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Panama City Native Keeps Navy Wing Flying

By Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach

OAK HARBOR, Wash. – A 2014 Deane Bozeman High School graduate and Panama City, Florida native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the premier naval air installation in the Pacific Northwest region.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Hall is an aviation structural mechanic serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10.

A Navy aviation structrual mechanic is responsible for the entire structure, hydraulic systems and tires on aircraft.

“I used to work in construction, so to flip from woodwork to metalwork was quite a change for me, but I really like it a lot,” said Hall.

According to Navy officials, Wing 10 has continued to fly combat missions in direct support of the troops on the ground and delivered traditional maritime capabilities, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Beginning in the 1960s, the P-3C Orion, a land-based, long-range anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft, replaced the P-2V Neptune fleet. After 50 years of faithful service and the 50th anniversary of Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, the P-3C Orion is being phased out of the fleet and replaced by the P-8A Poseidon, according to Navy officials.

The P-8A is a modified Boeing airframe featuring a fully connected, state-of-the-art, open architecture mission system designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, Navy officials explained.

“Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 mans, trains, and equips P-3 and P-8 squadrons to deploy anywhere, anytime,” said Capt. Rob Patrick, Commodore of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. “This is critically important as we are the eyes and the ears of our national defense, putting pressure on strategic locations around the world. Our sailors are the single biggest asymmetric advantage that allows us to succeed at our missions. Without their agility and expertise, we would not be able to do what we do.”

Hall is part of a crew striving to be the best Naval Aviation Wing in the United States, according to Navy Officials. Their mission is to safely build and maintain a team of sailors capable of conducting prompt and sustained combat operations.

“It’s like a family here, everyone takes you under their wing,” Hall said. “The knowledge is abundant, and there are quite a few role models here in my rating. My future is forthcoming as a leader.”

According to Navy officials, the Navy continues to meet milestone after milestone on this world-class mission and is providing an aircraft with superior capabilities to the men and women in uniform that will have a lasting legacy promoting a global maritime strategy.

“Honestly, I joined the Navy to get out of my town,” Hall said. “But now that I can say that I serve this amazing country, and that I’m doing my part to defend it, my service has become something bigger.”

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