Manassas native supports the future of naval aviation

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Provided by Navy Office of Community Outreach

Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Roper, Jr.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Roper, Jr.

A 2002 Osbourn Park High School graduate and Manassas native is serving with Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) supporting the future of naval aviation aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Roper, Jr. is an aviation administrationman with NTWL, responsible for the oversight of civilian workers that maintain aircraft maintenance records and management of the command’s maintenance server and database.

“What I enjoy most about my job is not only the day-to-day challenges, but I also get a sense of pride knowing that the command’s aircrafts complete their missions both effectively and efficiently due to my diligent work ethic and attention to detail,” said Roper.

NTWL is responsible for safe and efficient execution of developmental ground and flight testing across all naval aviation platforms and systems.

It consists of five component commands, air test and evaluation squadrons, VX-20, HX-21 and VX-23, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Directorate and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

Roper works directly for VX-20, which is responsible for testing and evaluating the Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft systems.

“I enjoy the great camaraderie I share with my fellow shipmates,” said Roper. “It’s a real tight-knit family atmosphere and my chain of command really takes care of its sailors and their families.”

NTWL includes approximately 3,800 personnel, including 400 military, 800 civilian, 2,500 contractors and 65 students at any given time. Working together to accomplish the command’s test and evaluation mission, they do everything from maintaining aircraft airframes, electronic systems and engines, to handling administrative requirements, developing test plans, reporting test results, handling weapons and flying the aircraft.

“The men and women of Naval Test Wing Atlantic do great work every day to keep naval aviation at the cutting edge,” said Capt. Brett Pierson, NTWL commander. “Whether they’re flying or maintaining our aircraft, developing or executing test plans, or taking care of all the support we need in order to do what we do so well, our team takes pride in ensuring systems are ready for the fleet. I’m very proud of our people for what they do to defend our nation.”

Serving in the Navy, Roper is learning about being more of a leader through handling numerous responsibilities.

“It’s been an honor serving my country,” said Roper. “No matter the job or rank, your individual contributions definitely impact the Navy’s mission.”

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