Major Benjamin “Tuma” Friedrick was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 2002 after graduation from the US Naval Academy. Second Lieutenant Friedrick completed The Basic School, Naval Flight School, and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2004 after completing advanced training in Kingsville, TX. Following advanced training, he completed the EA-6B Prowler FRS at VAQ-129 in August 2005 and received orders to VMAQ-3 at MCAS Cherry Point. While attached to VMAQ-3, he served in the Operations Department as the Ground Training Officer and daily/weekly flight schedule writer. 1stLt Friedrick deployed with the Moondogs in August of 2006 in support of (ISO) Operation Iraqi Freedom based out of Al Asad, Iraq amassing over 500 flight hours in direct support of OIF. After returning to Cherry Point, and while ISO Red Flag, Alaska, Captain Friedrick was tasked to support Operation Enduring Freedom as an Individual Augment attached to Combined Joint Task Force 82 Headquartered in Bagram, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Current Operations and put in charge of a newly developed cell designed to revamp and consolidate the inflow and storage of combat reporting from Regional Command-East AO.
In February of 2008, Captain Friedrick reported for duties at MAG-14 as the EA-6B Standardization Officer and then classed up in July 2008 to attend Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, VA. Following completion of resident PME and a CAT III refresher course at VAQ-129, Captain Friedrick reported to VMAQ-2 in November of 2009, them moved to VMAQ-3 in April of 2010 to serve as the Aviation Safety Officer. He again deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, this time with the Moondogs, from October 2010 to March of 2011 ISO OEF. After returning to Cherry Point, Captain Friedrick filled department head billets as the Director of Safety and Standardization, Administration and Logistic Officers.
Captain Friedrick reported to NAS Whidbey Island in July of 2012 to be an EA-6B FRS Instructor at VAQ-129. As the last Marine instructor to report to VAQ-129, he helped close out the Marine Corps instructor presence and aided in the transition of the FRS to VMAQT-1 at MCAS Cherry Point. Major Friedrick reported to VMAQT-1 in May of 2014 to continue instructing with the Banshees.
After the sundown of VMAQT-1 in June 2016, Major Friedrick reported again to VMAQ-3 as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. During this time, he deployed to Yuma, AZ ISO WTI-1-17 from September to October 2016 and then again to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from March to October 2017. He was assigned the Executive Officer for the Moondogs on 1 January 2018.
Major Friedrick holds a History degree from the US Naval Academy and is a graduate of Expeditionary Warfare School. He has flown over 2,000 hours in the EA-6B and has been designated a Mission Commander, Division Lead, Section Lead, NATOPS Instructor, Instrument Evaluator, FCF Standardization Officer, and Expeditionary LSO. His personal decorations include the Air Medal (14 Strike/Flight awards), the Joint Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.