Commander Andrew R. McLean, a native of Virginia Beach, VA, graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign on May 22nd, 1998. He reported to primary flight training in September 1998 at VT-27, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and completed jet training at VT-21, NAS Kingsville, Texas. He received his Wings of Gold and was designated a Naval Aviator on July 1, 2000.
Following flight school, Commander McLean reported to VF-101 at NAS Oceana, Virginia where he qualified in the F-14D Tomcat. Upon completion of the Fleet Readiness Squadron, he was assigned to the VF-31 "Tomcatters" and made two deployments to the Persian Gulf in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, SOUTHERN WATCH, and the initial combat phase of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM embarked aboard the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) and USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74).
Commander McLean was selected to be a member of Class 128 at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and following graduation in December 2005, he reported to the Carrier Suitability Department at VX-23 (NAS Patuxent River, MD), as a developmental test pilot and LSO where he flew and waved all variants of the Hornet, Super Hornet, Growler, and T-45 Goshawk. In February 2008, he was assigned to Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) as the Air-to-Air Warfare Officer while CVW-3 supported Operation IRAQI FREEDOM aboard the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). In August of 2010, he reported to the "Checkmates" of VFA-211 for his Department Head Tour where he served as Safety Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and Maintenance Officer. While serving with VFA-211, he again deployed as an F/A-18F Super Hornet pilot in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN embarked aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). CDR McLean has earned Strike Lead, Forward Air Controller (Airborne), and Air Wing LSO qualifications.
In January 2012, Commander McLean returned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School to serve as a fixed wing test pilot instructor in the T-6B and F/A-18F. During his second tour at NAS Patuxent River, MD, he also earned a master's degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Commander McLean reported to Training Air Wing TWO in April 2015.
Commander McLean has accumulated more than 3,250 total flight hours in 60 different models of aircraft and 260 combat hours during two campaigns. As an operational and test carrier pilot, he has performed more than 100 automatic fully coupled landings and more than 550 arrested landings to 10 different aircraft carriers. His personal decorations include an Individual Air Medal with combat "V," three Strike/Flight Air Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals (one with combat "V"), two Navy Achievement Medals, and various unit, service, and campaign awards.