Lutcher’s Nicholas helps keep Navy helicopters flying

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 1998

L’Observateur / July 15, 1998

SAN DIEGO – Without professionals like Lutcher’s Alexis V. Nicholas, theNavy’s fleet of high-tech helicopters would never get off the ground.

Navy Petty officer 3rd Class Nicholas, the 28-year-old son of Gertrude Taylor of Lutcher, serves with Anti-Submarine Squadron 41 (HSL-41) in San Diego. Nicholas and more than 250 squadron mates keep about 10helicopters in top working order.

Nicholas is an administrative assistant who types the squadron’s daily correspondence and updates officers’ service records. Nicholas derivesmuch satisfaction from being a member of HSL-41.

“The most rewarding part of my job is that I am part of an elite helicopter squadron,” said Nicholas, a 1989 graduate of Lutcher High School.

HSL-41 services and flies the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. This versatilehelicopter is both a formidable weapon and a lifesaving rescue vehicle. TheSeahawk’s primary mission is pinpointing and prosecuting enemy submarines, but it is also used to transport supplies and rescue personnel stranded in the sea.

The members of HSL-41 routinely embark on six-month-long cruises aboard Navy warships, such as destroyers and frigates. While ondeployments, Nicholas and other squadron members service and repair the two Seahawk helicopters that accompany them. Nicholas understands theneed for these extended periods overseas.

“Deploying our people outside the continental United States enables us to act and react promptly to situations that may occur without warning,” said Nicholas, a six-year Navy veteran.

The lengthy overseas deployments and high-attention-to-detail work makes Nicholas’s job both demanding and challenging. With thesechallenges come maturity and growth, both of which Nicholas has experienced since joining the Navy.

“I have enjoyed the Navy so far. It has taken me to places that I had onlyseen pictures of,” Nicholas said.

As long as Nicholas and the rest of HSL-41 keep their helicopters flying, the Navy will continue to keep sea lanes open and defend the interests of the United States.

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