OAK HARBOR, Wash. – A 2009 Mt. Abram Regional High School graduate and Strong, Maine, native is serving with Electronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130), also known as the “Zappers.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Corey Tripp is an aviation electrician’s mate with VAQ-130, a Whidbey Island-based squadron that operates the Navy’s newly-designed electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-18G Growler. Each aircraft has two seats, is over 60 feet long, may weigh up to 66,000 pounds (max gross) and can travel over 1,100 miles an hour and nearly 2,070 miles on a tank of gas.

As a 23-year-old with numerous responsibilities, Tripp said he is learning about himself as a leader, sailor and a person.

“This squadron has helped me become a harder worker and has helped me become more outgoing,” said Tripp.

Tripp said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the squadron’s 174-member military team, who protect America on the world’s oceans.

“The crew is a pretty relaxed and laid back group of people,” Tripp explained. “They are helpful, knowledgeable and easy to work with.”

Sailors’ jobs are varied with VAQ-130. Approximately 32 officers and 142 enlisted men and women make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining aircraft airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry and flying the aircraft.

The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite. Built to replace the EA-6B Prowler, the Growler is the first newly-designed electronic warfare aircraft produced in more than 35 years.

The aircraft also retains all of the F/A-18E/F’s multi-mission capabilities with its validated design and the capability to perform a wide range of enemy defense suppression missions.

“This is a fun job, and its pretty easy work,” said Tripp.

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