VP-9 welcomes NJROTC students

Naval Air Crewman Operator 3rd Class Kristofer M. Lackey, Patrol Squadron Nine sensor operator, explains the sensor station to local area Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students who recently visited the squadron. U.S. Navy photo

Naval Air Crewman Operator 3rd Class Kristofer M. Lackey, Patrol Squadron Nine sensor operator, explains the sensor station to local area Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students who recently visited the squadron. U.S. Navy photo

Lt. j. g. Becky Shaw

Patrol Squadron Nine Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — The “Golden Eagles” from Patrol Squadron Nine recently took a hands-on approach to influencing future leaders of America. More than 100 Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) students from Radford, Kalaheo and Campbell High Schools recently took a tour of Patrol Squadron Nine’s (VP-9) hangar and were provided with the opportunity to be a naval officer for the day.

Guided by VP-9 pilot Lt. j.g. Christopher Malherek, a 2009 Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate from the University of Notre Dame, the cadets were shown several sites around Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH).

“It was inspiring for me to see how motivated these young people are about military service,” said Malherek, who shared his experience with those following in his footsteps. “They serve as a reminder that people really appreciate what we do every day.”

After receiving an interactive tour of both a P-3C Orion aircraft and SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, the students donned survival gear used by the aircrew and practiced take-offs and landings utilizing the simulators. The final presentation was of ordnance and weapons carried by the Orion.

“VP-9 takes great pride in being a part of the local community,” said Cmdr. Craig Mattingly, VP-9 commanding officer.

“It was a great opportunity to work with the local high schools and promote the esprit-de-corps of the Navy. Kids are influenced by others on a daily basis. Hopefully that influence came from VP-9 today,” he said.

VP-9 is a P-3C Orion squadron that operates out of MCBH. It consists of 350 service members with diverse specializations such as administrative support, maintenance professionals and aircrew.

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Category: News