Arvada Native Flies Navy Warplane

From The Arvada Center: A 2006 Montrose High School graduate and Arvada, Colorado, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.Petty Officer 1st Class John Koller is an aviation machinist’s mate with the Vigilantes of VFA 151, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation machinist’s mate is responsible for maintaining the tankers aboard the aircraft. "I was taught to always push forward growing up," Koller said. "Through any obstacles you always have to be able to push through it and keep going in the Navy." Members of VFA 151 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 lbs., and a max speed of 1,190 miles per hour. Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, at any time.

The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country’s permission to operate within its borders."Strike Fighter Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the heart of Naval Aviation," said Capt. James S. Bates, Deputy Commodore, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific. "The sailors assigned to SFWP always exceed expectations and produce amazing results through team work and dedication to their department, squadron, the U.S. Navy and their family. Naval Aviation is a challenging occupation, but our sailors work day in and day out to provide fully mission capable aircraft and fully qualified aircrew to ensure leadership is able to answer national level tasking. I am humbled to be able to lead the sailors of SFWP and I am proud to call Lemoore my home."Koller has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition."My uncle was in the Air Force and my grandfather was in the Army Air Corps," said Koller. "I pretty much was interested in the aviation side of the military all my life because of my grandfather. He showed me the importance of discipline as well."

Koller is also proud of receiving a Flag Letter of Commendation for leading his work center. As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Koller and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs."Serving in the Navy gives me a sense of honor," Koller said. "It means having a chance to serve for a country I believe in and sacrificing the 20 years for protecting everyone back home."

Image Via Arvada Center

USS Washington CVN 73 Navy Flight Jacket FA-18 Hornet
USS Washington CVN 73
Navy Flight Jacket
FA-18 Hornet
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