Kenmore native patrols seas from the air for U.S. Navy

Thomas Logan joined the U.S. Navy after attending a college career fair.

Lt. j.g. Thomas Logan, a native of Kenmore, knew he wanted to fly in the U.S. Navy.

“I was an aviation flight major in college, and I talked to some recruiters during a career fair,” Logan said in a press release. “I thought it was a great fit for me, and it made too much sense for me not to do it.”

Now, four years after joining the navy, Logan serves with the “Screaming Eagles” of Maritime Patrol Squadron (VP) 1, working with the navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

“Life is good at this squadron,” he said in the release. “It’s a nice environment, everyone stresses the idea of family here and that has been great for me. If there are any issues, people help each other out. The people here, I genuinely like as well.”

According to the release, Logan is a 2011 graduate of Bishop Blanchet and a naval aviator with VP-1 — which is a high-tech maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron tasked with monitoring the world’s oceans in the P-8A “Poseidon.”

“My job is to fly the plane safely,” Logan said in the release. “I’m responsible for everyone on board the aircraft, so my number one responsibility is their safety.”

Logan credits success in the navy to many of the lessons learned in Kenmore.

“My parents always held me accountable for mistakes I made and had me understand that my choices have consequences, and that has helped me stay disciplined in the navy,” he said in the release.

According to the release, VP-1’s primary mission is to conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence-gathering missions. They deploy around the world to monitor the world’s oceans wherever they are needed.

The P-8A Poseidon, the navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C “Orion.” According to navy officials, leveraging the experience and technology of the successful Orion with the needs of the fleet, the P-8A is designed to be combat-capable, and to improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

As the navy transitions to the full capacity with the P-8A Poseidon, the aircraft continues the workhorse tradition established by the P-3C Orion, the release states. The P-8A has a planned open architecture mission system and next-generation sensors. These capabilities give warfighters added protection. The aircraft empowers the fleet with more combat capability, responsiveness and interoperability with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors. The P-8A Poseidon has growth potential, with planned, phased-in technological improvements that extend global reach, payload capacity and higher-operating altitude.

“We do a lot with what is essentially an airliner that a lot of people can’t even imagine,” Logan said in the release. “We took an airplane that was originally built to be an airliner and made it a great platform for the navy.”

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.

“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 in the release. “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, Logan is most proud of getting his aviator’s wings.

“I got hurt early on in flight school, and I was almost kicked out of the program,” he said in the release. “I was able to make it through the program, and the moment I got the wings pinned on me, it was a huge accomplishment.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Logan and other sailors know they are part of a lasting legacy.

“Serving in the navy makes me someone who puts other people’s needs ahead of my own,” Logan said in the release. “Whether that’s making sure my junior sailors are taken care of or if my peers are good to go, what defines being in the navy is service to other people.”