Fredericksburg native serves with U.S. Navy’s Lone Star Express

by | Sep 13, 2020 | Military

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A native of Fredericksburg is serving with a U.S. Navy Reserve Aviation squadron that delivers around the clock worldwide support to all military services.

Petty Officer 2nd Class William Graves is an aviation machinist’s mate serving at Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR 59) based at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

As a Navy aviation machinist’s mate, Graves is responsible for C-40A Clipper aircraft engine maintenance and overhaul.

Graves, a 2012 Mountain View High School graduate, joined the Navy six years ago to learn more about airframes and power plants to obtain a certification.

VR 59, nicknamed “The Lone Star Express,” is responsible for maintaining and operating three C-40A Clipper aircraft delivering Navy cargo and personnel to training and operating destinations around the world. VR 59 personnel also deploy to three overseas duty stations on rotational schedules throughout the year.

“I enjoy troubleshooting the aircraft engines and learning more about how they work,” Graves said. “I’m really happy to be in this position of quality assurance this early in my career.”

C-40A Clipper aircraft is a military version of the Boeing 737-700C airline transport. It provides critical logistics support to the United States Navy. Its flight deck features a flight management computer system with an integrated GPS, and has an enhanced ground proximity warning system, predictive wind shear, heads-up display and tactical air navigation system and surveillance radar functions.

According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.

“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “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.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Graves, 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.

The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something bigger than myself,” Graves added.

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