ATSUGI, Japan — Airman Christopher Armstrong, a native of Mooresville, North Carolina, serves in the U.S. Navy as a member of a helicopter squadron forward deployed to Japan.
Armstrong attended William Amos Hough High School and graduated in 2017.
Armstrong joined the Navy two years ago.
“I joined because I saw all the positive things that the Navy has done for our country,” said Armstrong.
Today, Armstrong serves as an aviation electronics technician with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51.
Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Mooresville.
“One of the lessons that my parent taught me is to have a strong work ethic,” said Armstrong. “They also have taught me honesty, responsibility and to put in effort to work with people from different backgrounds.”
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Members of HSM 51 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. Some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.
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.
As a member of the Navy, Armstrong 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.
“The Navy is important to our national security because of our forward deployed ships,” said Armstrong. “We can take the fight to our enemies at their borders instead at ours.”
Armstrong serves in Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.
“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence,” said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. “Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend — across all domains — any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being.”
Armstrong and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I am most proud of earning my qualifications which allows me to help my shipmates be better,” said Armstrong.
As Armstrong 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 enabling our allies to reach their own goals while collaborating with the United States,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank my mentor,” added Armstrong. “I remember speaking to him and learning more about the Navy, which is what made me join.”