Copperas Cove Native serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron
Special to Leader-Press
LEMOORE, Calif. - A 2016 Copperas Cove graduate and Copperas Cove native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron, which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Brown is an aviation machinist’s mate with the Sidewinders of VFA 86, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation machinist’s mate is responsible for maintaining the engines of the aircraft.
“I have learned about hard work and being respectful,” Brown said. “It’s helped me get to where I am and allowed me to advance faster.”
Members of VFA 86 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.”
Brown has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My dad was in the Army,” said Brown.
What Brown likes most about this command is the fact that it is fairly tight-knit.
“It makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed when working,” said Brown.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Brown and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I’m glad that I can do this,” Brown said. “It instills a lot of pride within me.”