By ALVIN PLEXICO
Navy Office of Community Outreach
OAK HARBOR, WASH. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Angelica Casas, a native of Los Fresnos, Texas, is serving with the U.S. Navy’s cutting-edge maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft squadron in Oak Harbor, Washington.
“I was interested in cybersecurity and was looking for on-the-job experience,” said Casas. “The Navy has definitely provided that.”
Casas serves with Maritime Patrol Squadron Nine, a high-tech maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron tasked with monitoring the world’s oceans in the state-of-the-art P-8A “Poseidon.”
Casas attended Los Fresnos High School and graduated in 2014. Today, Casas uses skills and values similar to those found in Los Fresnos.
“Los Fresnos is a small, tight-knit community,” said Casas. “It’s all about family helping each other. The Navy is very similar because we all help each other.”
These lessons have helped Casas while serving in the Navy supporting the P-8 Poseidon mission.
The P-8 Poseidon mission is to conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence gathering missions. They deploy around the globe to monitor the world’s oceans wherever they are needed.
The P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C “Orion”. According to Navy officials, leveraging the experience and technology of the successful P-3C “Orion” with the needs of the fleet, the P-8A is designed to be combat-capable, and to improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Serving in the Navy means Casas 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.
“Always having forward presence deters potential adversaries,” said Casas.
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.
“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”
Casas and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My first deployment was a challenge, especially because of the pandemic,” said Casas. “I earned the Bluejacket of the Quarter in 2020. It was unexpected, but it was nice to see my hard work paid off.”
As Casas and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions to support national defense, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Sacrifice is a constant comfort because of the opportunity to serve my community and my family,” added Casas.