Commander Ben Cooper

Commanding Officer, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130

25 October 2020 A native of Redlands, California, Commander (CDR) Cooper graduated from Officer Candidate School in June 2002. CDR Cooper earned his Wings of Gold in February 2004.
Following initial EA-6B fleet replacement training, CDR Cooper reported to the Rooks of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE SEVEN in May 2005, where he deployed on USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM in 2006 and 2007. CDR Cooper was selected for the VAQ-137 Junior Officer Leadership Award in 2007.
In January 2008, CDR Cooper reported to VFA-106 in Virginia Beach, VA and transitioned to the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Following two years as a Strike Fighter instructor, he reported to VAQ-129 as an instructor at the EA-18G Growler FRS.  During this tour, CDR Cooper was selected to the second Growler Tactics Instructor Course in Fallon, Nevada and graduated in December 2011. Additionally, CDR Cooper was selected as the 2012 FRS Instructor of the Year.  
In May 2012, LCDR Cooper reported to the Black Ravens of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE FIVE as Training Officer and deployed to Bagram AFB, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. As Training Officer, CDR Cooper was selected as the 2013 Growler Tactics Instructor of the Year and helped the Black Ravens earn the 2014 COMVAQWINGPAC Tactical Squadron of the Year award.
In July 2014, CDR Cooper was assigned to the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE NINE as Department Head (DH). There he deployed on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. While serving as DH, CDR Cooper was selected the 2016 Commander Naval Air Forces Leadership Award recipient.
CDR Cooper reported to the J8, Capabilities and Resources Division, at US Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, NE in November 2016. In March 2017, CDR Cooper was selected for Operational VAQ Command, and assumed his assignment with VAQ-130 as Executive Officer in July 2019, helping to guide the command during 206 consecutive days at sea.  
CDR Cooper has accumulated over 2700 flight hours and 375 carrier arrested landings in the EA-6B, F/A-18F, and EA-18G. His decorations include the Individual Action Air Medal (One), Air Medal Strike/Flight (Six), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Three), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Three), and various unit, service and campaign awards. 
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