JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A 2010 Roberstdale High School graduate and Robertsdale native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, home to the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, …
JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A 2010 Roberstdale High School graduate and Robertsdale native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, home to the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Wells is a naval aircrewman serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 (CPRW-11).
A naval aircrewman is responsible for being an electronic warfare operator.
“My favorite part of my job is the camaraderie, it's like family and everyone looks out for one another,” said Wells.
Wells credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Robertsdale.
“Growing up, I learned to be courteous to one another and to always do your best,” said Wells.
The P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission aircraft that is replacing the legacy P-3C Orion. Those who fly in the P-8A hunt for submarines and surface ships as well as conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8A operates with a smaller crew than the P-3C, and it also delivers an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, and higher operating altitude. It also has an open-systems architecture with significant growth potential.
According to Navy officials, there are more than 15 Navy patrol squadrons in the U.S. and eight of those squadrons belong to Wing Eleven, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. This means that those who serve here are part of the first “Super Wing” in Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance history, ready to deploy and defend America and allies around the world.
Wing Eleven recently added the Navy’s newest squadron to its arsenal: Unmanned Patrol Squadron Nineteen (VP-19), flying the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The P-8A and MQ-4C will serve as the future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, according to Navy officials.
When asked about his plans following his assumption of command ceremony in June, Capt. Craig T. Mattingly, Commodore, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 said, “Our focus will be to take care of our most precious assets, the men and women of (Wing Eleven). We will sustain current readiness of our P-8A squadrons and reserve P-3C squadron while incorporating the MQ-4C Triton into the maritime patrol and reconnaissance force.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Wells is most proud of participating in Neil Armstrong's burial at sea.
“I’m extremely proud to be a part of that ceremony because he was the first man on the moon and to be a part of that was an honor,” Wells said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Wells and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“My favorite part of being with this squadron is flying two to three times a week with fantastic views,” said Wells.
“Serving in the Navy is a family tradition, my brother is also an aircrewman and instructor,” said Wells.