Captain Eric 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 is also a 2016 graduate of the National War College, with a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy.
Following designation as a Naval Aviator in August 1999, Captain Hanks began his operational career with the War Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 with deployments to the U.S. Europe and Southern Combatant Command areas of responsibility (AOR).
Subsequent operational tours include a tour as USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Catapult and Arresting Gear Division Officer; a department head tour with the Golden Eagles of VP-9 with combat deployments to U.S. Central and Pacific Combatant Command AORs; and a commanding officer tour with the Skinny Dragons of VP-4.
While commanding VP-4 forward deployed, he served as Commander Task Groups 67.1/3/5 leading anti-submarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in support of U.S. Europe and Africa Combatant Command assigned missions.
Captain Hanks’ shore assignments include a tour as an Advanced Maritime Instructor Pilot with Training Squadron 35; U.S. Africa Command Defense Sensitive Support Officer and Special Activities Officer; The Joint Staff J8- Studies, Analysis, and Gaming Division (SAGD) Deputy Division Chief and senior military wargame analyst; and most recently served as the Executive Assistant to the OPNAV Programming Division Director (N80).
Captain Hanks has amassed over 3,300 flight hours, and his personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and various other personal, unit, and service awards.