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MCAS Beaufort Leaders
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Leaders
MCAS Beaufort Executive Officer
Lieutenant Colonel James H. Banton, Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel Banton is a native of Chesterfield, Virginia and a 2000 graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in May 1998 and served as a Combat Engineer with C Co, 4th CEB until his commissioning in July 2000.  He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2004.  After completing AV-8B Harrier flight training at VMAT-203, MCAS Cherry Point, NC in May 2005 he transferred to Marine Air Group (MAG) 13, MCAS Yuma, AZ.

Captain Banton was attached to VMA-214 from June to August 2005 and VMA-311 from August 2005 to December 2008.  During this time he deployed in support of the 31st MEU and the 15th MEU.  He held multiple positions in the operations and maintenance departments and held the qualifications of Weapons Training Officer (WTO), Division Lead, Section Lead, and Basic Landing Signals Officer (LSO).

In December 2008, Capt Banton was transferred to 2d Bn, 2d Mar, Camp Lejeune, NC for duties as a Forward Air Controller (FAC).  He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2009 to May 2010.  During his time in the battalion he served multiple roles along with his FAC duties; Assistant Operations Officer, Golf Company Executive Officer, and Golf Company Battle Captain.

Captain Banton transferred to MAG-14, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in June 2010.  From June 2010 to July 2013, he was assigned to VMAT-203 for duties as an AV-8B Instructor Pilot.  He served as the Department of Safety and Standardization and was the NATOPS Program Manager for the AV-8B Harrier.  Along with his previous qualifications Major Banton earned his Advanced LSO, Night System Instructor, Post Maintenance Check Flight Pilot, and NATOPS Instructor qualifications.

In July 2013, Major Banton reported to VMA-223 to be the Assistant Detachment OIC for the 22D MEU Harrier Det. From February to October 2014, he deployed with the 22D MEU in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and other national mission tasking.  Upon return from the MEU, Major Banton reported to VMA-542 to serve as the squadron Operations Officer until May 2016.

In June 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Banton became the Deputy Director of 1st Joint Special Operations Air Component (JSOAC) Fires Directorate and was deployed in support of multiple Joint Task Force Operations.

On 5 April 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Banton assumed his current duties as the Executive Officer of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.