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Parkersburg native maintains aircraft at sea

Petty Officer 3rd Class Calvin McQuain, a native of Parkersburg, is serving aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo Provided)

ATLANTIC OCEAN — A Parkersburg native is serving aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Calvin McQuain is an aircraft maintainer aboard the Nimitz-class USS Harry S. Truman. Aviation Maintenance Technician Day was on Sunday.

McQuain reported to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron 211 in November 2018 as an aviation structural mechanic (equipment). Aircraft carrier flight operations would not be possible without the aircraft maintainers who work around the clock to make sure the aircraft are mission ready.

“Our job is to manage the ejector seats in the jets,” said McQuain. “We have to make sure all of the environmental systems for the pilots are also good to go.”

A maintainer must be properly qualified due to the complexity and safety-of-flight related equipment they work on. Each maintainer undergoes specific technical training that pertains to their assigned rating before they are allowed to start working on aircraft or equipment.

McQuain said he enjoys taking apart the seat and knowing how everything works together.

Maintainers must be versatile and able to adapt to any environment, regardless of the platform they work on.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group remains at sea in the Atlantic ready to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19, following its successful deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. Keeping the group at sea in the U.S. 2nd Fleet allows the ship a high level of readiness during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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