By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO – As a member of the oldest Maritime Strike Squadron helicopter squadron, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ahren Aaron is a part of a Naval legacy. Aaron is an aviation electrician’s mate who is responsible for maintaining all the electrical components on the aircraft. He is currently serving with of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, which supports the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.
“My favorite part of my job is being able to travel and see new countries,” said Aaron. “My favorite country I have been to, was Japan because I could take a 45-minute train ride to Tokyo every weekend when I was stationed there.”
Aaron is a 2015 Ygnacio Valley High School graduate and native of Concord, California.
According to Aaron, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Concord.
“Concord taught me to be accepting of people,” said Aaron. “I was born in Northern California and I was exposed to a lot of different cultures. I do take people at face value and accept different cultures.”
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.
Sailors assigned to HSM-71 are a part of history, flying with “Romeo” helicopters, the newest and most advanced in the fleet. Helicopters are equipped with the ability to conduct replenishments at sea, search and rescue missions and support operations.
The members of HSM-71 achieve excellence in military performance and create an example for other squadrons to follow through operational readiness, innovation and weapon development.
HSM-71 sailors play a critical role in supporting the Navy’s aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers and carrier strike groups remain the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy, supporting and protecting America’s national interests around the world. Carrier strike groups operate across the entire spectrum of military operations, according to Navy officials.
According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. However, Aaron is most proud of making third class petty officer.
“I took a lot of time studying for it and then had to take a placement exam that I passed,” said Aaron.
For Aaron, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one Aaron hopes to continue.
“My dad was in the Navy,” said Aaron. “I joined the Navy because the Navy sat down the morale foundation of how he wanted to be as a man.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Aaron , as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“Serving in the Navy means I am there for my shipmates whenever they need me,” said Aaron.