Monday, October 24, 2016

Jersey City, N.J. native works with Navy’s Newest Command and Control Aircraft

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jamal McNeill, Navy Office of Community Outreach

NORFOLK, Va. – A 2015 Lincoln High School graduate and Jersey City, New Jersey native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126.

Seaman Omaro Andara works with the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Squadron, VAW 126, also known as “Seahawks”, operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.

He is responsible for inspecting and preparing the aircraft for flight as well as directing them for takeoff and landing.

“I enjoy the responsibility of my job,” said Andara. “Being a 19 year old responsible for billion dollar aircraft and talking directly to the pilots is pretty amazing.”

The primary mission of VAW-126 is to provide mission-ready and combat-ready E-2D aircraft and capable aircrew wherever needed, on time, and safely.

As the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye serves as the most advanced command and control aircraft in the Navy and features a state-of the-art radar with more capabilities and upgraded aircraft systems that improves the combat effectiveness of a carrier air wing and carrier strike group..

In addition to airborne early warning mission, the E-2D provides a variety of capabilities to the carrier strike group, including search and rescue operations, data link, communications relay, strike control, close air support coordination, and drug interdiction. 

"The sailors of VAW-126 are integral to the successful employment of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye,” said Cmdr. Scott Wastak, Commanding Officer VAW-126. “Without their meticulous attention to detail and dedication to the mission, the Hawkeye would be unable to perform its mission and meet our nation’s call to duty.  Our sailors are truly our most valuable assets!”

With a crew of nearly 150 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and designed to keep each part of the Hawkeye running smoothly. Whether training new aviators, maintaining airframes and engines, processing paperwork, or handling and flying the aircraft, the key to success is teamwork.

“Serving at this command has allowed me to explore new horizons and gain new experiences,” said Andara.

“Serving in the Navy means that I am defending my family and loved ones back home,” added Andara. “I am proud to be a part of this service.”

The Seahawks of VAW-126 are assigned to Carrier Air Wing ONE.