MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT --
Growing up around the Marine Corps, Capt. Catherine Schmidt, a naval flight officer with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, knew the Marines were the best way to go. It wasn’t until graduating officer candidate school that she chose a career where the sky is the limit.
“I thought it would be fun,” she said. “i thought it would be a challenge.”
And a challenge it was. Naval flight officers assist the employment of the ea-6b prowler’s offensive and defensive weapons. The flight officers, assigned as supporting arms coordinators, direct supporting fire and advise commanders on the ground on matters of aerial observation. Their guidance may include artillery, naval gunfire and close-air support.
Schmidt said learning her craft was a daily struggle and it was more difficult than studying for her courses in college. To become a naval flight officer, schmidt completed two and a half years of training.
“i think it is easy for some people and more difficult for others, but it was definitely difficult for me,” she said.
She said one of her biggest challenges is juggling personal and professional demands.
The four tactical electronic warfare squadrons based here are the only Prowler squadrons in the Marine Corps and can be rapidly deployed globally to provide electronic warfare capabilities.