Splendora native supports future of naval aviation

By: Navy Office of Community Outreach
| Published 05/19/2016


SPLENDORA, Texas - A 1997 Splendora High School graduate and Splendora, Texas native is serving with Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) supporting the future of naval aviation aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Prior naval aviation machinist’s mate Raphael Linan is an inspector with NTWL, responsible for the quality testing evaluation of the aircraft.

“The best parts of my job are the challenges of it,” said Linan. “Every day is always different.”

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.

Linan works directly for HX-21, which is responsible for testing and evaluating the Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft systems.

“The best part of my job is the camaraderie of the crew,” said Linan. “Everyone may have different opinions but we always work it out to get the job done.

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."

Working at HX-21, Linan is taking what he learned from serving in the Navy and applying it to his role at the command.

“I learned about true integrity and perseverance when I served in the Navy,” said Linan. “Now, I am able to adapt to changes and use it for my job here.”