Lexington Park Native Serves at Naval Air Station North Island

Petty Officer 2nd Class Diamond Fletcher (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel) Petty Officer 2nd Class Diamond Fletcher (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel)

A Lexington Park native serves in the U.S. Navy at a helicopter squadron who flies the newest and most technologically-advanced helicopters. Petty Officer 2nd Class Diamond Fletcher joined the Navy four years ago. Today, Fletcher serves as a culinary specialist.

"I joined the Navy as part of a family tradition," said Fletcher. "I grew up around family members who served and motivated me to pursue a career in the Navy."

Growing up in Lexington Park, Fletcher attended Great Mills High School and graduated in 2016. Today, Fletcher finds the values in Lexington Park similar to those needed to succeed in the military.

"I've always been committed to hard work and treating others how you would want to be treated," said Fletcher.

These lessons have helped Fletcher while serving at Naval Air Station North Island.

Fletcher serves with the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 75), a San Diego-based squadron that operates the Navy's next generation of submarine hunter and Anti-Surface Warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk. Each helicopter is nearly 65 feet long, may weigh up to 23,500 lbs. (max gross) and can travel over 120 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on a tank of gas.

"HSM 75's mission is to conduct combat operations as an integral part of Carrier Strike Group Nine and Carrier Air Wing Eleven," said Cmdr. Thomas Mashuda, commanding officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75. "Our mission success requires all hands work in unity as a pack. Every member of HSM 75 plays a vital part of our mission, from the most junior aviation maintainer to the pilots."

According to Navy officials, the MH60R is the most capable multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. It is used for a variety of missions, including hunting and tracking enemy submarines, attacking enemy ships, search and rescue, drug interdiction, delivering supplies and supporting the Navy's special operations forces.

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.

Fletcher and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

"I take great pride in advancing to the rank of second-class petty officer in three years," said Fletcher. "It took a lot of hard work, but I did it."

As Fletcher and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

"Serving in the Navy means I get to give back and mentor junior sailors who support this great country," added Fletcher.

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