Santa Barbara native serves at Naval Aviation Schools Command
By Lt. CMDR. CHRIS DONLON
NAVY OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH
PENSACOLA, Fla. — Petty Officer 1st Class Erica Romero, a native of Santa Barbara, is serving the U.S. Navy at Naval Aviation Schools Command.
As an instructor at NASC, Petty Officer Romero is serving among sailors, Marines and guardsmen developing the skills needed to be combat-ready aviation professionals. NASC is located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and provides an educational foundation in technical training, character development and professional leadership.
NASC instructors are experts in the subject matter they teach and they provide cutting-edge technical training that transforms students into mission-ready sailors.
Petty Officer Romero joined the Navy 13 years ago. Today, she serves as a naval air crewman.
“Movies, military history and a desire for adventure all contributed to my joining the Navy,” said Petty Officer Romero.
She said the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Santa Barbara.
“I was raised to always strive for better and never take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Petty Officer Romero.
NASC provides an educational foundation in technical training, character development and professional leadership to prepare Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and partner nations’ officers and enlisted personnel to be the combat-quality aviation professionals their nations need.
NASC is composed of four schoolhouses: Aviation Training School (ATS), Aviation Enlisted Aircrew Training (AEATS), Aviation Rescue Swimmer School (ARSS) and Aviation Water Survival School (AWS), which provide instruction in 14 different curricula. In fiscal year 2021, ATS staff conducted 2,250 hours of classroom instruction and 17,095 hours of flight instruction, graduating 1,140 pilots and 217 Naval Flight Officers. AEATS graduated 1,237 students, ARSS graduated 245 students and AWS, including Detachment Swim Sites Norfolk and Pearl Harbor, provided training for 6,479 students.
Serving in the Navy means Petty Officer Romero is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy supports national defense because we act as America’s nautical force in readiness,” she said.
Petty Officer Romero and the sailors she serves with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I am most proud of how I have successfully balanced being a mother and a fulltime helicopter crew chief,” said Petty Officer Romero.
As she and other sailors continue to train and perform the mission they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving has taught me to be less intimidated by the unknown and to push myself beyond my limits,” added Petty Officer Romero.
The Naval Education and Training Command is the U.S. Navy’s Force Development pillar and largest shore command. Through its “Street to Fleet” focus, Naval Education and Training Command recruits civilians and transforms them into skilled warfighters ready to meet the current and future needs of the U.S. Navy.