Chandler Native Serves with Versatile U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron
SAN DIEGO – Airman Shane Shaw, a native of Chandler, Arizona, joined the Navy because he had a lot of family members in the military.
“Not many of them were in the Navy so I wanted to see what that was like,” said Shaw.
Now, two years later, Shaw serves with the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, working with one of the Navy’s true workhorse aircraft at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.
“It’s a lot of fun serving here,” said Shaw. “I work in the 310 division, what we call the line shack with a bunch of junior sailors. I’m 26 and get to have a positive influence on a lot 18 and 19 year olds.”
Shaw, a 2011 graduate of Rio Americano High School, is an aviation electronics technician with HSC 14, a versatile squadron that’s capable of completing a number of important missions for the Navy with the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter.
“As a plane captain, I’m responsible for the overall safety of the aircraft and for other people,” said Shaw. “I oversee the safe launching and landing of the helicopters as well as their movement around the work area.”
Shaw credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Chandler.
“I was taught to have integrity and just being responsible,” said Shaw. “I learned at a pretty young age that you have to work. Whatever you do, be the best at it that you can.”
HSC 14 provides all-weather, combat-ready aircraft and crew to conduct anti-surface warfare, personnel recovery, special warfare support, search and rescue, and logistics for aircraft carrier air wings and navy shore installations. HSC 14 flies the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter, a state-of-the-art design that provides the Navy with true versatility, able to complete a number of mission requirements, according to Navy officials.
The MH-60S with its glass cockpit incorporates active matrix LCD displays, used to facilitate pilot and co-pilot vertical and horizontal situation presentations. Another major design of the MH-60S is a “common cockpit,” which is shared with the MH-60R. This allows pilots to shift from one aircraft to another with minimal re-training.
“The Sierra is cool because it doesn’t have a lot of the bulky components,” said Shaw. “It can perform almost any and every helicopter role in the Navy. It looks really cool when it’s loaded down with all the weapons you can load on it. Nothing like watching a helicopter come in and land on a carrier flight deck.”
Serving in the Navy means Shaw is part of a world 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.
America is a maritime nation, and the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to the coast, and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities, and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results, and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Shaw is most proud of becoming a qualified plane captain and being selected Sailor of the Day during deployment.
“I got to meet the captain of USS John C. Stennis and got to drive the ship,” said Shaw.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Shaw and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy is a dedication to duty for me,” said Shaw. “You’re doing a job some people don’t want to do. It means being given an opportunity to succeed.”