Colonel David “Metro” Fitzsimmons graduated from Pennsylvania State University and was commissioned in April 2000. He was designated a Naval Aviator and completed training in the AH-1W Super Cobra in August 2002.
Operational Assignments: Colonel Fitzsimmons has served in several helicopter squadrons through four combat deployments in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM to include: HMLA-169 while deployed to Kuwait and Iraq from January to August 2003; HMM-166 (REIN), 11th MEU ACE while deployed to Iraq from July 2004 to February 2005; HMLA-169 while deployed to Iraq from May to November 2006; and HMLA-167 while deployed to Afghanistan from May to November 2013. Colonel Fitzsimmons served at Marine Helicopter Squadron One from 2007 to 2011 culminating with his designation as a Marine One pilot. Colonel Fitzsimmons commanded HMLA-267 from May 2017 to April 2019, including a deployment in support of UDP 19.1 to Okinawa, Japan. Colonel Fitzsimmons has flown nearly 4,000 mishap-free flight hours with over 1,000 hours in combat and has been qualified in the AH-1W, CH-46E, VH-3D, VH-60N, and AH-1Z.
Staff Assignments: Colonel Fitzsimmons’s staff billets include service as the Air to Ground Weapons Requirements Officer in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Air Directorate (OPNAV N98) and as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans (AC/S G-5) at Marine Forces Central Command.
Joint Assignments: Colonel Fitzsimmons's joint billets include service as the Readiness Branch Chief in the Operations Directorate at United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM J32).
Colonel Fitzsimmons is a graduate of the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the National War College. He holds a Master of Military Science from Marine Corps University and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from National Defense University.
Colonel Fitzsimmons’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with “V” Gold Numeral 2 and Strike/Flight Numeral 25, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V,” and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Presential Service Badge.
Colonel Fitzsimmons was selected to command Marine Aircraft Group 29 and reported to MCAS New River in May 2023.