Eureka Springs native McClung serves with Navy electronic attack squadron

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Navy Office of Community Outreach

OAK HARBOR, Wash. – Eureka Springs native Mathew McClung was looking for a change in his life.

Now, one year after joining the U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class McClung serves with the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, working with the Navy’s premier electronic attack aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.

“Life at VAQ-139 is busy with multiple detachments and other personnel currently at different locations,” McClung said.

McClung, a 2016 graduate of Eureka Springs High School, is a yeoman with VAQ 139, a high-tech electronic attack squadron capable of altering the outcome of any engagement with the EA-18G “Growler.”

“As a yeoman in the Navy, I am responsible for everything from travel for the squadron to records upkeep, and legal proceedings inside the command,” McClung said.

McClung credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Eureka Springs.

“My hometown taught me the that leadership is a key trait in any career path,” McClung said. “Leadership in the Navy enables even the smallest of tasks to be completed.”

Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139’s primary mission is to conduct airborne electronic warfare while embarked with a carrier air wing. They deploy aboard aircraft carriers and to airbases around the world to project electronic attack dominance anywhere in the world at any time. This includes suppression of enemy radar systems, sensor jamming and electronic protection.

The EA-18G “Growler” is the most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform in production today, according to Navy officials. The Navy invests in advanced“Growler” capabilities to ensure it continues to protect all strike aircraft during high-threat missions for decades to come.

“The day-to-day maintenance they require is very unique,” said McClung.

Serving in the Navy means McClung 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 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, McClung is most proud of an inspection earning a 100 percent grade.

“I was instrumental in the completion of the inspection,” McClung said.

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

“Serving in the Navy means having a helping hand in the combat readiness for the United States of America,” McClung said. “We contribute to the lives of every person in this country.”

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