A 2014 La Plata High School graduate and Waldorf native is serving in the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, home to the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Donte McCain is a Navy information systems technician serving with the Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 (CPRW-11).
A Navy information systems technician is responsible for network administration and database management.
“I get to work with electronics all day, so that’s great,” said McCain. “That’s the best part about the job.”
McCain credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Waldorf.
“I learned how to build a computer station from scratch,” said McCain.
The P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission aircraft that is replacing the legacy P-3C Orion. Those who fly in the P-8A hunt for submarines and surface ships as well as conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8A operates with a smaller crew than the P-3C, and it also delivers an extended global reach, greater payload capacity and higher operating altitude. It also has an open systems architecture with significant growth potential.
According to Navy officials, there are more than 15 Navy patrol squadrons in the U.S. and eight of those squadrons belong to Wing 11, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. This means that those who serve here are part of the first “Super Wing” in maritime patrol and reconnaissance history, ready to deploy and defend the U.S. and allies around the world.
Wing 11 recently added the Navy’s newest squadron to its arsenal: Unmanned Patrol Squadron Nineteen (VP-19), flying the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The P-8A and MQ-4C will serve as the future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, according to Navy officials.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, McCain is most proud of completing Navy school and training.
“Our school is very cut and dry and some of the tests are very challenging,” McCain said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, McCain and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“It means striving to be better, always improving yourself and helping others to be better themselves,” said McCain.