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June 22, 2012
NEWPORT, R.I. – Capt. Russell Knight, a native of East Greenwich, R.I., retired after 30 years of naval service during a ceremony at the U.S. Naval War College, on June 22.
Knight, who entered the U.S. Navy as an aviation officer candidate in May 1982 after receiving a bachelor of science degree in civil/ocean engineering at the University of Rhode Island, was recognized for three decades of Navy service, with a State of Rhode Island proclamation declaring June 22 “Captain Russell P. Knight Day” in the state.
After earning his naval aviator “wings” in the A-6 Intruder aircraft in June 1984, Knight reported to Attack Squadron 55 (VA-55) in August 1985. He made two deployments aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and flew combat operations over Libya.
In August 1988, Knight returned to Attack Squadron 42 (VA-42) as an instructor pilot. The following January, he attended U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), with subsequent assignment to Strike Aircraft Test Directorate as the A-12 project pilot and test pilot for the A-6 Rewing Program. He returned to USNTPS as a fixed-wing flight instructor.
After completing refresher training in VA-42, Knight joined Attack Squadron 85 (VA-85) in June
1993, and completed a Mediterranean Sea/Indian Ocean deployment aboard USS America (CV-66), participating in operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina, southern Iraq and Somalia.
Knight received orders to Attack Squadron 75 (VA-75) in July 1994, completing a Mediterranean Sea/Arabian Gulf deployment aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). He completed his department head tour serving as maintenance officer until the squadron deployed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in June 1996, the last deployment of the A-6 Intruder aircraft.
Knight attended the Naval War College as a student between August 1996 and June 1997 where he earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies. At graduation he received the William S. Sims Navy League Award outstanding achievement while a student. He followed his studies as aide and administrative assistant to the director, Office of Program Appraisal, Office of the Secretary of the Navy.
Knight completed F/A-18 Hornet training with Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125), and reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) as executive officer in March 1999. He assumed command of the squadron in June 2000. Following his change of command, he temporarily filled the role of deputy air wing commander for Carrier Air Wing Nine before reporting to Navy Warfare Development Command as the air division head in January 2002.
In August 2004, Knight was assigned as the navy federal executive fellow at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Knight assumed command of Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., on Aug. 12, 2005. After this command assignment, Knight reported to the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. as the deputy chief of staff.
Knight ends his military career after more than 3,800 flight hours and 900 carrier arrested-landings while flying in more than 50 different types of aircraft. His personal decorations include two Legion of Merit medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Medals, and other personal unit citations and commendations.

Posted by Alyssa Menard
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