Cocoa Native Jacqualine Waples Supports U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Deterrence Mission
By Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach // June 28, 2019
1982 Cocoa High School graduate
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA – A 1982 Cocoa High School graduate and Cocoa, Florida, native Jacqualine (Lovett) Waples, is working with the U.S. Navy supports the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission.
Navy civilian Waples is a lead site manager working with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 7, a versatile command using a myriad of tools to execute aircrew training, including classrooms, laboratories, E6-B aircraft, full motion high fidelity flight simulators, weapons systems trainers, and various computer-based training aids.
In addition, as the E-6B model manager, VQ-7 is charged with ensuring training and operational standardization among all users of the E-6B aircraft weapons system.
Waples is a current student working towards a bachelor’s degree in business administration at California Coast University.
Waples is responsible for overseeing employees to ensure they provide administrative support throughout the command.
Waples credits success working with the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Cocoa.
“My parents, teachers, basketball coach, and mentors were a huge part of my development,” said Waples.
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 that my command gives me the chance to help people and resolve issues,” said Waples. “My job is critical to the mission being met.”
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.
“This mission isn’t just crucial to the Navy, but the nation,” said Waples.
Sailors and civilians serving from America’s heartland take pride in the vital mission they support as well as the nuclear deterrence they help provide.
“This is the only life that I know and I’m proud to be a part of this,” said Waples. “No part is too small, everyone plays an integral role.”
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