Article Written by Male Veteran of the Quarter Collin J. Hague

Although not a Captain in military rank, Captain Collin J. Hague, is in the aviation world as an EMS (Emergency Medical Service) helicopter pilot.

Collin enlisted in the United States Navy in January, 2004, graduating from Great Lakes basic training as an Airman First Class in March of the same year. From there he was stationed at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, in the Florida panhandle, where he attended advanced training as an Aircraft Ordnanceman. After graduation from “Bomb School” he was stationed at Fallon Naval Air Station, Nevada in support of the Top Gun School for Naval Aviators. The vast desert bombing range provides relative closeness to the Pacific naval bases, and a remote location far away from civilian populations for obvious safety reasons. Airman Hague’s responsibilities were to load the practice warheads and machine gun ammunitions on the FA-18 Hornets in preparation for simulated air combat and bombing missions.

Newly promoted Petty Officer 3rd class Hague completed his tour at Fallon, in March 2006, and was then stationed at San Diego Naval Base, California, aboard the U.S.S. Boxer, part of the Pacific West fleet in support of the United States Marine Corp’s 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at Camp Pendleton, California. These MEU’s consist of approximately 3,000 Marines, three LCAC’s (Landing Craft, Air Cushion) hovercraft, Cobra attack helicopters, several Harrier AV-8B jump jets, and CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopters.

The U.S.S. Boxer’s mission is to provide transportation and support for the 15th MEU to anywhere in the world. In June, 2006, Petty Officer Hague was deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their mission was to pick up the 15th MEU from Camp Pendleton, about 50 miles north of San Diego, and transport the unit to the Persian Gulf. While deployed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Hague was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class. In July, 2006, the USS Boxer anchored off the coast of Kuwait while the 15th MEU deployed all their equipment and personnel on their mission in country. From there, the U.S.S. Boxer weighed anchor and posted security in the Persian Gulf until the MEU was ready to return home in March of 2007.

After serving four years in the United States Navy and being honorably discharged as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, Collin earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Aviation Management, and has continued his education pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Factors from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

While accumulating 1000’s of hours as a helicopter pilot, Collin has received many aviation certifications such as Certified Flight Instructor, Commercial Instrument Rating, and Airline Transport Pilot, for both fixed wing aircraft, and helicopters. He is currently a Qualifying Instructor Pilot working for Air Methods, the largest Medevac Company in the United States, where he certifies fellow pilots for required simulator training and check rides in the pilot’s designated helicopter. Collin currently pilots the Airbus H-135 helicopter, and in August of this year will assume the position of Pilot Supervisor for Air Methods, flying the EMS helicopter at Christiana Care’s Level 1 Trauma Center.

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