Leesburg Native Serves with Versatile U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron in San Diego

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver, Navy Office of Community Outreach // U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Alex Diaz

A 2011 Leesburg High School graduate and Leesburg, Florida, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 21 at Naval Station North Island in Coronado, California.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Settle is a Navy aviation electrician’s mate serving with HSM 21, a versatile squadron that’s capable of completing a number of important missions for the Navy with the MH-60R “Seahawk” helicopter.

A Navy aviation electrician’s mate is responsible for managing software on computer systems and navigations of H-60S helicopters.

“I enjoy how technical my rate is,” Settle said.

Settle credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Leesburg.

“I learned that punctuality is key in being successful,” Settle said.

HSM 21’s primary mission is to conduct sea control operations in open-ocean and coastal environments as part of a Carrier Air Wing. This includes hunting for submarines, searching for surface targets over the horizon and conducting search and rescue operations, if required.

The MH-60R is the Navy’s new primary maritime dominance helicopter, replacing the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. Greatly enhanced over its predecessors, the MH-60R helicopter features a glass cockpit and significant mission system improvements, which give it unmatched capability as an airborne multi-mission naval platform, according to Navy officials.

“I really enjoy the location here and being stationed in Sad Diego,” Settle said.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Settle says he is most proud of being selected as Sailor of the Year at HSC-21.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Settle and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Giving back to my country that I benefit from is what serving means to me,” Settle said.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver, Navy Office of Community Outreach