qualification as a Forward Air Controller (Airborne).
Lieutenant Commander Waidelich was selected for instructor duty and returned to VFA-106 in September of 2014 where he served as the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, Close Air Support (CAS) Program Manager and Strike Phase Head. He was VFA-106’s nominee for the 2016 Commander Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic (CSFWL) Weapons Systems Officer of the Year and performed with the Navy’s Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team for the 2016 and 2017 airshow seasons.
Following instructor duty, Lieutenant Commander Waidelich reported to SEAL Team FIVE (ST-5) in San Diego in August of 2017 as the Fires Support Officer. During this time, Lieutenant Commander Waidelich
deployed to Iraq in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR). Upon returning home, he received his Joint Terminal Attack Controller Instructor (JTAC-I) upgrade. After his Fires Support Officer tour, Lieutenant Commander Waidelich reported to the FIGHTING SWORDSMEN of Strike Fighter Squadron THREE TWO (VFA-32) in Virginia Beach in August of 2020 for his Department Head tour. He served as the Safety Officer during their deployment aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) supporting OIR and OEF and as the Operations Officer as the squadron prepared for their next phase of work-ups.
Lieutenant Commander Waidelich has accumulated over 1,700 flight hours and 300 arrested landings in the F/A-18F Super Hornet. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Strike/Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other medals, unit and campaign awards.