by Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach
(WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash.) – A 2008 Atascocita High School graduate and Houston native is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler.
Seaman Lavell Davis is a yeoman with the “Black Ravens” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, one of 14 Navy electronic attack squadrons based in Whidbey Island, Washington.
As a yeoman, Davis is responsible for handling pay, awards and other administrative duties for approximately 200 personnel.
“I get to help people for whatever reason they have, whether it be for their service record to getting a loan on their house,” said Davis. “I enjoy helping others.”
Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers, as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, Growler crewmembers engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources.
The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods and satellite communications. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems to render air defenses ineffective.
“These jets are highly sophisticated, so everyone in this command has to work well together,” Davis said. “I feel like there’s a lot of people I can fall back on here if I need help and I like that.”
As a member of one of the Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Davis and other VAQ-135 sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.
“We’re in the warfighting business, and we’re here to win,” said Capt. Tabb Stringer, Commodore of Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We operate the most advanced and capable electronic attack aircraft in the world and our sailors are the most highly trained, innovative, and critical thinking teammates I have ever worked with.”
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at VAQ-135, according to Navy officials. Approximately 65 officers, 400 enlisted men and women, and 110 civilian contractors make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft.
Serving in the Navy, Davis is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and citizen through handling numerous responsibilities.
“It gives me a great sense of pride to wear the uniform because not everyone can,” added Davis. “In a way, I get to represent them and that means a lot to me.”