Yakima Native serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron

LEMOORE, CA - A Yakima, Washington, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron, which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

Airman Christian Buenrostro is an aviation electricians mate with the Sidewinders of VFA 86, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. A Navy aviation electricians mate is responsible for the repair, maintenance and installation of the wiring systems, weather instruments and flight components.

“I’ve learned to always see the job done all the way through and don't slack on my duties,” Buenrostro said.

Members of VFA 86 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 lbs., and a max speed of 1,190 miles per hour.

Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, at any time. The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country’s permission to operate within its borders.

“Strike Fighter Wing, U. S. Pacific Fleet, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the heart of Naval Aviation,” said Capt. James S. Bates, Deputy Commodore, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific. “The sailors assigned to SFWP always exceed expectations and produce amazing results through team work and dedication to their department, squadron, the U.S. Navy and their family. Naval Aviation is a challenging occupation, but our sailors work day in and day out to provide fully mission capable aircraft and fully qualified aircrew to ensure leadership is able to answer national level tasking. I am humbled to be able to lead the sailors of SFWP and I am proud to call Lemoore my home.”

Buenrostro has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My brother is a Marine,” said Buenrostro. “Also, one of my former bosses was a machinist mate on submarines and talked to me about the bonds created here that you cannot find anywhere else in the civilian world.”

What Buenrostro likes most about this command is the friendships,” said Buenrostro. “It is the best thing about serving here.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Buenrostro 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 ensures financial stability, education and travel,” Buenrostro said.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller

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