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Roswell native serves with Navy strike fighter squadron

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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Wiggs of Roswell. (Tim Miller Photo, Navy Mass Communication Specialist)

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LEMOORE, Calif. — A 2010 Goddard High School graduate and Roswell native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Wiggs is an aviation machinist’s mate with the Sidewinders of VFA 86, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation machinist’s mate is responsible for maintaining aircraft engines as well as secondary and power subsystems.

“I have learned that even if there is something you don’t want to do, no matter how tired and beat down you are, you have to do it,” Wiggs said. “It has allowed me to obtain all of my qualifications and set me ahead of others while serving in the Navy.”

Members of VFA 86 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 pounds and a top speed of 1,190 miles per hour.

Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, at any time. The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country’s permission to operate within its borders.

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“Strike Fighter Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the heart of Naval Aviation,” said Capt. James S. Bates, Deputy Commodore, Strike Fighter Wing. “The sailors assigned to SFWP always exceed expectations and produce amazing results through team work and dedication to their department, squadron, the U.S. Navy and their family. Naval Aviation is a challenging occupation, but our sailors work day in and day out to provide fully mission capable aircraft and fully qualified aircrew to ensure leadership is able to answer national level tasking. I am humbled to be able to lead the sailors of SFWP and I am proud to call Lemoore my home.”

Wiggs has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My dad and my father-in-law were in the Navy,” Wiggs said. “I was working three jobs. There were a lot of benefits to joining so, I did.”

Wiggs was selected as the Junior Sailor of the Year and earned a Navy Achievement Medal and Flag Letter of Commendation in 2017 for extensive troubleshooting.

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

“Serving is a great point of pride,” Wiggs said. “It sets a good example for my kids. I am doing everything to provide for them. I can do a lot of things that many people back home cannot say they’ve done.”