A 2015 Whitehouse High School graduate and Whitehouse native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.
Airman Sierra Rhame is an aviation ordnanceman with the Top Hatters of VFA 14, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation ordnanceman is responsible for loading and downloading all the weapons in the aircraft and maintaining the weapons systems.
“I was taught discipline,” Rhame said. “I am able to take care of the things that need to be taken care of.”
Members of VFA 14 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 lbs., and a max 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.
“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, U.S. Pacific. “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.”
Rhame has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My great grandfather was in the Army,” said Rhame. “He made it a dream for me.”
Rhame is also proud of being selected the Plane Captain of the Second Quarter in 2017 for making all qualifications.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Rhame and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means protecting my family,” Rhame said.