[ Commanding Officer | Executive Officer | Command Master Chief ]___________________________________________________________________
Commander Craig Bangor, a native of Gaithersburg, Maryland, earned his Naval Commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1996. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with merit from the Naval Academy and later that year was awarded a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Wings of Gold in June of 1998 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL and was selected to fly the F-14 Tomcat.
In July 1998 CDR Bangor reported to the Grim Reapers of VF-101, stationed aboard NAS Oceana, Virginia, for training as an F-14B Radar Intercept Officer. Upon completion of the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) syllabus, he was assigned to the World Famous Red Rippers of VF-11, deploying twice with Carrier Air Wing SEVEN onboard USS EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67). While assigned to VF-11, he participated in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, and ENDURING FREEDOM and was designated a Forward Air Controller (Airborne).
Following his first fleet tour, Commander Bangor transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and served as an Instructor Weapon Systems Officer with the Flying Eagles of VFA-122 at NAS Lemoore, CA. He was then selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) at NAS Fallon, NV and move back to NAS Oceana as part of the instructor cadre that established the East Coast Super Hornet FRS under the Gladiators of VFA-106.
Following instructor duty, he served with Carrier Air Wing ONE (CVW-1) as Air Wing Strike and Air Operations Officer deployed onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). While assigned to CVW-1, he deployed twice supporting Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.
In November 2007, Commander Bangor was assigned to The Swordsmen of VFA-32 as a Department Head, serving as the Safety, Administrative, Operations, and Maintenance Officer. During this tour, he deployed onboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75), supporting Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. In addition, he completed the United States Naval War College, College of Distance Education’s Command and Staff program, earning his Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I education.
After his Department Head tour, Commander Bangor attended the Joint & Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, earning his JPME Phase II education. He then reported to United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) in Norfolk, VA and served as an action officer and Deputy Director, J68. Upon USJFCOM disestablishment, he reported as Operations Planner to the Joint Planning Support Element, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, United States Transportation Command.
Commander Bangor has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours and more that 500 carrier arrested landings. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and other campaign, service, and unit awards.
Commander Bangor's service is made possible by the loving support of his family.