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Captain Eric Illston

CAPT Eric “Crash” Illston is a native of Woodinville, Washington.  He attended the University of Puget Sound, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, and earned his commission through Officer Candidate School in 1996 in Pensacola, Florida. Following flight training in Kingsville, Texas, he was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1999 and reported to VAQ-129 for fleet replacement training in the EA-6B Prowler.
Captain Illston’s fleet assignments include the “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141; Carrier Air Wing NINE, where he served as Air Wing Landing Signals Officer; and the “Patriots” of VAQ-140, where he completed his department head tour; deploying onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71), USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN 74), and USS DWIGHT D EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.
Shore assignments have included duty at the EA-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron as an Instructor Pilot and Carrier Qualification Phase Head; at Navy Personnel Command as the VAQ and VS Assignments Officer; and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J-5, Global Policy and Partnerships).
Captain Illston served his command tour with the “Zappers” of VAQ-130, deploying with Carrier Air Wing THREE onboard USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  During his tenure, the “Zappers” were awarded the Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award and the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award.
Captain Illston’s personal decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, five Strike/Flight Air Medals with Combat V, multiple Navy and Marine Corps Commendation and Achievement Medals, and various unit campaign and service awards.

Last Updated: 9 February 2021

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