By 1st Class Heidi McCormick
Navy Office of Community Outreach
(WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash.) — A 2012 South Seattle College graduate and Seattle native is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Tran is a personnel specialist with the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, one of 14 Navy electronic attack squadrons based in Whidbey Island.
As a personnel specialist, Tran serves as a human resources representative for the squadron. “I enjoy helping people,” said Tran. “We maintain accurate service records for the sailors, make sure that their pay is on time, and each sailor gets their entitlements that they’ve earned.”
Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers, as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, the Growlers and their crews engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems in order to render air defenses ineffective.
To accomplish these tasks, the Growler has a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods, and satellite communications.
“The advanced technology of this aircraft and their mobility is unmatched which makes working here really exciting,” said Tran.
Tran said he and other VAQ -142 sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times. “My ultimate goal is to become a fighter pilot,” said Tran. “I love that I have the opportunity to work around these F-18 jets and learn about them.”
Serving in the Navy, Tran is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and citizen through handling numerous responsibilities. “You have a different standard when you are in the Navy,” said Tran. “Everything that you do cannot just be good, it has to be great. You can’t put in your 99.9 percent, you always have to put in 100 percent.”