OAK HARBOR, Wash. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Micah Clark-Fleming, a Park Center graduate, joined the Navy because of a drive to serve all and continue the tradition of past family members who had served.
Now, nearly four years after joining the Navy, Clark-Fleming serves with the "Cougars" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, working with the Navy’s premier electronic attack aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
“I enjoy getting the opportunity to working with people who make it easier to do and learn,” said Clark-Fleming.
Clark-Fleming, a 2015 graduate of Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park is a personnel specialist with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, a high-tech electronic attack squadron capable of altering the outcome of any engagement with the EA-18G “Growler.”
“I’m responsible for managing pay and customer service,” said Clark-Fleming.
Clark-Fleming credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in growing up.
“My mom always taught me the importance of respecting people,” said Clark-Fleming. "It helps because I have to deal with people all the time and no matter what is happening you have to keep your cool."
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139's primary mission is to conduct airborne electronic warfare while embarked with a carrier air wing. They deploy with aircraft carriers to project electronic attack dominance anywhere in the world at any time. This includes suppression of enemy radar systems, sensor jamming and electronic protection.
The EA-18G “Growler” is the most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform in production today, according to Navy officials. The Navy invests in advanced “Growler” capabilities to ensure it continues to protect all strike aircraft during high-threat missions for decades to come.
“Being a part of administration is a bit different, but you always know you are helping out the team,” said Clark-Fleming.
Serving in the Navy means Clark-Fleming is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
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.
“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 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, Clark-Fleming is most proud of earning both an enlisted surface warfare and enlisted aviation warfare device.
“It took a lot of time and taught me to be patient,” said Clark-Fleming. "It also taught me to ask for help when I need it and rely on people along the way."
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Clark-Fleming and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving means tradition,” said Clark-Fleming. "It's protecting and serving."