SAN DIEGO - A 2011 Kingman High School graduate and Kingman native is serving with a U.S. Navy helicopter squadron that flies the Navy's newest and most technologically-advanced helicopter, the MH-60R Sea Hawk.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tiffany Miller is an aviation ordinanceman with the "Magicians" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35, based out of San Diego.
"It's a lot easier to load ordnance and ammunition on this aircraft than other aircraft," said Miller.
The squadron deploys its helicopters and personnel around the world aboard a variety of Navy ships, including frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
While aboard ships at sea, the squadron conducts a variety of missions.
"Our missions aboard ships include tracking and hunting enemy submarines, combatting enemy surface ships, search and rescue, communications relay, and ferrying supplies, cargo and personnel," said Lt. Reagan Lauritzen, Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesperson.
As an aviation ordnanceman, Miller is responsible for loading ordnance such as missiles, torpedoes, chaff and flares. She also mounts the .50 caliber machine gun and ensures its ammunition supply.
"My job is fun, the people I work with are like family to me, we have each other's back," said Miller.
The MH-60R Sea Hawk is over 60 feet long, and can weigh up to 23,500 pounds. It is replacing the Navy's older helicopters because of its greater versatility and more advanced weapon systems.
"The MH-60R features more sophisticated electronics, like a new low-frequency sonar and an advanced radar system," said Lauritzen. "The Seahawk can also launch torpedoes, fire Hellfire missiles and laser guided rockets, and carry crew served weapons"
Miller said she is proud to be a part of the 283-member squadron that is ready to defend America at all times.
"I like meeting new people in the Navy, it's opened my eyes to other cultures and backgrounds," said Miller.
Being a sailor assigned to a helicopter squadron and in a deployable status means spending a lot of time away from friends and family, but serving her country makes it worth it for Miller.
"Getting to see other countries and sightseeing while on deployment is rewarding because one of my goals was to see the world," said Miller. "The Navy has helped me achieve that goal."