JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 2018 La Habra High School graduate and La Habra, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, home to the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Ramirez is a Navy yeoman serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 (CPRW-11). A Navy yeoman is responsible for performing various administrative and clerical duties. “I like that I get to meet everyone in the command,” said Ramirez. “I’m in customer service so I get a chance to meet everyone.”
Ramirez credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in La Habra.
“I learned to always have a good, positive attitude,” said Ramirez.
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 significant 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 Eleven, 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 America and allies around the world.
Wing Eleven 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). The P-8A and MQ-4C will serve as the future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, according to Navy officials.
When asked about his plans following his assumption of command ceremony in June, Capt. Craig T. Mattingly, Commodore, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 said, “Our focus will be to take care of our most precious assets, the men and women of (Wing Eleven). We will sustain current readiness of our P-8A squadrons and reserve P-3C squadron while incorporating the MQ-4C Triton into the maritime patrol and reconnaissance force.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Ramirez is most proud of earning a promotion to petty officer.
“I was really nervous taking the exam and when I passed it was a great relief coming off my shoulders,” Ramirez said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Ramirez 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 having a great responsibility and being more independent and responsible,” said Ramirez.