'It’s our job to keep those birds in the air'
NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan - Each week, Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi recognizes a Sailor who has shown exceptional work ethic, skill and knowledge of their craft. The Sailor, nominated by their command, is granted the title Sailor of the Week and given a letter of recognition by the Commanding Officer of NAF Atsugi. The Sailor is also brought on as a guest along side the Commanding Officer Capt. Steven Wieman and Command Master Chief Carlton Duncan to co-host Captain’s Call, the base’s weekly broadcast program.
This week’s Sailor of the Week is Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Petty Officer Carlos Pereyra.
As a well decorated and veteran Sailor, Pereyra is no stranger to the U.S. Navy air wing and he has been attached to fighter squadrons for the past 16 years.
Pereyra comes to the Navy from Moreno Valley California where he made the decision to enlist at an early age. While still in high school, he enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program and took the oath to serve his country in May of 1996.
After attending AT school in Millington, Tenn., Pereyra was attached to VFA- 97, in Lemoore, Calif.
He spent the following 12 years on familiar terrain in California attached to strike fighter squadrons 97, 125 and 122. Eventually, Pereyra decided to make a career changing decision and accepted orders here at NAF Atsugi, Japan.
Pereyra currently works as a line leading petty officer and is responsible for directing a team of 38 personnel in the safe launch and recovery of eleven F/A-18E Super Hornet. During his time here in Atsugi, he has enabled his squadron to fly over 4,300 flight hours and ensures that all safety logs are kept accurate and up to date. In addition to the launch and recovery of aircraft, Pereyra’s collateral duties include aircraft inspection and training fellow shipmates.
“There is a comradely amongst the members of the squadron. It’s a tight knit family and I do my best to look out for the Jr. Sailors under me,” said Pereyra. He continued, “We are a team, and it’s our job to keep those birds in the air.”
At 36 years old, Pereyra is currently one of the most experienced Sailors to win the Sailor of the Week award. His expertise is called upon at every level and is relied upon heavily for leadership and day to day operations.
Throughout Pereyra’s time in the Navy he has received an Enlisted Aviation Warfare pin, five Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, one Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, five Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and one Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Medal.
Petty Officer Pereyra has a wife, Patricia Pereyra, whom he has been happily married to for 12 years, and two sons Alex and Adian ages 12 and 10 years old.
Like many Sailors, Pereyra said that the hardest part of his job is when he has to spend time away from his loved ones. “Even with 16 years under your belt, there is still an emotional factor that comes into play when the time comes to go underway,” said Pereyra.