BY LT. CMDR. GUSTAV HEIN
Navy Community Outreach
A 2007 Le Grand High School graduate and Le Grand native in the U.S. Navy supports the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Medina is a Navy master-at-arms serving with Strategic Communications Wing One, a versatile command capable of consisting of three Navy squadrons and a Wing staff that employs over 1,700 active-duty sailors and 100 contractors to provide maintenance, security, operations, administration, training, and logistic support for the E-6B Mercury aircraft fleet.
Medina is responsible for working as a military police officer and maintaining military security clearances.
Medina credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Le Grand.
“Growing up in a small community where everyone depends on each other really taught me about cohesion and teamwork,” said Medina.
The mission stems from the original 1961 Cold War order known as ‘Take Charge and Move Out!’ Adapted as TACAMO and now the command’s nickname, today, the men and women of TACAMO continue to provide a survivable communication link between national decision makers and the nation’s nuclear weapons.
The commander-in-chief issues orders to members of the military who operate nuclear weapons aboard submarines, aircraft or in land-based missile silos. Sailors aboard TACAMO E-6 Mercury aircraft provide the one-of-a-kind and most-survivable communication needed for this critical mission.
“I like being able to help maintain the security of the men and women who work as part of the nuclear deterrent,” said Medina.
The Navy’s presence aboard an Air Force base in the middle of America may seem like an odd location given its distance from any ocean; however, the central location allows for the deployment of aircraft to both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico on a moment’s notice. This quick response is key to the success of the nuclear deterrence mission.
“Being ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Medina. “We are constantly training and preparing for many scenarios.”
Sailors serving from America’s heartland take pride in the vital mission they support as well as the nuclear deterrence they help provide.
“Serving in the Navy means sacrifice,” said Medina. “It means having to be away from family for long periods of time in order serve the greater good.”