Maple Valley Native Serves with Versatile U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jerry Jimenez, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Svedarsky, a native of Maple Valley, Washington, was inspired to join the Navy for gaining new experience.

Now, five years later, Svedarsky serves with the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (14), working with one of the Navy’s true workhorse aircraft at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.

Svedarsky, a 2008 graduate of Tahoma High School, is a naval aircrewman with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, a versatile squadron that’s capable of completing a number of important missions for the Navy with the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter.

“I’m in charge of all the gun training and tactics training,” said Svedarsky.

Svedarsky credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Maple Valley.

“I learned the importance of working hard,” Svedarsky said. “If you work hard, people notice and a lot gets easier for you.”

HSC 14 provides all-weather, combat-ready aircraft and crew to conduct anti-surface warfare, personnel recovery, special warfare support, search and rescue, and logistics for aircraft carrier air wings and navy shore installations. HSC 14 flies the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter, a state-of-the-art design that provides the Navy with true versatility, able to complete a number of mission requirements, according to Navy officials.

The MH-60S with its glass cockpit incorporates active matrix LCD displays, used to facilitate pilot and co-pilot vertical and horizontal situation presentations. Another major design of the MH-60S is a “common cockpit,” which is shared with the MH-60R. This allows pilots to shift from one aircraft to another with minimal re-training.

“There are almost 1,000 different missions that this aircraft can do,” Svedarsky said. “It’s pretty fun.”

Serving in the Navy means Svedarsky is part of a world 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.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that 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, Svedarsky is most proud of going through the Strait of Hormuz and helping to defend the carrier.

“It was a very fulfilling job that we had to do,” said Svedarsky.

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

“For me, the Navy is an opportunity to do something that not a lot of other people get to do,” Svedarsky said. “It’s definitely been worthwhile.”