King George native supports U.S. Navy Super Hornet Jet Aircraft
By Petty Officer 1st Class Patricia Rodriguez, Navy Office of Community Outreach
NORFOLK, Va. – Lt. Fernando De La Rosa, a native of King George, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 in support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
De La Rosa joined the Navy four years ago. Today, De La Rosa serves as a naval aviator.
“I joined because I wanted to fly in the Navy,” said De La Rosa. “My dad was an Air Force veteran and part of the crew for Air Force One. I wanted to follow his example but in an amphibious environment.”
Growing up in King George, De La Rosa attended King George High School and graduated in 2014. Today, De La Rosa relies upon skills and values similar to those found in King George to succeed in the military.
“My hometown taught me to be hardworking, honest and respectful,” said De La Rosa. “My hometown was all active duty or retired Navy, so they instilled morals that prepared me for success in the military.”
These lessons have helped De La Rosa 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 De La Rosa 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 provides power, protection and freedom of the seas in order to maintain free trade and respond quickly to threats,” said De La Rosa.
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.”
De La Rosa and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I’m proud of becoming a winged aviator and completing flight school,” said De La Rosa. “It required advanced jet training which was my greatest challenge in life so far.”
As De La Rosa and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving is to provide a service to my country and to its people,” added De La Rosa.