Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Patterson graduated from Liberty High School in 2012 and said he has carried lessons learned there and from his family in Surprise to his duties aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.Mr. Patterson is an aviation ordnanceman aboard the USS Carl Vinson, a San Diego-based ship and the third Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It is one of 11 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today.
As an aviation ordnanceman, Mr. Patterson is responsible for handling, storage, inspection, testing and assembly and disassembly of conventional and high-security ordnance.
“My parents taught me the importance of hard work, maintaining professionalism and a good character. These values are applied every day in my job,” he said.Sailors’ jobs are varied aboard the Vinson. Approximately 3,000 men and women make up the ship’s company, and they keep all parts of the aircraft carrier running. They do everything from preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors.
Additionally, another 2,000 sailors comprise the air wing. These are the people who fly and maintain the aircraft embarked aboard the ship. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 60 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.Mr. Patterson has military ties with family members.
“Both my parents served in the Army. They influenced my decision to join the military,” he said. “I’m thankful for the military heritage. I’m also making my own path, and I believe the Navy is a great foundation for my career.”Mr. Patterson said his proudest accomplishment was detatchment’s aircraft first passable flight.
“Coming out of heavy maintenance, I was added the final hand in order for it to pass inspection,” he said. “This job takes a lot of will power to do well. We make a lot of sacrifices and work hard to complete the mission,” Mr. Patterson said.
Editor’s note: Tim Miller is Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class with the U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach.