Enumclaw native Coretti Fea is serving with a U.S. Navy squadron that flies one of the Navy’s most advanced aircraft, one with an important mission: keeping watch over the skies and oceans of the world.
Airman Apprentice Fea, a 2015 graduate of Enumclaw High School, serves with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121, also known as the “Bluetails.”
Fea works as a undesignated airman.
“I like communicating and acting as the middleman between the pilots and commanders,” she said.
The aircraft Fea flies is the Hawkeye, a carrier-based aircraft takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea. Using powerful radar and an array of advanced sensors, the twin-turboprop aircraft and its crew of five can remain in the air for hours, scanning the skies, detecting potential airborne and surface threats and relaying real-time information to other Navy aircraft and ships operating in the area.
“I enjoy being a part of this squadron because it’s West Coast-based and that is where my family lives,” Fea said.
The E-2D provides the Navy with a variety of other capabilities as well, including the ability to conduct search and rescue operations, communications relay, close air support coordination and drug interdiction. The Hawkeye can fly at nearly 350 mph at altitudes up to 30,000 feet.
With more than 150 sailors assigned to the squadron, jobs are highly specialized and designed to keep each part of the Hawkeye running smoothly. Whether training new aviators, maintaining airframes and engines, processing paperwork or handling and flying the aircraft, the key to success is teamwork.
“Serving in the Navy helps my family out and it has paved my path for my future career,” Fea said.