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McQuade serves on Navy’s amphibious warfare unit

MAYPORT, FLA. – Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew McQuade, a Huntsville native, works to keep the U.S. Navy’s newest, most advanced helicopters in excellent condition for flying.

McQuade graduated from Huntsville High School in 2012.

McQuade serves in the Navy as a naval aircrewman for tactical helicopters with the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46. The squadron is based in Mayport, Fla.

The squadron operates the Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and Anti-Surface Warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk. Each helicopter is almost 65 feet long and can weigh up to 23,500 pounds (maximum gross). These helicopters can travel more than 120 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on one tank of gas.

As a naval aircrewman, McQuade is responsible for anti-submarine, surface warfare and search-and-rescue operations.

“I was homeschooled until eighth grade,” McQuade said. “I got most of my morals from my dad and mom. My dad served in the Navy, and my granddad served in the Navy as well. My other grandfather was in the Army with a few of my uncles.”

According to Navy officials, the MH-60R is the most capable multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. The Navy uses the helicopter for various missions, including hunting and tracking enemy submarines, attacking enemy ships, drug interdiction, delivering supplies and supporting the Navy’s special operations forces.

McQuade said his squadron is proud to be affiliated with a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times. “Receiving my aircrew wings designation as a search-and-rescue swimmer was an accomplishment I am particularly proud of,” he said.

By serving in the Navy, McQuade is learning about maturing as a more respectable leader, sailor and individual. “I’m thankful to be a part of the United States and to be able to do something to serve my country,” he said.

Note: Headquartered in Millington, Tenn., the Navy Office of Community Outreach travels the globe and collects sailors’ stories. Lt. Wes Holzapfel wrote McQuade’s story.

For more information, visit outreach.navy.mil.

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