College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Washington naval island command turned over to electrical engineering alumnus

This story originally published by the Peninsula Daily News.

The command of Naval Magazine Indian Island has been turned over to Cmdr. Nicholas Vande Griend, who most recently served as the electronic warfare action officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

Cmdr. Michael Yesunas, commanding officer, turned over command of the Navy base, which is 4 miles from Port Hadlock, Washington to Vande Griend in a ceremony at on June 10.

Yesunas will report to the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C., where he will pursue a master’s degree at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.

Vande Griend, a native of northwest Iowa, served in various squadrons at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island throughout his career and had deployments aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan.

Vande Griend started his Navy career in 1987 as an aviation electrician’s mate.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University in 1998 and earned his wings at flight school in 1999.

The following year, he completed Joint Aviation Electronic Warfare School, followed by training and qualification in the EA-6B Prowler at Whidbey Island.

Under Yesunas’ command, Naval Magazine Indian Island received such honors as Platinum-Level Secretary of the Navy Energy and Water Management Awards in 2013 and 2014, the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Safety Award for small industrial command in 2013 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program Star flag site designation this year.