Captain Estes was raised in Poland Spring, ME and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science in 1995. He reported to Pensacola FL and upon completion of jet training in Kingsville, TX, he received his “Wings of Gold” and reported to VAQ-129 for initial fleet replacement training in the EA-6B.
Captain Estes’ previous tours include command of the VAQ-137 Rooks. Where he completed their last EA-6B deployment and final cruise of the USS Enterprise and transitioned the Rooks to the EA-18G Growler. Other sea tours include two deployments with VAQ-135, Black Ravens aboard the USS Nimitz as Maintenance officer and Operations officer, West PAC deployment with CVW-2 as Airwing LSO, and two Mediterranean deployments aboard the USS Truman with the Zappers of VAQ-130, where he flew the first strike into Iraq during the Shock and Awe opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His shore assignments include: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Operations Directorate, J-3, where he served as Branch chief for Joint Electronic Warfare. FRS instructor duty in VAQ-129 and Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-6 C-4 Requirements division. He finished a successful command tour of the “Vikings” of VAQ-129, the EA-18G Fleet Replenishment Squadron. He assumed Deputy Command, Carrier Air Wing THREE in April 2018.
Captain Estes has accumulated over 2900 flight hours and over 750 arrested landings in the
EA-6B, F/A-18 E/F, EA-18G and training aircraft. He has numerous personal awards and various unit and campaign awards, including the 2014 Navy and Marine Association Captain Tom Ford Leadership Award, AIRPAC LSO of the Year, VAQ-129 Instructor of the Year, and “World’s Greatest Dad” Honors.