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Boone County High School grad serves Navy aboard Naval Air Station as survival equipmentman

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tim Kidwell

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tim Kidwell

A 2012 Boone County High School graduate and Florence native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the largest base in the Southeast Region and third largest in the nation.

Petty Officer 3rd class Tim Kidwell is a aircrew survival equipmentman serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.

A Navy aircrew survival equipmentman is responsible for survival equipment upkeep for the squadron.  

“I make sure that periodic inspections are conducted on the survival equipment and ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Kidwell. “I care about people and my job is saving lives when their survival equipment is their last resort.”

According to Navy officials, Wing 11’s history and reputation remain unparalleled since being commissioned on August 15, 1942. Throughout the decades, Wing 11 has continued to fly combat missions in direct support of the troops on the ground and delivered traditional maritime capabilities, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Beginning in the 1960s, the P-3C Orion, a land-based, long-range anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft, replaced the P-2V Neptune fleet.  After 50 years of faithful service and the 50th anniversary of Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, the P-3C Orion is being phased out of the fleet, according to Navy officials.

The P-8A is a modified Boeing airframe featuring a fully connected, state-of-the-art, open architecture mission system designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, Navy officials explained.

“The U.S. Navy sometimes asks the impossible of our people. It is sailors that make the impossible possible,” said Capt. Anthony Corapi, Commodore, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.  “Petty Officer Kidwell is one example of a selfless servant of our nation.  These heroes ask for very little recognition and perform their daily job with pride and professionalism defending freedom and our way of life around the world.  Each member of the Navy’s combat team is crucial to our success. I am very proud to have Petty Officer Kidwell on our team!”

Kidwell is part of a crew that is transitioning to the P-8A Poseidon and preparing for deployment in the future.

“I am very fortunate to be at this command,” said Kidwell. “Everyone at this command is helpful and caring inside and outside of work and the leadership is great.”

According to Navy officials, the Navy continues to meet milestone after milestone on this world-class mission and is providing an aircraft with superior capabilities to the men and women in uniform that will have a lasting legacy promoting a global maritime strategy.

“Since joining the Navy, I have matured a great deal,” added Kidwell. “The Navy taught me a lot about teamwork and this is where it matters.  This also helps me in all levels of my life and preparing for college.”

From the U.S. Navy

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