NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., April 22, 2009- Lt. Cmdr. Michael D. Durst, Integrated Product Team Co-Lead for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Hawkeye Greyhound Program (PMA-231) retired from the United States Navy at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md., March 27, after 20 years of service.
“This retirement is an opportunity for retrospection,” Durst said. “We don’t get the opportunity very often to stop and look back on what we have done and where we have been.”
Family, friends and colleagues gathered together to pay their respects to Durst – call sign Nozzle – at his formal retirement ceremony held in the atrium of the William A. Moffett building at NAS Patuxent River.
“Mike Durst is a great American,” said Capt. Shane Gahagan, PMA-231 Program Manager. “For over 20 years he has dedicated and committed himself to our nation, our Navy and to the men and women who serve it. He served his country well and he will continue to do so in the future. “He has been a tremendous asset to the United States Navy and he made it a better organization,” Gahagan said. “It is truly a job well done, and our country thanks you, Mike.”
Durst was presented with a Meritorious Service medal, Presidential citation, four Governor citations from Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Maryland, and a shadow box containing decorations, achieved rank, warfare insignia and an American flag flown at the Mason County Courthouse in Mason, Tx., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. symbolically marking the beginning and end of Durst’s Naval career.
A native of Mason, Texas, Durst graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1989. Following graduation, Durst was designated a Naval Flight Officer and assigned to Naval Air Station, Oceana, Va. as an A-6E Intruder Bombardier/Navigator.
Other assignments included two deployments to the 6th Fleet, a tour with Take Charge And Move Out Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron flying E-6A and E-6B Mercury aircraft, Deputy Assistant Program Manager in the E-6 Program (PMA-271), and a department head tour with VQ-3 at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
Durst was later selected as an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer with the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program, serving as the Deputy Program Manager / Planning and Requirements (Production) officer.
In 2004, Durst joined the NAVAIR Avionics Architecture and Systems Engineering Division at PMA-231 where he served in various roles within the program office, including E-2C navigation lead and E-2C communications/navigation/identification lead.
In 2006, Durst volunteered to deploy as part of an Individual Augmentation to U.S. Central Command where he served at Camp As Sayliyah, Doha, Qatar and at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla. After returning in 2007, Durst was selected to serve as PMA-231’s E-2C Hawkeye/C-2A Greyhound integrated product team co-lead.
“I’ve encountered very few people who have had the breadth of experience that Mike had,” said Sean Faubion, E-2/C-2 integrated product team co-lead. “He’s had a positive impact on the U.S. Navy aviation, surface and submarine communities and he’ll probably continue to contribute for many years to come. “
Family members attending the formal retirement ceremony were his mother, Virginia Durst of Mason, Tx., mother and father-in-law Judith and Hal Cummings of Annapolis, Md., sister, Kacy Zaleski of New Braunfels, Tx, and wife Keryn and their four children – Amanda, Robert, Andrew and Daniel.
The ceremony was followed by an open reception at the NAS Patuxent River Officer’s Club where Durst and his family were greeted personally by former and current teammates, neighbors and friends who wished the best of luck with the family’s future endeavors. Mike and Keryn plan to remain in Southern Maryland. Durst will begin his new career May 11 with a management & technology consulting firm based in McLean, Va.