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The US Navy - An unforgettable experience in Naval Aviation - Part III

Updated on October 27, 2012
Six modern amphibious assault ships of the US Navy in formation
Six modern amphibious assault ships of the US Navy in formation | Source

Became a Naval Aviator - I never been out to sea in my 10 years

Day 1 of Navy work - The work center experience

My very first job detail as a new Naval Aviator, back in the year 1999 of October had entailed the responsibility for the testing maintenance and repair of Naval Aircraft electronic equipment & parts.

After arriving from a long 5 day vacation at home in New York City, I felt well prepared and ready for anything that swung my way. I surely had a great time finally visiting with family & friends I hadn't seen in over a year since I joined the US Navy.

This hub is a continuation of a multiple hub collection I've been working on since late November 2011, and is going to show case some interesting Naval history of what it took for me to become a Aviation Electronic Technician after leaving my training school (A-school), in the US Navy.

My very first military Naval base was located in Pennsylvania & was called "NASJRB" or short for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove. (This US Naval Military Base has closed in 2011 due to the Brac military budget cuts & base closings since 2005's law enactment).

The Naval bases official name has changed to the "Horsham Air Guard Station" according to wikipedia. This military Base has a long term history of its own that NASJRB link above tells it all from wikipedia itself, with a classic place known as the Pitcairn, which was the on base club many military members would go to during & after work, named after Harold Frederick Pitcairn, who designed and built the installation as an air field back in 1926; in which case the US Government made use of years after, for their military base operations until the most recent year of 2011.

Always probing for Submarines

Anti-Submarine Warfare surveillance aircraft: P3-Orion
Anti-Submarine Warfare surveillance aircraft: P3-Orion | Source

Starting out was definitely not as easy as I thought

Getting to my very first Aircraft Squadron (Patrol Squadron) known as "VP-66" wasn't as easy as I had first thought, mainly because of the use of the acronym designating it, which actually meant Patrol Squadron (VP). Arriving at the squadron that early morning, I quickly learned that it was responsible for housing P-3 Orions, or also known as an anti submarine warfare Naval Aircraft, which composed of antisubmarine warfare, and many radar detecting operations over the vast oceans & worldwide bodies of water.

Prior to me getting to work I had to check into my assigned squadron VP-66 in order to begin my official work function. Working at the squadron level on Naval Aircraft demands a great attention to detail, and also is something that only Organization level maintenance personnel are charged to do.

With that stated I was actually not an Organizational level repair technician, I was trained to be a I-level or Intermediate level technician, which means I was trained to repair aircraft electronics components, and not the higher assembly's. So after I checked into my new command or squadron, I was advised and directed to then check into yet another naval command unit. This new command was known as AIMD or the Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department.

That very same day I shifted gears a bit & had to get bounced around from one office to the next in the next building facility of AIMD. I was soon to find myself, in my very first work center also known as a work place in Navy terms. This work place was sort of strange at first to me, because when I had walked into it, I began to hear a great deal of foreign words and terms being used there.

The Navy uses a acronym naming system to identify all of their military specific work details, parts identifications, supply details, and many other important facets of such work details, and so it almost seemed as if I was in a sort of alien world at first. People were using the English language but I felt like everyone was speaking some sort of codes to one another, which took me about 3-4 months to actually adapt too, and a year almost to learn most of all the Naval Electronic based acronyms.

Defending the sea's using Anti-submarine Warefare - P3 Orions

PRC-90 survival radios

Working on my first piece of equipment - Survivial Radios

The first equipment I was introduced to working with as an Electronic Technician in the US Navy was survival radios or PRC-90's. These radios are truly important pieces of gear for the Navy, because if there was to be a ship capsized or naval aircraft down in the water. These survival radio were the very means at which both Navy Sailors & Aviators would find help, because they had radio communications, & beacon frequencies they outputted into the airwaves.

I cannot share any of the operational frequencies of such equipment, nor can I share how I fixed any of the equipment since this info is classified information, but I can tell you it was a great experience overall. I learned a great deal of how to apply some basic electronics concepts in the form of trouble shooting, and repairs techniques to derive at a solution to many common as well as uncommon problems presented to me daily.

Coming soon part-IV: Out on town as a military member

I have many more other work experiences to share with folks, that I've experienced in my 10 years of Naval Aviation.

I will come back to fill in this hub a great deal more in days to come, but for now hopefully this should be a good enough warm up for those who've already read parts I and part II of my naval experience, as well as the motivational hub I wrote, on Running 10 miles a day in the Navy.

Mailitary Poll

Have you ever served in the US Armed Forces or thought your should join

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    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Wow, I'm glad this hub is somewhat motivating, I wrote it out of pure experience, and felt many others could either relate to such an experience, or possibly learn something from it all if they have any intentions to follow suit and join the US Navy.

      Thanks @ Davenmidtown for returning, to share yet another awesome comment, it is much appreciated indeed.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      CloudExplorer! Your enthusiasm is infectious. I have been thinking about your hub for the last few days... and I realized something about myself. I was heavily recruited by the marines when I was in high school and I realized that I regretted not joining. I wonder how my life would have changed, etc but one can not wish up on the star and get all that back. Thank you for writing these hubs... they are important for today's society to see.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Yay! my old Navy pal ChiChi, how are ya. Its nice to hear from you and thanks for giving my story I wrote a chance.

      Yeah, I was a great writer back in high school (I wrote for my schools news paper) & also good in college prior to joining the Navy. Someone is actually responding from Facebook finally, awesome stuff!!

    • profile image

      chiNavy 6 years ago

      Mike I am addicted to ur story cos it brings back old memories. I am sure that most of us had the same feelings u felt from boot camp to 1st assigned duty station.

      B4 I forget, I didnt know u r such a great writer. Keep it up ex-shore mate lol. I will be watching out for part 4. Gud job

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Will do @ OldNavy

    • profile image

      OLDNAVY 6 years ago

      Likewise. Thanks Shipmate. Keep in touch.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      Yes indeed @ OLDNAVY, the Navy has treated me very well, and set me out to be a highly motivated professional of technical know how. I second the motion on its recommendation for others as an alternative career for learning, education, and survival today.

      Prior to my joining I was a college student and took up civil engineering which I hadn't the cash flow to complete such a highly sought out technical career.

      Thanks to the Navy as a whole I was able to regain some momentum for surviving these times, and I feel its my duty to give back to everyone I come in contact with for being helped in such a good way to make it today, thus my purpose as well as many other on hubpages & the web.

      Your service to our Nation is also one that demands respect, and I also thank you for standing guard when others stood home asleep safe and sound.

      Fair winds & Following Seas Shipmate.

    • profile image

      OLDNAVY 6 years ago

      Hi CloudExploer,

      Excellent Article. As the name implies (OLDNAVY) You can probably guess that I served in the US Navy.

      Yes, after a full career on active duty I can relate. It was a wonderful experience and certainly one I would not trade for anything.

      I would say that Life at Sea is very interesting to say the least. If you love to travel you'll enjoy it.

      The Navy has a lot to offer and I highly recommend it to anyone.

      Thanks for your service CloudExplorer.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      I highly recommend the US Navy for those who are looking to discover a whole new experience in life, an adventure, & a new career for sure, but I've never touched the sea.

      I was a Naval aviator and worked for the reservist as active duty my entire 10 years, so I cannot speak for those who would end up working on Naval ships.

      Thanks for reading & sharing your kind words with me @ Davenmidtown.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      CloudExplorer: Great hub and very interesting to read. Would you recommend the Navy as a career today?