Commander Eric C. Thompson is from Las Cruces, New Mexico and is a 2000 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He began pilot training in 2001 and was designated as a Naval Aviator at NAS Meridian, Mississippi in June of 2003. After earning his “Wings of Gold”, he reported to the VFA-106 “Gladiators” for initial F/A-18C Hornet training at NAS Oceana, Virginia.
In July of 2004, Commander Thompson joined the “Stingers” of VFA-113 in Lemoore, California. He completed a Western Pacific deployment on board the USS JOHN C. STENNIS and a deployment on board the USS RONALD REAGAN in support of coalition ground forces participating in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as well as a follow on surge deployment to the Western Pacific.
After completing his initial sea tour, CDR Thompson was selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School in Fallon, Nevada. In July of 2007, Commander Thompson reported to the “Rough Raiders” of VFA-125 as an instructor pilot.
In March of 2010 Commander Thompson was hand-picked as the Aide de Camp to RADM David “Deke” Philman, the Director of Air Warfare (OPNAV N-88) in the Pentagon, Washington, DC.
In May of 2011, Commander Thompson reported to the “Rampagers” of VFA-83 as a Department Head. While attached to the Rams, he deployed with CVW-7 onboard the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER for two back-to-back deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.
In January of 2014, Commander Thompson reported to USSTRATCOM Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD) as a watch commander.
In June of 2016, he checked into VFA-106 for refresher training in the F/A-18C and reported back aboard the “Rampagers” as the Executive Officer in May of 2017. He assumed command of the squadron in August of 2018.
Commander Thompson has amassed over 2200 flight hours and more than 500 carrier arrested landings. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Strike Flight Air Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, and various individual, campaign, and unit awards.