Hazen grad helps keep the ‘Zappers’ in the air

December 4, 2014

By Contributor

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Courtesy of Navy Public Affairs Petty Officer 3rd Class Natasha Thilmony is an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130.

Courtesy of Navy Public Affairs
Petty Officer 3rd Class Natasha Thilmony is an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130.

A 2011 Hazen High School graduate and Renton native is serving with Electronic Attack Squadron 130, also known as the “Zappers.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Natasha Thilmony is an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130, a Whidbey Island-based squadron that operates the Navy’s newly designed electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-18G Growler.

Each aircraft has two seats, is more than 60 feet long, may weigh up to 66,000 pounds and can travel faster than 1,100 miles per hour and nearly 2,070 miles on a tank of gas.

Thilmony, a 21-year-old with numerous responsibilities, said she is learning about herself as a leader, sailor and a person.

“I have been able to grasp a better knowledge of my job and its skills,” she said. “I now have a more thorough understanding on how the Navy works.”

Thilmony is proud of the work she is doing as part of the squadron’s 174-member military team, who protect America on the world’s oceans.

“I have hard-working co-workers and they work hard whenever we have a task to get done,” Thilmony said.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied with VAQ-130. Approximately 32 officers and 142 enlisted men and women make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — from maintaining aircraft airframes and engines to processing paperwork, handling weaponry and flying the aircraft.

“Every day, I feel an extraordinary amount of pride to serve alongside our great nation’s most inspiring men and women,” Cmdr. Eric Illston, VAQ-130’s commanding officer, said. “Our team is filled with hard-working and highly qualified professionals who hold uncommon levels of responsibility and accountability in support of our mission: To win in combat with trained aircrew and combat ready aircraft whenever called upon to support and defend the Constitution of the United States through the military element of power. Their work ethic, commitment, enthusiasm and esprit de corps are second to none.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest electronic warfare aircraft platforms, Thilmony and other VAQ-130 sailors are proud to be part of a war-fighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“I like that at this command I feel the importance of my job,” Thilmony said. “My job is a key position needed to complete our mission.”

Courtesy of Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

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