Sailor in the Spotlight - Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Elisa Morales

by Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Butler
01 June 2021
Aviation Machinist's Mate Elisa Morales
210516-N-WU807-1021 (May 16, 2021) Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Elisa Morales poses for a photo in front of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 16. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
Aviation Machinist's Mate Elisa Morales
Aviation Machinist's Mate Elisa Morales
210516-N-WU807-1021 (May 16, 2021) Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Elisa Morales poses for a photo in front of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 16. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
Photo By: Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Butler
VIRIN: 210516-N-WU807-1021
APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 21, 2021) -- A Columbus, Ohio, native and 2018 Westland High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the deployed Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Charleston (LCS 18).

Airman Elisa Morales joined the Navy as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate shortly after graduating high school and is a member of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, which is currently assigned to the Charleston.

“My older brother was in the National Guard, and I definitely knew I wanted to do some form of military so I could go to college,” said Morales. “My mentor told me about how I could travel and do interesting things in the Navy as well as go to college after, so I started looking into it.”

With the help of those close to her, Morales was able to come into the service more prepared. “My parents, mentor and teachers were always pushing me,” said Morales. “Every time I felt like giving up they would tell me ‘what you are feeling right now is not a final feeling’ and ‘you are going to be so much more than what you think.’ I think being pushed every now and then when I needed it is what set me up for success.”

Now, Morales spends her time working on the MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to HSC-21.

“Basically, I’m a mechanic, but for helicopters,” said Morales. “I inspect, repair and maintain the engines, rotor systems and fuel systems of the helicopter on board.”

Morales’ role is critical for flight operations, and she takes great pride in it.

“I’m most proud to see everyone return from their flight,” said Morales. “I just want to see my team get back safe and into their beds every night.”

According to Morales, while the Navy has not always been the easiest, she is still glad to be serving.

“There’s good and bad days, but the further I go the more rewarding it becomes,” said Morales. “It made me aware of big things that are going out in the world and get to take part in them. I didn’t understand how the things I do add up to the big picture at first. Things I did seemed small, but they contribute along with what my team does to bigger things. I feel like people need to realize that as small as their job is, it contributes to something bigger.”

Charleston has a crew size of approximately 100 Sailors, including crew and air detachment. LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal, and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine, and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future missions, from deep water to the littorals.

Attached to DESRON 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the region, and to work alongside allied and partner navies to provide maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As the U.S. Navy’s destroyer squadron forward-deployed in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as ESG 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.

7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/397160/sailor-spotlight-aviation-machinists-mate-airman-elisa-morales
 

 
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