COMMANDER ERIC M. HANKS
UNITED STATES NAVY
Commander Hanks, a native of Jennings, LA, is a 1997 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He earned his Wings of Gold in August 1999.
Following P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron training at Patrol Squadron THIRTY, he reported to his first assignment to the "War Eagles" of Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN where he completed two deployments flying operational missions from Iceland, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Spain, Italy, and Greece. He held various positions in the squadron to include Aircraft Division Officer, Strike Pilot, and Pilot Training Officer.
In October 2003, Commander Hanks reported to Training Squadron THIRTY-FIVE in Corpus Christi, TX, as an Advanced Maritime Instructor Pilot flying the TC-12 aircraft. He served as Student Flight Division Officer, NATOPS/Standardization Officer, and the Instructor Under Training Program Manager.
In June 2006, he reported to the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) in Norfolk, VA, serving as Air Department Administration Officer (V-0), Aviation Fuels Officer (V-4), and Catapult and Arresting Gear Division Officer (V-2). He directed carrier flight deck operations as a "Shooter" and as a qualified "Mini-Boss" in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Commander Hanks reported to the "Golden Eagles" of Patrol Squadron NINE as a Department Head in April 2009, and deployed in 2010 to Isa Air Base, Bahrain, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and then to Okinawa, Japan, in support of U.S. SEVENTH Fleet tasking. He served as Command Services Officer, Safety Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Detachment Officer in Charge. He detached in February 2011, and reported to U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
At U.S. Africa Command, he served in the J3-Operations Directorate as the Defense Sensitive Support Officer, Focal Point Control Officer, and Special Activities Officer. In support of NATO led operations in Libya, he served as the U.S. Africa Command liaison officer to the NATO Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR. He detached from U.S. Africa Command in June 2013 to report for duty as Executive Officer with the "Skinny Dragons" of Patrol Squadron FOUR.
Commander Hanks has amassed over 3,000 flight hours, and his personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (4), Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.
He resides in Kaneohe, HI, with his wife, Renee, and their two wonderful children: Lindsay and Hunter.