Rear Admiral Sandra Adams mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan in 2010. Based in Kabul, she served as the senior advisor to an Afghan minister of defense lieutenant general and his staff. Her first flag assignment was as the Reserve deputy commander, Navy Region Midwest. She was selected for her current assignment as the deputy commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command as of October 2012.
Adams transitioned to the Navy Reserve (NR) in 1986 serving with NR Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity Detachment 219, Long Beach, Calif. In 1990, she transferred to Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 105. The unit was recalled to active duty and deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm where it provided harbor security for the U.S. Army's logistics seaport.
She served as the commanding officer of five units and on numerous operational staff positions including at Naval Coastal Warfare Group One; NR Navy Command Center Det. 106; NR Commander, Naval Forces Korea Headquarters; and, U.S. Joint Forces Command.