VP-4 Changes Command
LTJG Alexandra Lewis
Patrol Squadron Four Public Affairs Officer.
Commander Eric M. Hanks relieved Commander M. Brett Thompson as Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) on June 18, 2014. The ceremony was held at Hangar 104 on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
Commander Thompson, originally from Charleston, South Carolina, reported to VP-4 in March 2013 and became the squadron’s 64th Commanding Officer in August, 2013. Commander Thompson masterfully led the “Skinny Dragons” to exceptional levels of operational success. An inspirational leader with visionary foresight, he ensured maximum operational readiness during a dynamic Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycle in preparation for a multi-site SIXTH Fleet deployment. Under his direction, the squadron conducted a flawless Fleet Response Training Plan, executed 750 sorties encompassing 3,366 flight hours with an impressive 95% mission completion rate, surpassing 41 years and 250,000 hours of mishap-free flying. It is with heavy hearts that the squadron bids him farewell. Commander Thompson will continue his career in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii at U.S. Pacific Command. He and his sons, Michael and Kyle are thrilled for the opportunity to continue island life. When asked about his time serving as Commanding Officer, he stated, “This has been the absolute most rewarding tour in my entire nineteen year career. The men and women of VP-4 are professional, hard-working Americans. I am beyond proud of each and every one of them. The Skinny Dragon ohana are the greatest sailors I have ever served with.”
Commander Hanks reported to VP-4 in August 2013 as the Executive Officer. A native of Jennings, Louisiana, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 and went on to earn his Wings of Gold in August 1999. His previous flying tours include assignments to VP-16, VT-35 as an Advanced Maritime Instructor Pilot, and VP-9 as a Department Head. Commander Hanks’ additional tours included a tour on the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT and the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany where he served in the J3-Operations.
Commander Hanks lives in Kailua with his wife, Renee, and they have two children, Lindsay and Hunter. When asked about becoming the newest Skinny Dragon Skipper, Commander Hanks enthusiastically commented, “I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Skinny Dragons into this upcoming deployment. I have the utmost confidence in their ability to excel and masterfully complete the mission..”
Replacing Commander Hanks as Executive Officer is Commander Jon E.. He also graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997. He reports after working for the Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisition, Joint Staff in Washington D.C. CDR Spore is married to the former Jennifer Stites of Jacksonville, Florida, and they have three children, Mitchell, Landon, and Marian.