Thursday, August 11, 2022

Virginia Beach native supports U.S. Navy’s “Take Charge and Move Out” mission

By Stephanie Fox, Navy Office of Community Outreach

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - A Virginia Beach, Virginia, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission at Strategic Communications Wing One (STRATCOMMWING ONE).  Its TACAMO ("Take Charge and Move Out") mission provides airborne communication links to nuclear missile units of U.S. Strategic Command.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class
Anna-Liesa Hussey, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Airman Robert Scheberger, a 2015 Salem High School graduate, joined the Navy one year ago. 

“I knew I wanted to join the Navy since I was four years old,” said Scheberger. "It took a bit to get here, but I'm so glad I am."

Scheberger uses skills and values similar to those found in Virginia Beach to succeed in the Navy. 

“My hometown taught me to show up early,” said Scheberger. "Be early or be late. It also taught me the importance of being willing to do hard work. Those have helped me during my time in the Navy. We have to be fit to fight."

The Navy's presence aboard an Air Force base in the middle of America may seem like an odd location given its distance from any ocean; however, the central location allows for the deployment of aircraft to both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico on a moment’s notice. This quick response is key to the success of the nuclear deterrence mission.

The Navy command consists of a Wing staff, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, and three Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons: The "Ironmen" of VQ 3, the "Shadows" of VQ 4 and the “Roughnecks” of VQ 7. 

Scheberger serves the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training as a naval aircrewman with VQ 7.

“My favorite part about my job is definitely the flying and the skills I'm learning along the way,” said Scheberger. 

.STRATCOMMWING One employs more than 1,300 active-duty sailors and 100 contractors to provide maintenance, security, operations, administration, training and logistic support for the Boeing E-6 Mercury aircraft fleet, an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707.

Their mission stems from the original 1961 Cold War order known as ‘Take Charge and Move Out!’ Adapted as TACAMO and now the command’s nickname, the men and women of TACAMO continue to provide a survivable communication link between national decision makers and the nation’s nuclear weapons. 

The commander-in-chief issues orders to members of the military who operate nuclear weapons aboard submarines, aircraft or in land-based missile silos. Sailors aboard TACAMO E-6 Mercury aircraft provide the one-of-a-kind and most-survivable communication needed for this critical mission.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy. 

Serving in the Navy means Scheberger is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy. 

“The Navy contributes to the National Defense Strategy because we keep trade routes open and free,” said Scheberger. "We can also be anywhere at any time. We're faster than planes. We're everywhere.”

Scheberger and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service. 

“My proudest accomplishment is getting through Naval Aircrew Candidate School,” said Scheberger. “It was difficult, but I made it.”  

As Scheberger and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy. 

“To me, serving in the Navy means being able to help anyone at any time,” said Scheberger. "No matter what is at stake, we have a responsibility to help out."

Scheberger is grateful to family back home for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I want to thank my family and parents for being supportive of me,” added Scheberger.