Sugar Land native serving Navy at Top Gun

Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Livingston, a 2005 Kempner High School graduate and Sugar Land native, is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler. (Submitted photo)

Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Livingston of Sugar Land and a 2005 graduate of Kempner High School is an aviation ordnanceman with the “Top Gun” Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center (NAWDC) in Fallon, Nevada.

Their squadron was sent on temporary detachment to Whidbey Island to provide ordnance training to the VAQ-135 electronic attack squadron. As an aviation ordnanceman, Livingston is responsible for uploading and downloading explosives onto the fighter jets.

“My job is pretty fun because I get to play with stuff that blows up,” Livingston said.

Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers, as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, EA-18G Growler crewmembers engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources.

The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods and satellite communications. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems to render air defenses ineffective.

“I like being able to go on detachments which are short training operations that allow me to learn more about the job,” Livingston said.

As a member of one of the Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Livingston and other Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“We’re in the warfighting business, and we’re here to win,” said Capt. Tabb Stringer, Commodore of Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We operate the most advanced and capable electronic attack aircraft in the world and our sailors are the most highly trained, innovative, and critical thinking teammates I have ever worked with.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at the Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center in Fallon, according to Navy officials. Jobs include everything from maintaining airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft. Serving in the Navy, Livingston is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and citizen through handling numerous responsibilities.

“Serving in the Navy means having the opportunity to serve my country and being able to protect those back home,” added Livingston.


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