Tulare native joins strike fighter squadron at NAS Lemoore

(Yucel Yilmaz)

Seven-year Navy veteran and Mission Oak High graduate Deven Petty serves as an intelligence specialist for Strike Fighter Squadron 25

LEMOORE – A Tulare native is serving his country at the U.S. Navy’s largest master jet base.

Petty Officer 1st Class Deven Petty is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 125. The command is a joint strike fighter squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings County.

Petty joined the Navy seven years ago. Today, he serves as an intelligence specialist.

“I joined the Navy to support America’s warfighters to combat our adversaries, ” he said.

Growing up in Tulare, Petty attended Mission Oak High School and graduated in 2015. Today, he relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Tulare to succeed in the military.

“Growing up in a farm town, I learned the value of hard work,” he said. “Understanding time management and the need to balance competing priorities is critical in the Navy.”

These lessons have helped Petty while serving with the Navy.

Members of VFA-125 fly and maintain the F35-C Lightning II, a combat-ready fifth-generation fighter.

According to Navy officials, the F-35C is designed with the entire battlespace in mind, bringing transformational capability to the United States and its allies. Missions traditionally performed by specialized aircraft (air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, electronic attack, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) can now be executed by a squadron of F-35s.

For the first time in U.S. naval aviation history, radar-evading stealth capability comes to the aircraft carrier deck. The F-35C carrier variant sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius and payload that bring true multi-mission power projection capability from the sea, according to Navy officials.

This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. Our Nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations said. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

As a member of the Navy, Petty is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“We are the world’s greatest sea power, and combined with our coalition partners, we can effectively protect the freedom of navigation around the world,” Petty said.

Petty and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“In 2020 I participated in a deployment to El Salvador, where my unit conducted enhanced counter narcotic operations,” Petty said. “Seeing our unit stop shipments of illicit drugs provided me with a great deal of job fulfillment.”

As Petty and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means applying yourself to a greater cause, and committing yourself in any way possible,” Petty said.

Petty is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my best friend, David Howze, who I met at my first duty station,” Petty added.  “David helped to understand how to navigate the Navy and guided me through the initial growing pains when I first joined.”

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