Parsippany native supports training of naval aviators

By Lt. Paula Knight, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A 2002 Parsippany Hills High School graduate and Parsippany, New Jersey, native is working in support of the training of naval aviation personnel and air operations.

Chief Petty Officer Catherine Morales is an electrician’s mate serving at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Chief Petty Officer Catherine Morales

A Navy electrician’s mate is responsible for operating electrical equipment onboard naval vessels. 

Morales credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Parsippany. 

“My teachers taught me a good work ethic and perseverance in life,” Morales said. “These traits have definitely made me both the person and sailor I am today.” 

The flight training program is approximately 18 months, due to the increased complexity of today’s aircraft. Currently, Training Air Wing FOUR produces approximately 600 newly qualified aviators each year. Naval Air Station is also home to Corpus Christi Army Depot, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22, Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi and nearly 40 other tenant commands. 

“The mission of Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, is to provide the best possible service and facilities to our customers with pride,” said Fifi Kieschnick, public affairs officer of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. 

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

Morales plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of National Defense Strategy. 

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Morales is most proud when her sailors get recognized for their achievements and continue to reach their goals. 

“It makes me proud that I was a part of their accomplishments,” Morales said. “It gives me a sense of fulfillment that I am being a positive influence in their lives.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Morales and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. 

“It’s an honor to serve my country and the Navy has given me the opportunity to excel in both my professional and personal life,” Morales said.

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