David Johnson

United States Navy, LETU Class of 2002

I graduated from LeTourneau in 2002 and went to Pensacola, Fla., shortly after to attend Officer Candidate School. Once I was commissioned as an Officer, I went to Aviation Preflight Indoctrination, which is a lot of classroom time and studying. After this, I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, to start Primary flight training in VT-27.

In Primary, we flew the T-34, which is a high-performance, single-engine turboprop. After I finished Primary, I was one of the few lucky ones who selected jets. I moved to Kingsville, Texas, for Advanced flight training at VT-22 flying the T-45. The T-45 is a single-engine turbojet and the airplane that we take out to the boat for initial carrier qualifications. Once I qualified on the U.S.S. Kennedy in July 2005, I received my wings as a Naval Aviator. Furthermore, I found out that I would fly the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

I started learning how to fly the Hornet at VFA-122 in Lemoore, Calif. This is also where we go to the boat for the first time at night. After finishing this last phase of training, I was sent down the street to VFA-137 to fly the F/A-18E, the single-seat version of the Super Hornet. I just got back from my second deployment on board the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. We were out from March to October 2008 and split our time between Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.