Commanding Officer (March 20, 2014 - Present) 

CDR Paul Bandini
Commanding Officer

CDR Paul Bandini is a native of Houston, Texas and a graduate of Texas A&M University. After his commissioning in May 1996, CDR Bandini reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin flight training earning his designation as a Naval Flight Officer in July 1997.

CDR Bandini served with the ‘RANGERS” of VQ-2 in Rota, Spain from September 1997 through 2000 where he served as Security Manager, PR/AME Branch Officer, NFO NATOPS Officer, primary NATOPS Navigator Instructor, primary NATOPS Senior Electronic Warfare Tactical Evaluator Instructor and Electronic Warfare Mission Commander. While at VQ-2, he flew over 1500 flight hours, 400 of which were combat reconnaissance missions over the skies of Kosovo and Serbia during Operation ALLIED FORCE. Other participations included Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH, JOINT GUARD, JOINT FORGE, NOBLE ANVIL, JOINT GUARDIAN, DECISIVE GUARDIAN and INCA GOLD. He was selected as the VQ-2 NFO of the Year for 2000.

Following his initial fleet tour, CDR Bandini reported to Training Squadron FOUR at NAS Pensacola for duty as a Flight Instructor for the intermediate jet phase of Navigator/NFO flight training flying the T-1 Jayhawk and T-39N/G Saberliner aircraft. While there, he served as the Public Affairs Officer and Flight Commander for the T-1/T-39 phase of intermediate flight training.

In June 2003, he joined the staff of Commander, US SEVENTH Fleet embarked aboard the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. CDR Bandini was assigned duties as the Assistant Joint Task Force Exercise Coordinator, Battle Watch Officer and Flag Aide to the Commander, US SEVENTH Fleet.

From May 2005 to September 2007, CDR Bandini attended the Naval Postgraduate School where he earned a Master’s of Science in Space Systems Operations. He is a member of the Navy's Space Cadre.

In November 2007, he reported to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE and as a World Watcher he served as the Weapons Tactics Instructor, Operations Officer and Officer in Charge for Combined Task Group 57.1 in the Central Command Area of Responsibility executing combat reconnaissance missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan during Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM.

Following his tour with VQ-1, CDR Bandini reported to U.S. Strategic Command JFCC Global Strike at Offutt AFB Nebraska where he served as the J6 Directorate C4I Branch Officer and Communications Watch Officer within the Global Operations Center. He also served as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, US Strategic Command and the Alternative Futures Branch Chief for the J9 Mission Assessment and Analysis Directorate.
He has logged over 2000 hours in various U.S. Navy aircraft. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (three strike flight awards, one individual action award), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various unit and campaign awards.
CDR Bandini reported to the “Talons” of VTC-12 as Executive Officer in November 2012 and assumed command on March 20, 2014.
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