U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy
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Commanding Officer

Richard Knittig

Captain Richard Knittig graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Culver-Stockton College in 1987 and subsequently earned a Master of Biology degree from Saint Louis University in 1989. He was commissioned in the Naval Reserve through the Health Professions Scholarship Program in 1990 and attended medical school at the University of Missouri. He graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Frank and Ena Hickerson Rhoads Medical Scholarship.

Captain Knittig was assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA for his Transitional Internship and the University of Missouri for his Obstetrics/Gynecologic Residency. During that time, he also served as a staff physician and operating room division head for Fleet Hospital 500. Upon graduation in 1998, he served consecutive department head tours at Charleston Naval Hospital, SC and U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy.

Following selection for residency in Aerospace Medicine, Captain Knittig earned a Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004. He completed his advanced aeromedical training and subsequently served as a clinical consultant at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, FL. He reported to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as the Senior Medical Officer in July 2007, where he deployed with Carrier Strike Group Eight in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his tour, the Health Services Department was awarded consecutive Medical Force Protection Blue awards for medical excellence.

Captain Knittig reported to Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL in July 2009 where he served on the Board of Directors as Director of Surgical Services, followed by Interim Executive Officer. Knittig reported to U.S. Naval Branch Health Clinic Bahrain in January 2012 where he served as Officer in Charge and provided direct support to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He reported to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy in February 2014 and served as the Chairman, Medical Executive Committee. Captain Knittig went on to serve as Executive Officer of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan from July 2016 to June 2018. He returned to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy in July 2018 to serve as Commanding Officer of the largest naval hospital in Europe.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit medals and ribbons.


Executive Officer

Thomas J. Piner

A native of San Diego, California, Captain (CAPT) Piner enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1994. During his enlistment he served as All-Source Intelligence Analyst for the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade and the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific. While enlisted, CAPT Piner earned a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. Shortly thereafter he accepted a direct commission into the U.S. Navy as a Medical Service Corps officer.

In August 1999, he reported to Naval Hospital Lemoore, California and assumed various leadership positions including department head of Managed Care, division officer of a remote flight line clinic, and Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence Officer.

In February 2002, CAPT Piner was appointed as the Medical Administration Officer/Radiation Health Officer aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN-68). During his assignment the ship deployed for eight months to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For outstanding performance, the ship received the “Battle E” award and the coveted “Blue M” award for Medical Readiness. During the tour, he achieved qualifications as a Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer.

In June 2004, CAPT Piner was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California for a Master of Science degree in Operations Research. His follow-on assignment was at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), Directorate for Resource Management to provide advanced quantitative analysis. During this time, he assumed the Associate Comptroller position.

In November 2010, he reported to Naval Hospital Lemoore as the Director for Resource Management. Shortly after arriving, he received orders to Task Force Medical South/NATO Role 3 Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan as the Comptroller and Logistics Officer for all Navy medical units in Southern Afghanistan.

Following a competitive selection process, CAPT Piner was selected as the Director for Administration, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan. As the chair of the Environment of Care (EOC) Committee he led the hospital through the Joint Commission Survey and received a perfect score in the EOC, Life Safety, and Emergency Management assessment.

In 2015, he was selected as the Director for Resource Management of NMCSD. As a key member of the executive leadership team, he provided guidance and oversight of over one billion dollars in resources annually. During this tour he was selected as Specialty Leader for the Financial Management community and was responsible for the assignment, career development, and mentoring of 80 comptrollers.

Currently he serves as the Executive Officer at Naval Hospital Naples, the largest Naval Hospital in Europe with branches in Italy and Germany, providing world class care to over 9,000 enrolled beneficiaries and over 29,000 operational forces in the EUCOM, AFRICOM, and CENTCOM areas of responsibility.

CAPT Piner’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medals from the Joint Services, Army, and the Navy, and various service awards. He is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and a Certified Defense Financial Manager.


Master Chief Petty Officer

Sean Howe

Master Chief Howe is a native of Stoughton Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Central High School in Manchester, New Hampshire and began his naval career at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida in January 1993.

In April 1993, he reported to Nuclear Field 'A' School in Orlando, Florida. Upon completion of 'A' School he was advanced to Petty Officer Third Class. In November 1993 he reported to Nuclear Power School, also in Orlando, Florida. After graduation, he transferred to Ballston Spa, NY for Naval Nuclear Prototype training, where he finished first in his rate and third in his class overall.

After graduation in January 1995, he reported to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Norfolk, Virginia, where he completed two Mediterranean deployments, earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist device, and advanced to Petty Officer Second Class.

In January 1998, he returned to Ballston Spa, NY for Instructor Duty. He was assigned to the S8G Prototype, where he qualified Engineering Watch Supervisor, was selected as the S8G Senior Sailor of the Quarter, and advanced to Petty Officer First Class.

While stationed in New York, Master Chief Howe earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from New School University. He applied and was accepted into the submarine community and reported to the USS Columbus (SSN 762), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 2001. While on board the Columbus, serving as the Reactor Controls Division Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) he completed two Western Pacific deployments, earned his "Dolphins", and advanced both to Chief Petty Officer and Senior Chief Petty Officer.

In April 2006, Master Chief Howe left the nuclear program and transferred to Naval Submarine Support Command (NSSC) in Bangor, Washington to await a new assignment. While serving at NSSC he qualified as Command Duty Officer, served as a refit coordinator for two SBBN submarines coordinating over 250,000 man hours of maintenance, and coordinated emergency repairs for one Los Angeles Class submarine, allowing her to complete her mission.

In September 2008, now serving as a Surface Electronics Technician, Master Chief Howe reported to the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, San Diego for an Individual Augmentee assignment in Iraq. He arrived at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in October, where he served as the Contractor Accountability/Iraqi Based Industrial Zone (IBIZ) LCPO and Operations Department LCPO, participating in numerous Key Leader engagements in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom objectives and managing over 6000 Iraqi, Third Country National, and American Contractors on base.

In May 2009, he returned to San Diego, completed 3M Maintenance School earning his 9517 NEC, and reported to the USS Pinckney to serve as the 3MC. He completed two Western Pacific deployments, was selected for the Command Senior Chief program and advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer in May 2012.

Master Chief Howe served as the Command Master Chief for HSC-22 and of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81). In January 2018, he reported as the Command Master Chief of U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy.

CO Logo

USNH Naples Commanding Officer’s Guidance:

Our mission is to promote, protect and restore the readiness, health, and well-being of those entrusted to our care.

Readiness is our Focus. We Keep Warfighters in the Fight.

Accomplishing this mission requires that:

We Deliver
  • Mission capability. Meeting the needs of those who go into harm's way by delivering on Navy Medicine's strategy of Readiness, Culture, Human Capital, and Partnerships in the Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia theaters of operations. Readiness includes contingency planning, training, and our individual ability to go forward soonest with confidence and technical expertise. This technical expertise must be at all levels. We train to our mission capabilities.
  • Compassionate, safe, and high-quality healthcare. In healthcare we hold a sacred trust between staff, patients, families, and our community. Earn trust at every encounter. Think safety in every action. Ensure accountability and quality through critical assessments.
  • Ambassadorship in health and the community. We will strive to improve the overall health of our community through focused prevention. Collectively, we will honorably represent the U.S. Navy and lean forward as positive role models in our host nations.
We Lead
  • By our Navy's Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Every member of this Navy command is a leader; every Navy leader lives by the Core Values.
  • By the 6 Pillars. We will accelerate meeting standards and high reliability through adoption of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program's 6 Pillars: Integrity, Procedural Compliance, Questioning Attitude, Forceful Back-Up, Formality, and Level of Knowledge.
  • By taking care of ourselves, our Shipmates, and our families. Ask for help in your personal and professional life if you need it and actively help others who are in need. Take care of your families as they are critical to our organizational success and well-being.
We Learn
  • As individuals. Learning is lifelong, and we must be invested Accelerate professional competence through self-improvement, self awareness, and self-study.
  • As a team. No team member is more important than the other. Embrace constructive feedback and speak up, especially when it is hard Continuously improve from lessons learned. Transparently communicate and generously share information.

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Italian Mailing Address:

U.S. Naval Hospital,
Ospedale Marina USA
Via Contrada Boscariello
Gricignano di Aversa (CE) 81030

Contact us:

+39 081 811 6000/1
PAO: +39 081 811 6832 (DSN 629-6832)
Protocol Officer: +39-081-811-6079

Mailing Address:

U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy
PSC 827 Box 1000
FPO AE 09617-1000
DSN: 314-629-6000/1
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