Charlotte Native serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller
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A 2014 South Mecklenburg High School graduate and Charlotte, North Carolina, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron, which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Leo McIntyre is an aviation ordnanceman with the Fist of the Fleet of VFA 25, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation ordnanceman is responsible for safe loading and downloading of ordnance.

“I was taught to keep pushing through everything,” McIntyre said. “Even if you struggle you can always finish it out. Whenever I run into situations in the Navy, that lesson gets me back in that mindset and gets my blood flowing again and I do what I need to do to get the job done.”

Members of VFA 25 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 lbs., and a max speed of 1,190 miles per hour.

Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, at any time. The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country’s permission to operate within its borders.

“Strike Fighter Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the heart of Naval Aviation,” said Capt. James S. Bates, Deputy Commodore, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific. “The sailors assigned to SFWP always exceed expectations and produce amazing results through team work and dedication to their department, squadron, the U.S. Navy and their family. Naval Aviation is a challenging occupation, but our sailors work day in and day out to provide fully mission capable aircraft and fully qualified aircrew to ensure leadership is able to answer national level tasking. I am humbled to be able to lead the sailors of SFWP and I am proud to call Lemoore my home.”

McIntyre has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My cousin is in the Navy as a Navy counselor,” said McIntyre. “He helped me a lot in my recruiting process. He was recruiting out of Texas and he was a heavy influence on me to join.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, McIntyre and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“The Navy is my starting point in life,” McIntyre said. “It is my way to progress in my career. Whether it is in the military or outside of the military, this is setting me up for my future.”

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