Southern Maryland native supports future of naval aviation

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – A 2005 Maurice J. McDonough High School graduate and Port Tobacco, Maryland native is serving with Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) supporting the future of naval aviation aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Petty Officer 2nd Class William Peterson is an aviation electronics technician with NTWL, responsible for government oversight of civilian contractors on the testing and evaluation of the newest and advanced naval aircraft for the fleet.

“What I enjoy most about my job is being a part of the future of naval aviation,” said Peterson. “I get a sense of pride knowing that the aircrafts complete their missions both effectively and efficiently due to my diligent work ethic and attention to detail.”

NTWL is responsible for safe and efficient execution of developmental ground and flight testing across all naval aviation platforms and systems.

It consists of five component commands, air test and evaluation squadrons, VX-20, HX-21 and VX-23, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Directorate and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

Peterson works directly for VX-20, which is responsible for testing and evaluating the Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft systems.

“This command is a tight family-oriented atmosphere," said Peterson. "I love the camaraderie that I share amongst my fellow sailors. I also enjoy being on shore duty because I am able to concentrate on both my professional and personal growth.”

NTWL includes approximately 3,800 personnel, including 400 military, 800 civilian, 2,500 contractors and 65 students at any given time. Working together to accomplish the command’s test and evaluation mission, they do everything from maintaining aircraft airframes, electronic systems and engines, to handling administrative requirements, developing test plans, reporting test results, handling weapons and flying the aircraft. 

“The men and women of Naval Test Wing Atlantic do great work every day to keep naval aviation at the cutting edge," said Capt. Brett Pierson, NTWL commander. “Whether they're flying or maintaining our aircraft, developing or executing test plans, or taking care of all the support we need in order to do what we do so well, our team takes pride in ensuring systems are ready for the fleet. I'm very proud of our people for what they do to defend our nation.”

Serving in the Navy, Peterson is learning about being more of a leader through handling numerous responsibilities.

"I've learned that there are countless opportunities provided by the Navy,” said Peterson. “It's provided me with financial stability. It's challenged me to become not only a better person for myself but for everyone around me. It’s also provided me with the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures and people along the way.”

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