By Rick Burke
Navy Office of Community Outreach
A 2013 Broadneck High School graduate and Arnold native is participating in a rigorous training process that transforms officers into U.S. naval aviators.
Ensign Matt Tumelty is a student pilot with the “Boomers” Training Squadron VT-27, based in Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas. The squadron flies the T-6B Texan II aircraft.
A Navy student pilot is responsible for learning how to fly aircraft and progress through the pipeline that is needed to master the skills as a naval aviator and excel as an officer in the Navy.
“I enjoy interacting with the people in our community and flying is a lifelong dream of mine,” Tumelty said.
Tumelty credits his success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Arnold.
“My hometown is a military community, so I had a lot of role models to follow and emulate, and doing this has definitely made me a better person overall,” Tumelty said.
The T-6B Texan II is a training aircraft powered by a 1,100 shaft horsepower, free-turbine, turboprop single-engine, four-bladed propeller, with a cruising speed of 320 mph.
VT-27’s primary mission is to train future naval aviators to fly as well as instill leadership and officer values. Students must complete four phases of flight training in order to graduate, including aviation pre-flight indoctrination, primary flight training and advanced flight training. After successfully completing the rigorous program, naval aviators earn their coveted “Wings of Gold.”
After graduation, pilots continue their training to learn how to fly a specific aircraft, such as the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet fighter attack jet aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft or the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. They are later assigned to a ship or land-based squadron.
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% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80% of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90% of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
Tumelty plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Richard V. Spencer, secretary of the Navy. “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, Tumelty is most proud of being a commissioned naval officer and having the opportunity to become a naval aviator.
“To continue on the path of becoming a naval aviator and defending the skies of my country have been lifelong goals of mine,” Tumelty said.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Tumelty, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Tumelty is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My father served in the Navy and he was a role model for me to continue the family legacy,” Tumelty said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Tumelty 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 the opportunity to give back to my country and defend it, as well as participating in potential humanitarian missions across the world,” Tumelty said.