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Bunnay commands Whidbey's first Growler squadron

Cmdr. Scott A. Bunnay will take command Friday of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station
Cmdr. Scott A. Bunnay will take command Friday of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station's first operational Growler squadron.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

Cmdr. Scott A. Bunnay takes command of Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) Scorpions April 24, relieving Cmdr. Matthew R. Vandersluis at a change of command ceremony in Hangar 12 at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

Kim Martin, public information officer, said in a news release that "Bunnay will lead the Scorpions into the first operational deployment of the new Growler airframe, continuing the legacy of excellence in airborne electronic attack so vital to our nation’s defense."

The Growler is coming on-line to replace the venerable Prowler that has handled the bulk of the nation's electronic warfare duties for decades.

Guest of honor and speaker at Friday's ceremony is Capt. Andrew S. Whitson, Commander Carrier Air Wing 17. Vandersluis’ next assignment is Aviation Community Manager at Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tenn.

"The VAQ-132 Scorpions are poised and ready to complete our transition to the EA-18G Growler, “ said Bunnay, who served 11 months as the squadron's executive officer before assuming command. “And will then tackle the challenges involved with the advancement of airborne electronic attack."

Originally from Castro Valley, Calif., Bunnay is a 1991 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, achieving a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. Following his commissioning, he entered pilot training at Meridian, Miss., and pinned on wings in July 1994.

After completing EA-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron training in VAQ-129, he was assigned to the Black Ravens of VAQ-135 for his first fleet tour, also stationed at NAS Whidbey Island.

As a Black Raven, he participated in Operation Southern Watch aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and Operations Southern Watch and Desert Fox aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Afterward, he enjoyed a six-month stint at the 5th ATAF CAOC in Vincenza, Italy in support of Operation Allied Force before returning to VAQ-129 in 1999 as a flight instructor.

In May 2003, Bunnay began his department head tour with the Gauntlets of VAQ-136 in Atsugi, Japan. He deployed with USS Kitty Hawk and flew in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

In December 2004, he reported to the Joint Staff Directorate for C4 at the Pentagon as an Action Officer, meanwhile earning his Master of Science Degree in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia.

While there, Bunnay was selected for Aviation Command and subsequently served as Executive Officer of VAQ-129, his last tour before joining VAQ-132 in June 2008.

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