San Jose Native serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron


Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller 

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa

Navy Office of Community Outreach

LEMOORE, Calif.- A 2010 Santa Teresa High School graduate and San Jose, California, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

Airman Luis Morales is an aviation structural mechanic with the Mighty Shrikes of VFA 94, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation structural mechanic is responsible for repair and maintenance of the hydraulics, wheels and complete outside structure of the jet.

“Growing up, I learned to show up on time and apply myself and see things all the way to the end,” Morales said. “Commitment is important. It has helped me in every way in my military service.”

Members of VFA 94 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.”

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

“I am the first one in my family to join the military,” said Morales. “I wanted something different and to change my surroundings with a new challenge.”

What Morales likes the most about this command is the way they all take care of each other.

“Serving in the Navy makes me proud to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Morales said.