2023 Gala Honoree – Elizabeth Somerville

CAPT Elizabeth M. Somerville

Captain Elizabeth Somerville attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and receiving her commission through the NROTC program. Following flight training in Pensacola, Florida, CAPT Somerville earned her Wings of Gold as a Naval Flight Officer in October of 2000 and reported to VAQ-129 for fleet replacement training in the EA-6B Prowler.

In November of 2001, she completed her training and reported to the Shadowhawks of VAQ-141 for a Mediterranean deployment onboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71.) During this tour, she participated extensively in combat operations in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as a Prowler Tactics Instructor.

After her tour with VAQ-141, she was accepted into the US Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS)Cooperative Program and reported to the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in May of 2004 andthen graduated as a member of USNTPS Class 130 with a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering as part of the TPS Co-Op program.

After Test Pilot School graduation, Somerville joined the Dust Devils of VX-31 in China Lake, CA. While at VX-31, her flight test roles consisted of the test and evaluation of F/ A-18D, F/A-18F and EA-18G weaponsand aircraft software and was responsible for the initial flight test of the EA-18G Growler.

In July 2009, she once again reported to VAQ-141 as a Department Head, joining them right as the quadron completed a transition from the EA-6B to the EA-18G. During this tour, she served as Operations Officer for the upcoming maiden aircraft carrier deployment of both the EA-18G and the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) in support

Somerville was selected Command the “Dust Devils” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron THREE ONE (VX-31) in China Lake, CA. She assumed the duties of Chief Test Pilot in January 2016 and CommandingOfficer in July 2017. As the CO of VX-31, she led a team responsible for the developmental flight test for aircraft software development and weapons testing for the F/A-18 A-F, EA-18G, AV-8B. Additionally, the command was responsible for conducting Search and Rescue (SAR) with the MH-60S for the southern California and high desert region. Following VX-31, she reported to VX-23 as the Chief Test Pilot of theVX-23 Salty Dogs in Patuxent River, MD in October of 2019 and Commanding Officer in July 2021.Following VX-23 CAPT Somerville reported to her current position as Commander, Naval Test WingAtlantic in August of 2022.