Springfield Native serves with U.S. Navy’s Lone Star Express

Hampden County

FORT WORTH, Texas – A native of Springfield, Massachusetts, is serving with a U.S. Navy Reserve Aviation squadron that delivers around the clock worldwide support to all military services.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Neptune is an aircrew survival equipmentman serving at Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR 59) based at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

As a Navy aircrew survival equipmentman, Neptune is responsible for maintaining survival equipment stored aboard C-40A Clipper aircraft.

“I learn leadership and quick decision-making while working on the aircraft,” Neptune said.

Neptune, a 2016 American International College graduate, joined the Navy two years ago to get his foot in the door to become a law enforcement officer after the Navy.

VR 59, nicknamed “The Lone Star Express,” is responsible for maintaining and operating three C-40A Clipper aircraft delivering Navy cargo and personnel to training and operating destinations around the world. VR 59 personnel also deploy to three overseas duty stations on rotational schedules throughout the year.

“The thing I like most about VR 59, is getting to learn about the safety precautions that go into a C-40A passenger aircraft that both civilians and military members get to fly in,” Neptune said.

C-40A Clipper aircraft is a military version of the Boeing 737-700C airline transport. It provides critical logistics support to the United States Navy. Its flight deck features a flight management computer system with an integrated GPS, and has an enhanced ground proximity warning system, predictive wind shear, heads-up display and tactical air navigation system and surveillance radar functions.

According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.

“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Neptune is most proud of advancing to petty officer second class in under three years.

“Growing up in Springfield, I learned that if at first you don’t succeed, then try again,” Neptune said. “If I don’t get a qualification right away or fail a test, I keep trying till I do.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Neptune, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.

“Serving in the Navy means I get to be a part of something bigger than myself and having the opportunity to travel around the world,” Neptune added.

For more information about the Navy, contact a local recruiter at 413-266-9034.

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