Berwick native supports U.S. Navy Super Hornet Jet Aircraft
By Petty Officer 1st Class Patricia Rodriguez, Navy Office of Community Outreach
NORFOLK, Va. – Lt.j.g. Timothy Shelby, a native of Berwick, Louisiana, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 in support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Shelby joined the Navy four years ago. Today, Shelby serves as a naval aviator.
“There’s a big family tradition of being in the military in my family and in a wide variety of branches,” said Shelby. “Growing up attending air shows gave me a drive to be in the aviation community.”
Growing up in Berwick, Shelby attended Berwick High School and graduated in 2014. Today, Shelby relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Berwick to succeed in the military.
“School sports were a big influence in my life to stay driven, never give up on my dreams and be competitive. Also I learned that good leaders make a great team,” said Shelby.
These lessons have helped Shelby while serving with the Navy.
The Super Hornet is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, according to Navy officials. The aircraft take off from and land on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land.
Navy aircraft carriers are designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea. With more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard, the aircraft carrier is a self-contained mobile airport.
Aircraft carriers are often the first response to a global crisis because of their ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.
Since USS Langley’s commissioning 100 years ago, the nation’s aircraft carriers and embarked carrier air wings have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintained enduring commitments worldwide.
“The aircraft carrier is our U.S. Navy’s centerpiece, our flagship, and a constant reminder to the rest of the world of our enduring maritime presence and influence,” said Rear Adm. James P. Downey, USN, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Aircraft Carriers. “These ships touch every part of our Navy’s mission to project power, ensure sea control, and deter our adversaries.”
Serving in the Navy means Shelby is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy has the ability to be anywhere at any time, with our carriers, for the world’s needs,” said Shelby.
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 the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
Shelby and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I’m proud of earning my wings of gold,” said Shelby. “It took about three years to become a naval aviator and be prepared for the fleet. It was a lot of flight hours, a lot of studying, always thinking ahead and being ready for the next event.”
As Shelby and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving means serving for those who have gone before me and continuing to be the number one role of power in the world,” added Shelby.