Airman Shunia Barnett-Johnson, a native of San Antonio, TX., joined the Navy to seek better opportunities and to do something different with her life. Now, three years later, Barnett-Johnson serves with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3, working with one of the Navy’s most advanced helicopters at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.
Barnett-Johnson is an aviation ordnanceman who is responsible for handling and maintaining bombs and missiles to ensure they’re ready for the mission.
“I enjoy meeting different people from many different backgrounds and the pride we take in our job,” said Barnett-Johnson.
Barnett-Johnson is a 2015 George Gervin Academy graduate.
According to Barnett-Johnson, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in San Antonio.
“I learned to make better decisions and to accomplish more than what I thought was possible,” said Barnett-Johnson.
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Pilots and aircrew are trained in the squadron to fly MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopters to ensure they are prepared for peacetime and warfighting missions.
Helicopters are equipped with the ability to conduct replenishments at sea, search and rescue missions and support other operations as needed.
According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Barnett-Johnson is most proud of earning her air warfare qualification.
“It required a lot of studying and applying myself,” said Barnett-Johnson. “It was important to not give up or get discouraged.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Barnett-Johnson, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I love the opportunities to travel and the educational benefits that are available while I am serving my country,” said Barnett-Johnson.