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Tabb High School Alumnus Serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron
Submitted by Kayla Turnbow

NSFS imageLEMOORE, Calif. - A 2004 Tabb High School graduate and Yorktown, Virginia, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world's most advanced warplanes.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel Park is an aviation machinist's mate with the Blacknights of VFA 154, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation machinist's mate is responsible for maintaining F/A 18 engines.

"I was taught the importance of determination growing up," Park said. "The value of family has driven the motivation I have to work hard in the Navy."

Members of VFA 154 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 lbs., and a max speed of 1,190 miles per hour.

Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America's interests anywhere, at any time. The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country's permission to operate within its borders.

"Strike Fighter Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the heart of Naval Aviation," said Capt. James S. Bates, Deputy Commodore, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific. "The sailors assigned to SFWP always exceed expectations and produce amazing results through team work and dedication to their department, squadron, the U.S. Navy and their family. Naval Aviation is a challenging occupation, but our sailors work day in and day out to provide fully mission capable aircraft and fully qualified aircrew to ensure leadership is able to answer national level tasking. I am humbled to be able to lead the sailors of SFWP and I am proud to call Lemoore my home."

Park is also proud of earning a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for being Junior Sailor of the Year in 2017.

"I love working with the group of people I get to work with," said Park. "They make my every day work a little more meaningful."

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy's most relied-upon assets, Park and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"Serving in the Navy means everything to me," Park said. "I joined to serve the country because this country has allowed me to get my bachelor's degree and stand up on my feet again."


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