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Covington native serves at U.S. Navy helicopter squadron in Japan
Jameela Wilson
Jameela Wilson - photo by Special Photo

ATSUGI, Japan — Seaman Jameela Wilson, a native of Covington, Georgia, serves in the U.S. Navy as a member of a helicopter squadron forward deployed to Japan.

Wilson attended Norcross High School and graduated in 2017.

Wilson joined the Navy one year ago.

“I joined the Navy because I saw my father work tirelessly throughout the years and it inspired me to join,” Wilson said. “I want to make him proud so that he sees that his work was not in vain.”

Today, Wilson serves as a logistic specialist with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51.

Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Covington.

“The lessons that I learned in Covington are to give respect to those above me and to always verify all the information I was given,” Wilson said.

Members of HSM 51 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. Some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.

This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. Our Nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service.

As a member of the Navy, Wilson is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to our national security because we keep the freedom of the water and sea lanes open for trade,” Wilson said.

Wilson serves in Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.

“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence,” said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. “Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend - across all domains - any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being.”

Wilson and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest moment is when I contributed to many of our command management, such as becoming the secretary of our junior Sailor association.,” said Wilson.

As Wilson and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means standing for a purpose greater than just myself,” Wilson said. “It means serving for the greater good of all.”

Wilson is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my father,” Wilson said. “My father told me to work hard and I would like to make him proud.”