Vice Admiral Tom Kilcline, Jr. is a 1973 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated a naval aviator in 1975.
His operational assignments include flying with Fighter Squadron (VF) 51 in the F-4 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42) and the F-14 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). Next he was assigned to VF-126 as an adversary pilot. Two deployments followed with VF-213 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65). He commanded VF-154 forward deployed in Japan aboard USS Independence (CV 62), and was commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). His most recent operational assignment was as commander, Carrier Group 2 and commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. He has flown over 5,600 hours in F-4, A-4, F-5, F-14 and F-18 aircraft, and has logged 63 combat missions and 1,150 carrier aircraft arrested landings.
Assignments to shore and staff billets include Fighter AEW Wing Pacific strike officer; Joint Task Force Southwest Asia DJ3; air operations officer to commander 2nd Fleet; chief of Naval Operations chair to the National War College; executive assistant to deputy, European Command; and chief of staff for commander, Naval Air Forces. Kilcline has earned an M.S. in Systems Management from USC, graduated with distinction and received an M.A. in Strategic Studies and National Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College, and earned his M.S. in National Security Strategy while assigned to the National War College.
Kilcline’s first shore duty flag assignment was director, Naval Aviation Plans and Requirements (N780) on the OPNAV Staff. Following his strike group command, he assumed duties as director, Air Warfare Division (N88) followed by his assignment as director, Warfare Requirements and Integration/Senior National Representative (N8F). He assumed the duties of commander, Naval Air Forces on June 22, 2007.