Gregory D. Byers
Commander, Unites States Navy
A native of San Diego, California, Commander Gregory Byers graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in July 1993 through Aviation Officer Candidate School. After completing flight training at VT-28 in Corpus Christi, Texas and HT-8 in Pensacola, Florida, he was designated a Naval Aviator and transferred to the SH-60F/H Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), HS-10, at NAS North Island, California.
Upon completion of FRS training, he reported to the “Eightballers” of HS-8 where he served from March 1996 to January 1999. While at HS-8 he served as Public Affairs Officer, Schedules Officer, AV/ARM and Aircraft Division Officers, and finally as Tactics Officer. CDR Byers made two deployments with HS-8 onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) the second of which being an around the world cruise in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
In August of 1998, CDR Byers was selected for jet transition training and reported to NAS Meridian, Mississippi in February of 1999 for Intermediate and Advanced Strike training. After completing training with VT-9 and VT-7 in June of 2000, CDR Byers was re-designated a Strike Naval Aviator and transferred to the EA-6B FRS, VAQ-129, at NAS Whidbey Island WA.
After completing his initial Prowler FRS training in July of 2001 CDR Byers transferred to the “Patriots” of VAQ-140. While at VAQ-140, he served as Plans Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Personnel Officer. CDR Byers made one deployment onboard USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CV 67) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In March of 2003 he was selected for flight instructor duty and reported to VAQ-129 where he served as the Safety Department Head. He also performed duties as a BAM Instructor, NATOPS Instructor, and Standardization Checker.
In October of 2004, CDR Byers reported to VAQ-132 for his department head tour where he served as Quality Assurance Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer before assuming duties as the Operations Officer. He joined the squadron on deployment onboard USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CV 67) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While with the “Scorpions” he also made expeditionary deployments to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan and Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.
In May of 2007, CDR Byers reported to the Pentagon for duty on the CNO’s staff in the Air Warfare Directorate (N88) to serve as the Assistant EA-6B/EA-18G Requirements Officer. While at N88, the EA-18G completed Developmental Test and Operational Evaluation and the decision was made to enter full rate production. CDR Byers also helped organize and was a participant in the Next Generation Jammer Analysis of Alternatives.
In August 2010 CDR Byers reported to VAQ-134 as the Executive Officer and began work-ups for the first carrier based deployment for the Garudas in 16 years. In June of 2011, VAQ-134 completed the seven month deployment onboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN.
CDR Byers has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (three strike/flight awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards). He has accumulated over 3000 hours of flight time in eight different naval aircraft.