AWRC (NAC/AW/SW) – Justin J. Gehant USN, of Mendota, was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer. During his naval career, Chief Gehant has participated in search and rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina, is a veteran of the Iraqi Freedom campaign, and was part of a squadron that augmented fire suppression efforts during the San Diego fires in 2007.
The Mendota High School graduate is currently on his fifth Western Pacific Deployment serving as a Tactical Helicopter Crewmen with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM-73) aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
His personal awards include an Air Medal (single action), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, in Silver Star in lieu of Sixth Award, numerous campaign and unit awards, and honor graduate of his class at Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor School.
His numerous qualifications include: Qualified SH-60B, F, H, and MH-60R, S, Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Mountain Flying Instructor, and Carrier Tactical Support Center (CV-TSC) operator, Helicopter Aerial Door Gunner Instructor, Small Arms Instructor, and Aviation Rescue Swimmer.
Chief Gehant is an expert tactician with relentless commitment to the squadron’s mission. As the US NAVY’s #1 Tactical Helicopter Crewmen, he was hand-selected to instruct the Royal Australian Navy in SEAWOLF Tactics. He has conducted multiple deployments throughout his career in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Inherent Resolve, and Counter Narcotic Operations in the South Pacific with the US COAST GUARD. He has also done two tours at NSAWC and NAWDC teaching SEAWOLF Tactics and Carrier Air Wing training, ensuring 100% mission readiness for the US NAVY in operations around the world.
Through his continued dedication, bravery, and honor, Chief Gehant represents the very best of our nation and Mendota.