November 21, 2022
November 19, 2022
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – A native of Benton, Arkansas, serves in the United States Navy as part of the nation’s nuclear deterrent mission at Strategic Communications Wing 1 (STRATCOMMWING ONE).
It is the TACAMO (“Take Charge and Move Out”) mission to provide airborne communications links to US Strategic Command nuclear missile units.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Seth Pennington, a 2014 graduate of Bryant High School, joined the Navy a year ago. “I joined the Navy to provide a better future for my son,” Pennington said.
Pennington uses skills and values similar to those found at Benton to succeed in the Navy. “My upbringing taught me that hard work pays off,” Pennington said.
The Navy’s presence aboard an Air Force base in the middle of America might seem like a strange place given its distance from any ocean; however, the central location allows aircraft deployment to both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico at any time. This rapid response is key to the success of the nuclear deterrent mission. The Navy Command is made up of a Wing Staff, the Naval Aviation Technical Training Center and three fleet aerial reconnaissance squadrons: the “Ironmen” of VQ 3, the “Shadows of VQ 4 and the “Roughnecks” of VQ 7. Pennington serves as a naval crewman with VQ 7.
“I love learning new skills and getting better at my job,” Pennington said. “There are so many opportunities to learn career skills and life skills in the Navy.”
STRATCOMMWING One employs more than 1,300 active duty sailors and 100 contractors to provide maintenance, safety, operations, administration, training and logistics support for the fleet of Boeing E-6 Mercury aircraft, a airborne command post and a communications relay based on the Boeing 707.
Their mission stems from the original 1961 Cold War order known as “Take Charge and Move Out!” Adapted as TACAMO and now the command’s nickname, the men and women of TACAMO continue to provide an enduring communication link between national decision makers and the nation’s nuclear weapons.
The Commander-in-Chief issues orders to members of the military who use nuclear weapons on board submarines, aircraft, or in land-based missile silos. Sailors aboard the TACAMO E-6 Mercury aircraft provide the one-of-a-kind, toughest communication needed for this critical mission.
With more than 90% of all commerce traveling by sea and 95% of global telephone and Internet traffic carried by fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that prosperity and the security of the United States depend directly on a strong and ready navy. Serving in the Navy means Pennington is part of a team that takes on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of national defense strategy.
The Navy plays an important role in defending the interests of our country and our partners,” said Pennington. “The Navy has the surface and air assets that help accomplish this mission. Pennington and the Sailors with whom they serve have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My major accomplishment in the Navy is how far I’ve come in the aircrew profession thus far,” said Pennington. “The aircrew pipeline is tough, and I’ve been able to outperform many of my peers and be successful.”
As Pennington and other Sailors continue to fly missions, they are proud to serve their country in the United States Navy.
“To me, serving in the Navy means a better chance for my wife and son’s future,” Pennington added. “I am inspired by my uncle who served in the navy as a corpsman. He shared his experiences with me and influenced my decision to join.
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