NEWS | Aug. 19, 2021

Profiles in Professionalism: AE3 Simon Town

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Sanders

SAN DIEGO – Three years ago, Full Time Support (FTS) Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE) 3rd Class Simon Town was living in his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina, when he felt the urge to start something new. 
 
“Out of nowhere I was just like, ‘I want to get out of here; I want to do something bigger with my life,’ and that’s when I decided to enlist in the Navy,” said Town.
 
Initially intent on becoming an active-duty Sailor, Town found few rating options available at the time. However, he was soon presented with what his recruiter described as “a golden ticket.”
 
“He made a call, and he told me that AE was available, but only for FTS,” said Town, who, with a strong desire to find a career that would drive his personal development, took full advantage of the opportunity. 
 
“I just wanted something that was going to challenge me mentally and physically,” said Town, “I felt like this was something that I was willing to take a chance on.”
 
After completing recruit training and AE “A” School, Town received orders to his current command, the “Conquistadors” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 57 at Naval Base Coronado. 
 
“I work on C-40A ‘Clippers,’ which are the same type of passenger aircraft flown by civilian airlines, so working on them transfers easily into the civilian world, and the experience is one of a kind,” said Town.
 
Town said his favorite part of his job is getting to jump into the fray of opportunities for problem solving.
 
“I’m hands on. I’ve had to crawl into tight spaces and lift things, just doing things that I wouldn’t have normally done before,” he said. 
 
Approaching the end of his time at his first duty station, Town said he reflects on getting stationed with VR-57 as a great opportunity. 
 
“To be able to say that I work on an aircraft that supports not only the civilian side, but the military side, is fulfilling to me” said Town. “I’ve gotten to go to a couple of different places, Bahrain and Japan, I’ve learned a lot about different cultures. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
 
Town said his technical expertise has developed from seeing how different aircraft operate. 
 
“Just the technical experience you can get from being overseas is insane,” he said.
 
After three years in the Navy Reserve, Town looks forward to choosing his next command. Looking further into the future, he’s considering pursuing a commission as a naval officer.
 
“I think the military is more important than ever, and I’m just looking to leave a mark on the Navy,” said Town.
 
Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve mans, trains and equips the Naval Air Force Reserve in order to provide enduring operational support and strategic depth to Naval forces that win in combat.