Long Island native keeps Navy wing flying

Long Island native keeps Navy wing flying

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Lt. Thomas Verbeeck is a pilot serving with Wing 11 of the U.S. Navy. Photo from the U.S. Navy

A 2007 Shoreham-Wading River graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the largest base in the Southeast Region and third largest in the nation.

Lt. Thomas Verbeeck is a pilot serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11. As a pilot, Verbeeck is responsible for the safe flight of aircraft, navigation and organizing flight plans and missions.

“What I enjoy most about my job is working with proficient and motivated sailors,” Verbeeck said.

Beginning in the 1960s, the P-3C Orion, a land-based, long-range anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft, replaced the P-2V Neptune fleet. After 50 years of faithful service, the P-3C Orion is being phased out, according to Navy officials.

The P-8A is a modified Boeing airframe featuring a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

According to Navy officials, Wing 11’s history and reputation remain unparalleled since being commissioned on August 15, 1942. Throughout the decades, Wing 11 has continued to fly combat missions in direct support of the troops on the ground and delivered traditional maritime capabilities, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

“The U.S. Navy sometimes asks the impossible of our people. It is sailors that make the impossible possible,” said Capt. Anthony Corapi, CPRW-11. “Lt. Verbeeck is one example of a selfless servant of our nation. These heroes ask for very little recognition and perform their daily job with pride and professionalism, defending freedom and our way of life around the world.”

Verbeeck is part of a crew that is preparing for deployment in the future.

“This command has a tight-knit family atmosphere,” Verbeeck said. “I enjoy the camaraderie I have among my fellow crew. Serving in the Navy, I’ve learned that patience is a virtue and it’s important to trust those below you as well as above you. Given time, people will surprise you with the results of their hard work.”

— Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs