Rustburg Native Serves with High-Tech U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron
By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist William Lovelady, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 3rd Class Trevor Giles, a native of Rustburg, Virginia, wanted to get out of Virginia and do something different.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown
“My brother went straight out of high school and went to work for the company where my dad worked," said Giles. "I wanted to travel and see other places.”
Now, three years later, Giles serves with the Scorpions of Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 49, working with one of the Navy’s most advanced helicopters at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.
Giles, a 2016 graduate of Brookville High School, is an information systems technician with a versatile squadron that’s capable of completing a number of important missions for the Navy with the MH-60R “Seahawk” helicopter.
“There's always stuff to do as an IT. People are always asking for help with their computers,” said Giles. “I keep accurate inventories of our computer assets, that ranges from computers and laptops to cameras and printers as well as information security. I make sure people aren't plugging in cell phones to their computers and making sure there isn't a loss of personally identifiable information.”
Giles credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Rustburg.
“I was taught to always be respectful and do what you're told,” said Giles.
HSM 49's primary mission is to conduct sea control operations in open-ocean and coastal environments as an expeditionary unit. This includes hunting for submarines, searching for surface targets over the horizon and conducting search and rescue operations.
According to Navy officials, the MH-60R is the Navy's new primary maritime dominance helicopter. Greatly enhanced over its predecessors, the MH-60R helicopter features a glass cockpit and significant mission system improvements, which give it unmatched capability as an airborne multi-mission naval platform.
As the U.S. Navy's next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the MH-60R "Romeo" is the cornerstone of the Navy's Helicopter Concept of Operations. Anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare are the MH-60R's primary missions. Secondary missions include search and rescue, medical evacuation, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, communications relay, command, control, communications, command and control warfare and non-combat operations.
Serving in the Navy means Giles is part of a community that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
America is a maritime nation, and the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Giles is most proud of being personally recognized during a big command inspection this spring.
“I made sure my stuff was as it should be and I was ready to answer any questions the inspectors might have asked,” said Giles. “I received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. After going through some difficult stuff professionally, being able to have that big accomplishment, to be recognized by our wing and our commanding officer and executive officer was a great feeling.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Giles and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.
“I am proud to just be able to be part of something bigger than me as a person and being able to help others in any way possible,” said Giles.