Capt Randy “Bubba” Bannister USN (Ret)
Randy Bannister, Captain, U.S. Navy, retired, a native of Belton, South Carolina, is Customer Support and Liaison Representative with the E-2 /C-2 Aircraft Program of the Aerospace Systems Sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation. A 1977 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he spent most of his 28 year Navy career as a Naval Flight Officer in the E-2B and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft accumulating almost 4000 flight hours. He had three fleet squadron tours in the Hawkeye including VAW 117 on USS RANGER and USS ENTERPRISE, VAW 114 on USS CARL VINSON and VAW 112, which he commanded, on USS NIMITZ. During these squadron tours he made six deployments to the Western Pacific and Southwest Asia, including a deployment in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq, and numerous counter-drug detachments to Central America and the Caribbean Ocean. Between his first and second fleet squadron tours he was a weapon system and advanced tactics instructor in the E-2B and E-2C aircraft with VAW 110, the west coast Hawkeye training squadron at NAS Miramar, CA. Following his tour as commanding officer of VAW 112, he commanded the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapon School (CAEWWS), the Hawkeye Community advanced tactics training command. His final Navy tour was as Commodore of Airborne Early Warning Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, where he was responsible for the readiness and management of all carrier-based airborne early warning/battle management (E-2C Hawkeye) and logistics (C-2A Greyhound) aircraft in the Pacific Fleet. During his tour as wing commander he relocated the wing from NAS Miramar to NAS Point Mugu, CA. Other tours in his naval career were spent as a student at the U. S. Naval War College (Distinguished Graduate), an action officer in the Current Operations Directorate (J-3) on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Executive Assistant to Commander, Naval Air Forces. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit (2 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal and numerous service and unit awards. In 1984 he was selected as “Hawkeye of the Year,” the annual award to the top junior officer in the Hawkeye Community. In addition to a BS from the U. S. Naval Academy and an MA in National Defense and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, he has an MBA from National University and an MA in Foreign Relations from Salve Regina University. After retiring from the Navy in 2000 he joined Northrop Grumman Corporation where he provides corporate representation and customer/product support services to the E-2/C-2 program in Naval Air Systems Command (PMA 231) and to the Hawkeye and Greyhound Fleet Community to ensure the readiness and sustainment of E-2 and C-2 aircraft in the Fleet. He and his wife Cheryl live in Bryantown, Maryland. They have one son, Daniel, who lives in San Diego with his wife Eryn and daughter Kinsley.