Wal­dorf na­tive keeps Navy wing fly­ing

Maryland Independent - - Community - By JERRY JIMENEZ Navy Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Out­reach

A 2014 La Plata High School grad­u­ate and Wal­dorf na­tive is serv­ing in the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Sta­tion Jack­sonville, home to the U.S. Navy’s new­est mar­itime, pa­trol and re­con­nais­sance air­craft.

Petty Of­fi­cer 3rd Class Donte McCain is a Navy in­for­ma­tion sys­tems tech­ni­cian serv­ing with the Pa­trol and Re­con­nais­sance Wing 11 (CPRW-11).

A Navy in­for­ma­tion sys­tems tech­ni­cian is re­spon­si­ble for net­work ad­min­is­tra­tion and data­base man­age­ment.

“I get to work with elec­tron­ics all day, so that’s great,” said McCain. “That’s the best part about the job.”

McCain cred­its suc­cess in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Wal­dorf.

“I learned how to build a com­puter sta­tion from scratch,” said McCain.

The P-8A Po­sei­don is a multi-mis­sion air­craft that is re­plac­ing the legacy P-3C Orion. Those who fly in the P-8A hunt for sub­marines and sur­face ships as well as con­duct in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance mis­sions.

The P-8A op­er­ates with a smaller crew than the P-3C, and it also de­liv­ers an ex­tended global reach, greater pay­load ca­pac­ity and higher op­er­at­ing al­ti­tude. It also has an open sys­tems ar­chi­tec­ture with growth po­ten­tial.

Ac­cord­ing to Navy of­fi­cials, there are more than 15 Navy pa­trol squadrons in the U.S. and eight of those squadrons be­long to Wing 11, head­quar­tered in Jack­sonville, Florida. This means that those who serve here are part of the first “Su­per Wing” in mar­itime pa­trol and re­con­nais­sance his­tory, ready to de­ploy and de­fend the U.S. and al­lies around the world.

Wing 11 re­cently added the Navy’s new­est squadron to its ar­se­nal: Un­manned Pa­trol Squadron Nine­teen (VP-19), fly­ing the MQ-4C Tri­ton Un­manned Aerial Sys­tem (UAS). sig­nif­i­cant The P-8A and MQ-4C will serve as the fu­ture of the Mar­itime Pa­trol and Re­con­nais­sance Force, ac­cord­ing to Navy of­fi­cials.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinc­tion in their com­mand, com­mu­nity and ca­reer, McCain is most proud of com­plet­ing Navy school and train­ing.

“Our school is very cut and dry and some of the tests are very chal­leng­ing,” McCain said.

As a mem­ber of one of the U.S. Navy’s most re­lied upon as­sets, McCain and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last be­yond their life­times, one that will pro­vide a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of the Navy the na­tion needs.

“It means striv­ing to be bet­ter, al­ways im­prov­ing your­self and help­ing oth­ers to be bet­ter them­selves,” said McCain.

PHOTO BY THEODORE QUIN­TANA/U.S. NAVY

Petty Of­fi­cer 3rd Class Donte McCain of Wal­dorf.

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