Antigo Native Serves with Helicopter Squadron in San Diego
BY STEPHANIE FOX, NAVY OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH
SAN DIEGO – Airman Molly Grace, a native of Antigo, Wisconsin, serves in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California.
“I joined the Navy because I wanted to have new opportunities and get to travel the world,” said Grace.
Grace joined the Navy four years ago. Today, Grace serves with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron EIGHT (HSC 8) in San Diego, working with one of the Navy’s most advanced helicopters, the MH-60S Seahawk.
Growing up in Antigo, Grace attended Antigo High School and graduated in 2017. Today, Grace uses the same skills and values learned in Antigo to succeed in the military.
“Growing up, I was taught to try hard at everything I do,” said Grace.
That lesson continues to help Grace while serving in the Navy.
Navy pilots and aircrew at HSC 8 constantly train to ensure they are prepared for peacetime and war fighting missions. The mission set of the MH-60S includes anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, logistics support, personnel transport, humanitarian disaster relief, medical evacuation, support to Naval Special Warfare and organic airborne mine countermeasures. MH-60S helicopters are also equipped with the ability to conduct replenishments at sea, search and rescue missions and enable other operations for the carrier strike group.
Serving in the Navy means Grace is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus, rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
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 is 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.”
Grace and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest naval accomplishment was finishing my first deployment,” said Grace.
As Grace and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“To me, serving in the Navy means I get to be a part of something that helps the greater good,” added Grace.