Capt. Raymond "Pancho" Barnes, a native of Gorham, Maine, graduated cum laude from Daniel Webster College in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation management and flight operations. He received his commission in January 1998 upon completion of Officer Candidate School and was designated a naval aviator in January 2000. He is a 2006 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, where he was awarded an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree with distinction, and a 2016 graduate of the NATO Defense College Senior Course.
Barnes' operational sea duty assignments have included tours with the "Valions" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15, deploying in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; the "Blue Blasters" of VFA-34, deploying in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn; the "Golden Warriors" of VFA-87 as executive officer and commanding officer, deploying in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve; and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as operations officer, deploying in support of Operations Freedom's Sentinel, Inherent Resolve and Deliberate Resolve.
Barnes' shore assignments include tours with the "Sharpshooters" of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101 as a fleet replacement squadron instructor; Operational Test and Evaluation Force as flag aide; Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management & Comptroller), Office of Budget as budget analyst; Joint Interagency Task Force South as battle watch captain and Joint Operations Center officer-in-charge; and the Naval Postgraduate School as Military Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Defense Management and director of the university's COVID-19 Task Force.
Barnes has flown over 2,600 flight hours and logged 560 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Air Medal with "V", Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with "V", Navy Achievement Medal and various campaign and unit awards. He was recognized by his peers aboard John C. Stennis with the 2018-2019 CNAF Leadership Award.