Chief Warrant Officer Three Rodney "Sunshine" Poynter is a helicopter pilot on the Nathan James.
Before the Red Flu outbreak, Sunshine was raised by his father who was a U.S. Navy pilot who flew a Huey during the Vietnam War. Sunshine eventually followed in his father's footsteps and became a pilot for the U.S. Navy too. Sunshine retired from the Navy twice but returned to the service both times. Sunshine was eventually assigned to the Nathan James as their helicopter pilot at some time before or during the Red Rust outbreak.
Events of The Last ShipEdit
Sunshine is first seen piloting a Huey to extract Vulture Team after they are ambushed by Omar's men while trying to protect Mahmoud Zeddam and he tells Kathleen that it is go time. Sunshine arrives at the secondary extraction point and tells them he will be landing in thirty seconds so they better hurry. Sunshine lands the helicopter and picks everyone, including Mahmoud, up and returns to the Nathan James. When they are attacked at their base in Rota, Spain, Sunshine mans one of the sentries on the Nathan James to repel Omar's men on Capt. Meylan's orders. (“In Medias Res”)
Back on the Nathan James, Sunshine argues with the new Cheng, Lt Comm. Duff, over not being able to find a working Seahawk helicopter and the lack of JP-5 fuel for their current Huey. After they are done talking, Sunshine notices Nolan talking with BM3 Diaz, and smiles as he realizes the two have crushes on each other. When the Nathan James loses propulsion just as fall under attack from a missile battery, Sunshine orders Kathleen to help him, Meylan and O'Connor to remove the engine from the helo to jump start the Nathan James. They reach the engine room and Sunshine says he hopes what powers the helicopter can power the ship. After some improvised modifications, Sunshine tells the others they will need to pull from the power source to make this work based on how the helicopter works. Their plan works and the Nathan James' power is restored and they destroy the missile battery. (“The Pillars of Hercules”)
Sunshine flies the tactical team to Oran, Algeria to search for Mahmoud's family that has the seeds. Sunshine radios the Nathan James saying he is roughly twenty minutes away from Oran and eventually lands on the southern road leading to Oran. Sunshine flies them back after Sasha tags Omar with a tracer when he finds the seeds first and later flies them to Sardinia Island to steal the Elaeis Virilis seeds. Sunshine pilots the helo just offshore in preparation to extract Vulture and Cobra Teams after they find the seeds. After everyone returns to the beach, Sunshine reports that he can't find Capt. Slattery. (“Bread and Circuses”)
Fletcher radios Sunshine asking if he found Slattery, and Sunshine tells him his local search turned up nothing and his heading to the primary extraction point. Sunshine tries to land the helicopter when mercenaries working for Giorgio Vellek, the buyer's son, open fire on them. Kathleen tries to kill them all but there are too many and as a result, they retreat to the secondary extraction point. After Slattery is discovered to be at the cathedral, Sunshine heads over to prepare for a high latitude extraction at the top of the cathedral. But when they get to the coast they are targeted by a Hellenic Navy warship, and Sunshine move to evade their fire control radars.
Sunshine eventually has to hide behind the mountains to avoid being targeted and tells the Nathan James they'll need to leave in order to pick everyone up and the Nathan James decides to play decoy. When Nathan James is ready with their plan, Sunshine heads to the cathedral again and sees them being targeted again but the Nathan James intercepts a missile the Greek warship fires with one of its own. Sunshine reaches the cathedral and rescues everyone while Kathleen covers them with the .50 caliber machine gun and Sunshine flies back to the Nathan James. (“Nostos”)
When the Nathan James intercepts a distress call from a trawler ship called the El Alamein, Sunshine pilots the helicopter to recon the ship before Vulture Team boards it. Sunshine reports to the Nathan James and Vulture Team that the ship appears to be dead in the water and confirms it through the spotlight attached on the helicopter. Sunshine advises Vulture Team to approach from the port side after clearing the deck and Sunshine lets his co-pilot, Razor takes control of the helicopter. Sunshine reports that Vulture team has given them the all clear and returns to the Nathan James with the refugees being taken aboard too through the rim boats. Sunshine later hears Tom Chandler's swearing in ceremony after he is recommissioned as a Captain in the U.S. Navy. (“Allegiance”)
After Fletcher betrays the Americans on orders from his country, steals the seeds for Dr. Vellek, and jumps off the Nathan James into the Mediterranean Sea, Sunshine tries to find him piloting the helicopter. Sunshine asks Kathleen if she sees him but when she responds that she doesn't, Sunshine reports to the Nathan James that they can't find him and requests to return to the ship, which is granted. (“Tempest”)
Sunshine takes a tactical from the Nathan James to the island of Kelos to gather intel on the Greek warships and later extracts them back to the Nathan James. (“Lazaretto”)
As the Nathan James crew prepares to fight three Greek warships to get the seeds back, Sunshine tells Razor to get the hellfire missiles secured and it is almost time to head out. Sunshine later smiles when Miller gives Kathleen the call sign "Cupid" for shooting her arrow into Diaz' heart. Sunshine is sent to investigate when the Nathan James hears one of the ships on sonar. Sunshine orders Razor to confirm all radar systems are off and Kathleen to keep an eye out for enemy ship, saying if she sees more than the top of their mast they are too close. After Kathleen spots three Greek warships, Sunshine radios back to the Nathan James and tells Kathleen to confirm what she saw. Kathleen confirms it and reports their movements to the Nathan James. When the Nathan James gives Sunshine their battle plan, Sunshine orders Razor to turn on their radar systems and tells Kathleen to prepare herself. Sunshine fires a hellfire missile at the warship in the middle ship and when it breaks formation to engage the helicopter, Sunshine dodges a missile the warship fires at them.
It is determined based on how the Greeks reacted that there is another warship hiding with the seeds onboard. So while the Nathan James engages the three warships, Sunshine starts a grid search looking for the fourth ship. Kathleen eventually spots the fourth ship and Sunshine reports this to the Nathan James. When the Nathan James destroys two of the warships and engages the third, Sunshine orders Razor to fire a missile at the fourth ship carrying the seeds to slow it down. But before she can, they are hit by machine gun fire, killing Razor and critically wounding Sunshine, causing their helicopter to crash into the Mediterranean Sea as Sunshine tries to radio the Nathan James. Kathleen tries to to stop the bleeding but Sunshine orders Kathleen to jump as he crashes. Kathleen refuses, until he says "you gotta, Cupid", congratulating her on getting her call sign and dies sinking to the bottom of the sea. (“Detect, Deceive, Destroy”)
During the Red Rust pandemic, Sunshine served as the helicopter pilot for the Nathan James that helped transport the tactical teams to and from their locations, sometimes under fire. During the assault on the Naval Base in Rota, Sunshine personally mounts a gun and kills several of Omar's men to defend the base. Sunshine also helps restart the Nathan James with the Huey's battery, saving them from Omar's missile battery. His most notable rescue under fire is during the mission to Sardinia Island where Sunshine dodges bullets and missiles alike to save everyone sent to steal the seeds and bring them back to the Nathan James. During the confrontation with the three Greek warships, Sunshine risks getting hit with a missile to prove none of the warships are carrying the seeds, enabling the Nathan James to sink all three of them. Sunshine's death is mourned by the crew of the Nathan James, especially Kathleen Nolan, and he is remembered as a hero.