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Tonawanda native supports naval aviation modernization


Sat, Feb 25th 2017 12:45 am

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A Kenmore East High School graduate and Tonawanda native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CSFWP). Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Burket works as an aviation ordnanceman and operates out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.

Burket is responsible for handling ordnance for the jets.

"My job is fast-paced and I get the opportunity to learn something new every day," he said.

"Lemoore has been home to the Navy's West Coast strike fighter community since 1980, when strike fighter squadron VFA-125 was the first squadron established to train Navy and Marine Corps aviators in the F/A-18 Hornet," said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces.

The strike fighter wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, ensures each squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for the Pacific Fleet.

"I like the fact my job allows me the opportunity to meet new people," Burket said.

With the CSFWP consisting of more than 20 squadrons, highly specialized jobs range from training new aviators to maintaining airframes and engines, to handling and flying aircraft.

"The most important thing I've learned from my time in the Navy is to respect everyone as individuals and appreciate the diversity of the Navy," Burket said.

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