CMF Leadership

Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces

Vice Admiral Kevin M Donegan
Vice Admiral Kevin M Donegan

Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan is a 1980 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.

His first operational assignment was as a plank owner to Strike Fighter Squadron 131 where he made the first East coast deployment of the F/A-18 culminating in the successful Libyan air strikes in April 1986. He served as a department head in Strike Fighter Squadron 37 earning the Strike Fighter Wing’s Longhart Leadership Award.

Donegan commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 131 completing a deployment to the Arabian Gulf and the 3rd Fleet command ship, USS Coronado (AGF 11), earning three command excellence awards. He also commanded the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) on a combat deployment earning the Battle E. He spearheaded Naval Aviation Enterprise’s Carrier Readiness Team, and was honored as the Tailhook Association’s Tailhooker of the Year for 2006. He also commanded Battle Force 7th Fleet and Carrier Strike Group 5 aboard USS George Washington, homeported in Japan.

Ashore, Donegan’s most recent joint assignment was director of operations for United States Central Command. He served at the Pentagon as Acting Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3N5), director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review, director of Strategy and Policy Division on the Navy staff, director of Warfare Integration, and as the aide/administrative assistant to the deputy chief of Naval operations for Plans, Policy and Operations. He completed joint duty as flag lieutenant to the commander, Allied Forces Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. During that tour he deployed to Sarajevo as the NATO liaison officer to the commander, United Nations Protection Forces serving as the principal air advisor during NATO’s Deliberate Force air strikes.

Donegan graduated the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School as the Outstanding Student, the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), the Navy Nuclear Power School, the USAF Air Command and Staff College, the Joint Forces Staff College and completed Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program in National and International Security.

His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, five Legions of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and multiple unit, service, and campaign awards. His flying experience includes over 3,800 hours in 31 different types of aircraft and over 800 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft carriers.

Commodore Steve Dainton CBE

Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces (DCCMF) and Commander United Kingdom Maritime Component Command (UKMCC)


Commodore Steve Dainton CBE

Born in Liverpool and educated at Liverpool Blue Coat School, Commodore Steve Dainton joined the Royal Navy in 1987. His early career was largely spent at sea in a variety of ships, including Command of HMS Quorn (Hunt Class MCMV).  After qualifying as a Principal Warfare Officer and conducting further seagoing and staff appointments, he graduated from the Advanced Command and Staff Course at JSCSC Shrivenham where he gained an MA in Defence Studies.  After promotion to Commander in 2004, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans (Type 23 Frigate) and, throughout his time in Command, the ship was involved in maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, energy security patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf and the evacuation of civilians from Beirut.  Subsequently, he joined the Directorate of Operational Capability in the Ministry of Defence working in a small team responsible for identifying and reporting strategic capability risk to Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Staff.  In 2009, he completed an operational tour as Staff Operations Officer to the UK Maritime Component Commander in Bahrain prior to joining the UK Maritime Battle Staff specifically employed in the Operational HQ in the EU Counter Piracy mission.

Promoted to Captain in 2010, he took Command of HMS CUMBERLAND (Type 22 Frigate) and deployed to the Gulf undertaking a variety of missions in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Aden as well as being involved in the evacuation of civilians from Benghazi and subsequent operations off Libya, a period for which he was awarded a CBE.  Returning to the Ministry of Defence in 2011, he was employed in Navy Resources and Plans where, as Captain Navy Plans, he was responsible for advising, influencing and determining the size, capability and structure of the current and future Royal Navy.  In 2013, he was appointed in Command of HMS COLLINGWOOD, the Navy’s largest training establishment and was responsible for overseeing the delivery of individual training to the RN’s warfare and weapon engineering officers and ratings.  On promotion to Commodore in 2015 he was assigned to the ACOS(Trg) role in FOST where he led the development of governance, strategy and policy for individual and collective training and education across the maritime training spectrum.  A graduate of HCSC, he is due to take over as UK Maritime Component Commander.

Commodore Dainton lives in Portsmouth with his wife, Cal, and his 2 sons – Joe (1996) and Sam (1997).  His love of football and rugby is nowadays restricted to being a spectator but he remains an ardent supporter of his beloved Everton!