Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
One One Six
NBVC Point Mugu, CA
A native of Tomball, Texas, Commander Nance is a Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1999, earning a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. After earning a Masters of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 2000, he earned his Aviator Wings in February of 2002 from Meridian, Mississippi then reported to VAW-120 in Norfolk, Virginia for initial fleet training in the E-2C Hawkeye.
In June 2003, Commander Nance reported to the “Wallbangers” of VAW-117 in Point Mugu, California where he deployed three times; twice with Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and the maiden “around the horn” voyage of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76). Commander Nance served as the Public Affairs Officer, Line Division Officer, NATOPS Officer, and Head Landing Signals Officer (LSO). He also graduated from the E-2C Advanced Mission Commander Course and earned consecutive squadron Pilot of the Year awards in 2004 and 2005.
In 2006, Commander Nance was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland and graduated with Class 131 in June 2007. Following graduation, he was assigned to VX-20 and moved to St. Augustine, Florida as a test pilot and project officer on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Integrated Test Team. He flew high-risk air vehicle tests until delivery of both prototype aircraft to Patuxent River in 2009. At VX-20, Commander Nance was Test Pilot of the Year for 2008.
In February 2010, Commander Nance returned to Point Mugu, California and reported as a Department Head to the “Sun Kings” of VAW-116 where he served as the Administrative Officer, Safety Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and Maintenance Officer. He completed two combat deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72), the latter of which was an “around the world” deployment.
In September 2012, Commander Nance reported to USSTRATCOM’s Functional Component for Space (JFCC SPACE) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California where he served as the J-33 Division Chief responsible for GPS, SATCOM, weather and ISR operations in support of the joint warfighter. During this tour, he earned a Space Systems Certificate from NPS and graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College.
He most recently served as Chief Staff Officer at Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing.
Commander Nance has accumulated over 3100 hours in 25 different aircraft and over 300 carrier arrested landings. A full Joint Qualified Officer and 2017 NASA Astronaut Candidate Finalist, his decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals as well as other unit, service, and campaign awards.