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San Bernardino Native Helps Keep One of The Navy’s Newest, Most Advanced Aircraft Flying

Danyelle Ridley

Danyelle Ridley

By Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A 2013 Pacific High School graduate and San Bernadino, California native is serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron that flies one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Danyielle Ridley is an aviation structural mechanic with the “Flying Eagles” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 “Super Hornets”, stationed in Lemoore, California. The squadron is currently training at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

As an aviation structural mechanic, Ridley is responsible for repairing the structure the jet aircraft and changing the hydraulic components.

“I enjoy anything with hydraulics,” said Ridley. “I think it’s interesting how it works. I never knew anything about hydraulics until I joined the Navy.”

The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, it is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support, according to Navy sources.

The newest model, Super Hornet, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day or night precision strike. Compared to the original aircraft, according to Navy officials, Super Hornet has longer range, an aerial refueling capability, increased survivability and improved carrier suitability.

“I like that this is a training command—it gives us lots of room to learn,” said Ridley.

As a member of one of the Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Ridley and other VFA-122 sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at VFA-122, according to Navy officials. Since the squadron is the 10th largest in the world, with over 100 aircraft operating, sailors must make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft. 

Serving in the Navy, Ridley is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and citizen through handling numerous responsibilities.

“I first joined the Navy just to get education, but something about it makes me want to do it forever,” Ridley added. “It’s never boring at work, it’s not repetitive. Jets are exciting.”

Eta Nu Omega Kicks off a Summer of Giving

RIVERSIDE, CA- On Sunday, June 11, the Eta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. through its charitable arm, The Inland Ivy Foundation, presented scholarships to six young women from the Inland Empire who have demonstrated high scholastic achievements and outstanding character.  The recipients are Brooklynn Brumley of Rancho Verde High School, Celeste Gaynair of Sultana High School, Raylene Graham of Arroyo Valley High School, Kalaya Hill of Arroyo Valley High School, Wendy Osorio of Ramona High School, and Jenna Owens of Rancho Verde High School.  These High School Seniors are all college bound and were selected from a pool of candidates with stellar grades and strong records of community service.

2017 Paint for a purpose

On Wednesday, June 21, Eta Nu Omega continued its Summer of Giving by “Painting for a Purpose” at Phearless Art Studio in Moreno Valley raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day campaign.  Held annually on the summer solstice, this sunrise to sunset event recognizes the challenging journey faced by those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers.  The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. used this day to call attention to the 47 million people around the world that are impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease.  In addition to individual donations made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Phearless Art Studio donated a portion of the proceeds collected from Eta Nu Omega’s Paint Night to the Alzheimer’s Association.

On Saturday, July 22, Eta Nu Omega co-hosted a “Concert Under the Stars” at the beautiful Hafif Estate in La Verne, CA to raise additional money for special projects such as support to a local domestic violence shelter, academic enrichment and personal development programs for high school and middle school students in Grand Terrace (ASCEND) and Fontana (Emerging Young Leaders).

Eta Nu Omega raises funds throughout the year through its Inland Ivy Foundation for scholarships and other charitable activities geared towards enriching the lives of men, women and children in the Inland Empire. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the oldest female Greek letter organization for college educated women founded in 1908.

Orange County, Palm Springs Organizations Donate Blankets, Craft Kits to Kids at LLUCH Clinic

LOMA LINDA, CA- Members from the Orange County Inland Empire Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Palm Springs Subaru dealership stopped by the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) Hematology/Oncology Clinic Friday, July 7 to brighten the kids’ day. They delivered blankets and craft kits to the clinic.

Although over 100 degrees outside, kids could find comfort in the blankets and use them while receiving treatment.

Gaven Hamrick, 9, of San Bernardino, was just one patient at the LLUCH clinic to receive a blanket and craft kit from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Subaru San Bernardino. 

“I can definitely use this stuff with my sister,” the fourth grader said of the crayons, markers and clay found in the craft kit. Hamrick was extremely appreciative of his new blanket saying he likes it cold in his room so he can get cozy under blankets.

The blanket donation is part of the LLS of Orange County Inland Empire Chapter and Palm Springs Subaru participation in the national Subaru Loves to Care Campaign. Through the campaign, LLS and Subaru intend to spread hope, love and warmth to cancer patients through small gestures by donating over 38,000 blankets across the country.

The LLUCH Hematology/Oncology clinic cares for patients with childhood cancers and blood disorders such as aplastic anemia.