Naval District Washington Commandant's Corner
Joint Home Town News, NAS Pax River
Press Releases
Noise advisory issued for February 6
Noise advisory for Feb. 6
Naval air station issues noise advisory for Jan. 21, 2016
Naval air station issues noise advisory for Sept. 21-25
Notice of Availability for the final EA and FONSI addressing the implementation of an EUL at NAS Pax
NAS Pax to hold 9/11 Memorial
NAS Pax River kicks off Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with sunrise event
Public comment on the Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) at ER Program Site 55, Former Hazardous Waste Storage Hut
Public comment period opens for Proposed remedial action plan at ER Site 2
NAS to conduct periodic night tests throughout May
NAS conducts night tests April 27, 28 and 30
NAS issues noise advisory for April 27
MEDIA ADVISORY: Air Station holds annual Earth Day Run/Walk in support of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
NAS issues noise advisory for April 20-24
NAS issues noise advisory for April 13-17
Noise advisory issued for April 10
Noise advisory issued for April 9
Noise advisory issued for April 7
Evening noise advisory issued for April 6-10, 2015
NAS Patuxent River issues noise advisory for April 2, 2015
NAS Patuxent River issues noise advisory for April 1, 2015
NAS Patuxent River issues noise advisory for communities near Vienna and Deal Island
VX-1 changes command Thursday
US Naval Test Pilot School celebrates 70 years
Air station to participate annual Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield training
Air station to participate in annual Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield training
Noise advisory issued for April 25 - 29
Pax weapons policy to remain in place until otherwise noted
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for Jan. 17
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Testing Events Jan. 18/19, 2017
NAS Pax River Holds Emergency Response Exercise
Naval Air Station sounds all clear following suspicious package response
Noise Advisory – Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
Noise Advisory – Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for March 27 – April 14, 2017
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for April 5 – 15, 2017
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for April 5
NAS Patuxent River Named Tree City by Arbor Day Foundation, Celebrates with Tree Planting
From 500-feet Below the Surface to 10,000-feet Above - Pax River SAR Pilot Recounts Submarine Service
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for April 27-28
NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 11 – 19, 2017
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 8 - 10
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 15 - 19
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field May 16 - 18
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 22 - 26
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 23 - 25, 30
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
Safe HelpRoom Provides Support for men Who Have Experienced Unwanted Sexual Contact
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for May 30 – June 2
Noise Advisory - Low-Level Aircraft Testing at Webster Outlying Field
Brown named CNIC Air Traffic Controller of Year
The Department of The Navy Invites Public Comment on the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis For Site UXO –001 Historic Munitions Disposal Area Under the Environmental Restoration Program Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland
Noise Advisory – Supersonic Flight Test in Vicinity of Pax River June 22
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for August 21 - 25
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Aug. 28 – Sept. 1
Hammond Assumes Command of NAS Patuxent River
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Night Flights Sept. 21 – Sept. 29
Noise Advisory – NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Sept. 26, 2017
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Night Flights Oct. 2 – Oct. 6
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Oct. 10 - 13
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Nov. 15
Noise Advisory – NAS Patuxent River Issues Noise Advisory for Night Flight Testing Dec. 5 through Dec. 6
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Dec. 13
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Jan. 11
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Jan. 13-15
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Jan. 17-18
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for Jan. 22 - 26
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for Jan. 23 – 24
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Night Flights Jan. 30-31
The Department of The Navy Invites Public Comment on the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for Site UXO-001 Historic Munitions Disposal Area Under the Environmental Restoration Program Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland
Record of Decision Five-Year Review at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, St. Mary’s County, Maryland
Changes to MWR facilities' hours, prices will ensure ongoing quality of services
NOISE ADVISORY - NAS PAX RIVER sets noise advisory for March 12 – 21, 2018
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Night Flights March 19, 20
NAS Patuxent River Open with Staggered Departure due to Weather March 21, 2018
NAS Pax River, Webster and NRC Solomons will operate under a 2 hour Delayed Arrival/Unscheduled Leave/Telework Status on March 22, 2018
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for April 2 – April 3
Noise Advisory – Supersonic Flights in Atlantic Test Track April 23-April 27
NAS Patuxent River to host 2018 Pax River Air Expo June 2, 3
Noise Advisory – Supersonic Flights in Atlantic Test Track May 3 - 11
NAS Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for Day, Night Flights Beginning July 9 Through Mid-August
Noise Advisory - NAS Pax River Changes Flight Patterns due to Runway Repairs, Local Communities May Notice Increased Noise Levels
Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Night Time Noise Advisory for July 12-13, July 17-20
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for Night Flight Testing Aug. 28-30
NAS Pax River, U.S. Coast Guard Respond to Leakage from Partially Submerged Civilian Craft in Patuxent River
NAS Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for Day, Night Flights through Sept. 22
NAS Pax River Successfully Transitions Civilian Watercraft Fuel Leak Containment, Cleanup to U.S. Coast Guard
NAS Patuxent River Operating under 2-Hour Delayed Arrival/Unscheduled Leave/Telework Status due to Weather December 10
NAS Patuxent River Operating under Restricted to Mission Essential Personnel/Telework Status due to Weather January 13, 2019
UPDATE: NAS Patuxent River Operating under Restricted Access/Telework Status due to Weather January 13, 2019
UPDATE: NAS Patuxent River Remains in Restricted Access/Telework Status due to Weather for Remainder of January 13, 2019
NAS Patuxent River Operating under Restricted Access/Telework Status due to Weather Monday, January 14, 2019
NAS Patuxent River is Open for Business Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for FCLPs January 24-February 1
NAS Patuxent River to Participate in Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2019 Exercise February 4 - 15
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for FCLPs February 14 - 15, 2019
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for The Woods Community of West Virginia March 25 – April 10, 2019
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Webster Field April 5-8, 2019
NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Webster Field March 25-28, 2019
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for FCLPs March 26-29, 2019
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for April 22 to May 17, 2019
NOISE ADVISORY - Controlled Detonation at Bloodsworth Island Scheduled for August 21, 2019
Noise Advisory – NAS Patuxent River Sets Noise Advisory for Low Level Test Flights September 7-8, 2019
Read the latest Tester newspaper
Finding help 24/7 with After Hours Chiefs
NAS Patuxent River is Open with Option for Unscheduled Leave/Telework February 20, 2019
Pax River Seeking Public Comment on Environmental Restoration Program’s Community Involvement Plan through Survey
Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for FCLPs February 25 to March 8, March 15 to March 22
NOISE ADVISORY UPDATE- Controlled Detonation at Bloodsworth Island Scheduled for August 21, 2019 Postponed
Noise Advisory – NAS Patuxent River Sets Noise Advisory for Nighttime Helicopter Test Flights September 17-18, 2019

From 500-feet Below the Surface to 10,000-feet Above - Pax River SAR Pilot Recounts Submarine Service

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PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (April 14, 2017) -- Lt. Adam Patterson stands in front of one of the MH-60S Helicopters he flies as a pilot with NAS Patuxent River's Search and Rescue team, the NAS Patuxent River "SAR Dogs." Patterson's Navy career has taken him above and below the sea, starting with him as an enlisted submariner and taking him to the heights of naval aviation.

04/14/17

By Donna Cipolloni
NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs

Lt. Adam Patterson’s Navy career hasn’t followed what most people might call the “usual” path. Having experienced his own evolution of sorts, he emerged from the sea and eventually took to the air by first starting as a submariner and later transitioning to an aviator.

Back in 1996, as he was completing high school and considering his next step, Patterson sat for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and scored in the 99th percentile. Needless to say, the military recruiters came knocking.

“The military wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but I’d always wanted to fly,” said Patterson, currently serving shore duty at NAS Patuxent River as a helicopter pilot with the installation’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team. “I had started flying at 13 and wanted to pursue it, but it was expensive and time consuming.”

 

Patterson initially considered becoming an Airman, but Navy recruiters pointed out that the Navy has more aircraft than the Air Force, so he signed up as a Sailor.

Nuking it

“The next thing I knew, they said the only thing I qualified for was the nuke program and told me I was going to be a nuke engineer,” he said. “I went to boot camp two months after graduating and then I was off to nuke school in Orlando.”

While his friends were having a good time in college, Patterson was hitting the books long and hard, studying 45 additional hours per week beyond his normal classroom hours.

“We’d start at 0630 and wouldn’t get home until 2300 at night,” he added. “There were 33 in my starting class but only three of us graduated because the program was so difficult.”

Patterson was picked up, went to a naval nuclear power plant in New York, did well in the program and requested an aircraft carrier out of San Diego.

“I was going to be a nuke engineer on an aircraft carrier and I thought it’d be great because I’d finally be near my aviation; but the orders showed up and, unfortunately, they were to a sub out of Norfolk,” he said, chuckling.

Not having volunteered for a submarine, Patterson reported that this wasn’t what he was supposed to be doing, but the Navy countered by suggesting he try it for a year and if he didn’t like it, they’d assign him to a carrier.

“Within six weeks of being there, I wanted to talk with the XO; I wanted to be a submariner and I wanted it in my record that I was a submarine volunteer,” Patterson recalled. “I knew it was what I wanted to be. I started losing interest in aviation and focused on being a submariner.”

As a Nuclear Trained Machinist’s Mate (MMN), Patterson worked on secondary propulsion systems and auxiliary equipment to make the reactor work and provide the sub’s fresh drinking water, high pressure compressed air and all the electrical power. A skilled welder, he could also take a block of metal and create any repair part the sub needed.

“Everything that made the sub work, I owned two-thirds of it,” he noted. “When I quickly got qualified up to the highest I could possibly qualify in the nuke program as an enlisted man, I got bored.”

Never glamorous, submarine life changed further after the 2000 bombing of USS Cole (DDG-67), when subs took on larger roles in mission sets and would spend 90 days or more at sea before pulling in to port.

Boredom spurs learning

“At the time, there was no Internet, no email, we didn’t have phones; so I read books because there was nothing else to do,” Patterson said. “I had all the quals in the engineering spaces, so I started reading about submarining and submarine warfare tactics, weapons employments, torpedoes, cruise missiles. I learned everything until my head hurt.”

Patterson learned so much he was able to help further improve the capabilities and employment methods of our modern submarines.

His efforts did not go unnoticed. In 2004, Patterson went to Submarine Squadrons 6 and 8 in Norfolk and was responsible for 12 subs. That was also the year he made Chief Petty Officer, after only six years in the Navy.

“People would tell me I’d be MCPON someday, so that was the plan,” he added. “But my captain had a different plan and put me in for the Seaman to Admiral Program so I could get my commission.”

Graduating from the University of Arizona in 2008, Patterson planned to remain a nuke submariner and take command of his own submarine one day, but the aviation department reminded him of his early desire to fly, so he took the test and scored a near-perfect mark.

“I called my former captain and told him I could probably get selected for aviation and he told me if I wanted to do it, I had earned it and should go for it,” he said.

Up, up and away

So it was off to Pensacola for flight school where Patterson did well and ultimately ended up in helicopter training where he requested to fly CH-53s out of Norfolk but, instead, got MH-60 Romeos out of San Diego.

“It’s amazing that whatever you think, for whatever reason, someone else thinks otherwise,” Patterson noted. “Somebody felt I needed to be a submariner and I don’t know who that was, but I thank them every day because they made my career what it is today. Same thing with the Romeo — the 53s would’ve been neat to fly, but the avionics package on the Romeo makes it the most capable aircraft in the fleet, in my opinion, and it was a great opportunity to be able to fly that asset.”

Patterson has seen his share of action. As a submariner, from 1999 to 2005 he served on the fast attack sub USS Albany (SSN 753) and spent nearly the entire time underway. In 2004 alone, he spent 242 days under the sea. As an aviator, with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 he did a 10-month deployment, spending most of his time in 5th Fleet. Aboard the destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101), he made six port calls in 10 months. He even made it to an aircraft carrier, spending three months with a strike group aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

“I’ve been on every continent except Antarctica and I’ve sailed every sea, and that’s all because of the Navy,” Patterson said. “I can’t even tell you how many countries I’ve been to, all because the Navy took me there.”

Shore duty with Pax River’s SAR

Patterson arrived at Pax River last October and flies the station’s SAR MH-60 helicopter.

“It’s a stripped down version made for troop transport for SAR so we can put as many injured personnel in the aircraft as possible,” he added. “The group of pilots and aircrewmen here are topnotch, dedicated professionals. I see it every day. Every day we’re focused on saving lives.”

Patterson urges young Sailors not to be complacent, and always strive for more.

“It’s good to be good at your job, but that should just happen,” he said. “It’s everything else you seek out in professional development that makes you the best Sailor. If you’re not trying to better yourself and the people around you, then what are you doing?”

Eligible for retirement in two and a half years, Patterson says if the Navy wants to keep him around longer, he’s willing to stay.

“The Navy has a lot invested in me and I’m still waiting for a niche to be carved out in the aviation community,” he said. “I’m just now understanding aviation the way I understood submarines. I’ve gotten to the point where I can see places or processes that need improvement or a change here or there. We’ll see if I get the additional time to do that but, if not, I think I’ll be okay finding a job.” 

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