CDR. Raymond F. Barnes, USN
Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHT SEVEN
Commander Raymond “Pancho” Barnes, a native of Gorham, Maine, graduated cum laude from Daniel Webster College in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management and Flight Operations. He received his commission in January of 1998 upon completion of Officer Candidate School and was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2000. He is a 2006 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, where he was awarded an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree with distinction.
Upon completion of his initial F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron training, Commander Barnes reported to VFA-15 in September 2000 for his first operational fleet tour. Over the next three years, he completed two deployments with the Valions to the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. In 2001, he embarked with Carrier Air Wing 8 in USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and flew combat missions in support of Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom. In 2003, Commander Barnes served as a strike lead throughout the initial weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying missions from the deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
In November 2004, Commander Barnes departed for MCAS Miramar, where he served with the Sharpshooters of VMFAT-101 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor. While in San Diego, he enrolled in the Naval Postgraduate School’s EMBA program, and also completed JPME Phase I training through the Air Command and Staff College.
Commander Barnes next reported to Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, in September 2006 to serve as Flag Aide for Rear Admiral William McCarthy. After Admiral McCarthy’s retirement, Commander Barnes received orders to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management & Comptroller) staff, Office of Budget in July 2007, for a two-year tour as budget analyst.
Returning to the cockpit in April 2009, Commander Barnes reported to the Blue Blasters of VFA-34 as a department head, where he completed a Western Pacific / FIFTH Fleet deployment on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), leading combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. In November 2011, he reported for a joint assignment on the staff of Director, Joint Interagency Task Force South, where he served as Battle Watch Captain and Joint Operations Center Officer-in-Charge.
In April 2014, Commander Barnes reported to the Golden Warriors of VFA-87 as the Executive Officer.
Commander Barnes has flown over 2,200 flight hours and logged over 450 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Air Medal with “V”, the Strike/Flight Air Medal with numeral “2”, the Navy Commendation Medal with “V” and three gold stars, the Navy Achievement Medal and several campaign and unit awards. He is married to the former Angel Essary of Virginia Beach, Virginia and has one daughter, Presley.