A native of Seattle, Rear Adm. Asbjornsen graduated from Western Washington University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. After teaching high school for four years, he entered the Navy and received his commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School in October 1982. Following initial flight training, he reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 11 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick, Maine. There he served as a navigator/communicator and tactical coordinator on the P-3 Orion aircraft. During his tour, he completed deployments to Bermuda and Keflavik, Iceland, along with numerous detachments throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Asbjornsen then served as assistant professor of Naval Science at the University of Idaho/Washington State University. In this role, he taught Weapons Systems, Introduction to Aviation, and also oversaw recruiting for both universities.
In October 1989, Asbjornsen transitioned to the Navy Reserve and affiliated with VP-69 at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. During his 12 years with the squadron, he held multiple billets including commanding officer from 1999 to 2001. Follow on commanding officer tours include: Carrier Augment Unit Northwest Detachment 0189 and Commander, Fleet Air Western Pacific Detachment Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department 0189, both located at NAS Whidbey Island, and Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation Detachment 120 located in Salt Lake City. Following this, Asbjornsen served as deputy commander for Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command in Everett, Wash.
Asbjornsen was promoted to his present rank, Feb. 2, 2010. His initial flag billet was Reserve deputy commander for Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command located in San Diego. He next served as deputy commander, Navy Region Northwest located in Bangor, Wash. Asbjornsen assumed his current role in November 2012.
Asbjornsen's military awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) along with various unit and service awards.
Asbjornsen earned a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration in 1989 from the University of Idaho and his Washington State Superintendent Certification from Seattle Pacific University in 2003. In his civilian career, Asbjornsen has been a public school administrator for 21 years including serving as a principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He last served as the superintendent of the Reardan-Edwall School District near Spokane, Wash.