An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 “Vampires”

Captain Charles Fairbank

Commanding Officer, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9

Photo By: 240322-N-CO554-1001.JPG
VIRIN: 240322-N-CO554-1001

Captain Fairbank, a native of Philadelphia, PA and the Eastern Shore of Maryland was commissioned in 2000 after earning a B.S in History from the United States Naval Academy. Designated as a Naval Flight Officer in 2002, CDR Fairbank reported to NAS Whidbey Island to train in the venerable EA-6B Prowler. In June 2003 he joined the Scorpions of VAQ-132 where he deployed on board USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of 7th Fleet Operations.

In 2006 he was selected for and completed the Electronic Attack Weapons School Prowler Tactics Instructor course and a reported for duty to VAQ-129 as an EA-6B FRS Instructor. In 2009 he reported to Carrier Airwing NINE as the Electronic Warfare / Future Ops officer and deployed on board USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) to the Western Pacific. In 2010, deployed with VAQ-140 on Board USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

In 2011 he returned to VAQ-140 for his Department Head tour where he served as Administration, Operations and Maintenance officer. During his VAQ-140 tour, the squadron deployed to Aviano AB, Italy in support of Operations ODDESSY DAWN/UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya. Upon return from Italy, VAQ-140 was immediately turned around and deployed twice more on board USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) before finally returning home to begin its transition to the EA-18G in July of 2013.

In the fall of 2013 CAPT Fairbank attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI earning his Master of Arts (with distinction) in National Security and Strategic Studies, as well as his JPME Phase I training. Following War College, CDR Fairbank reported for duty to the Joint Staff in December 2014 where he was assigned to the Joint Operational War Plans Division of the Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) Directorate with a specialty in CENTCOM, EUCOM and SOCOM areas of responsibility.

CAPT Fairbank reported to the VAQ-131 Lancers as Executive Officer in January of 2018 and in Jun 2019, assumed command of the squadron. During the COVID pandemic, CAPT Fairbank led the Lancers through a rapid transformation, as the squadron transitioned from CWV-8 to expeditionary operations. Following a compressed turnaround and training period, the Lancers deployed to the western pacific in support of 7th Fleet operations. Following a deployed change of command, CAPT Fairbank reported to OPNAV N98 as the Next Generation Jammer /Airborne Electronic Attack Requirements Officer in August 2020, where he was responsible for the resourcing and requirements of 4 different ACAT-1 programs. In the fall of 2022, CAPT Fairbank was selected for Aviation Major Command and will report to VX-9 as Commanding Officer in March of 2024.

During his career, CAPT Fairbank has accumulated over 3000 flight hours and nearly 600 arrested landings on 10 different Aircraft Carriers.

He is married to Maria, a senior medical writer who holds a PhD in Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of British Columbia. They are the proud parents of ten-year-old daughter, Maggie and five-year old son Charlie. The Fairbanks live in Ridgecrest, CA.


Captain Charles Fairbank

Commanding Officer, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9

Captain Matthew “Brasso” Davin

Chief Operational Test Director, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9

Command Master Chief Jason M. Chadderton

Command Master Chief, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon