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Friday, May 6, 2016

Helicopter job is first step to becoming fighter pilot

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Submitted photo

Andrew Lawson, a Brazil native, is stationed with the U.S. Navy in San Diego, Calif., unit that services helicopters. He is shown directing helicopters on the deck of an aircraft carrier.


For The Times

A year ago, Andrew Lawson was receiving his diploma from Linton-Stockton High School. Today, the 19-year-old is stationed with the U.S. Navy in San Diego, Calif.

He joined the Navy in August 2005, planning to go to college and become an F/A 18 Superhornet fighter pilot.

"I am stationed in San Diego, Calif., for my first tour of duty. My current job is an airman in the Line Division, which services the helicopters that I work on, and I also do daily inspections of the aircraft to assure that all components of the helicopter are safe for flight," Lawson said. "I also launch and recover helicopters. The helicopters that I work on are SH-60F Seahawks and HH-60H Seahawks. The difference between the two are the SH-60F's are used for anti-submarine warfare and to destroy enemy submarines but can also do search and rescue. The primary objective for the HH-60H helicopters are to do combat search and rescue missions behind enemy lines.

"Our overall mission is combat search and rescue for downed pilots or medical evacuations. We conduct operations on aircraft carrier to support the global war on terrorism."

Lawson, who was born in Brazil, is an airman apprentice (E-2). He enjoys being in the military and his future plans are to go to college, receive a bachelor's degree and then go to Naval Officer Candidate School to become a fighter pilot.

His family includes parents Cheri Jerrell and stepfather, John, of Linton; father, Brent Sowers, of Clay City; grandparents, Don and Cheri Black of Brazil, Ben and Hazel Sowers of Poland and Larry and Brenda Jewell of Linton.

Andrew is the oldest of seven brothers and sisters

He misses Greene County, but relishes the fact that he is serving his country.

"What I really miss about Greene County is hanging out with all my friends back home and spending time with my family," he said. "I should be home in August for leave."

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