WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. — A 2011 Gardiner Area High School graduate and Gardiner, Maine, native is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin Farnsworth is an aircrew survival equipmentman with the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, one of 14 Navy electronic attack squadrons based in Whidbey Island, Washington.

As an aircrew survival equipmentman, Farnsworth is responsible for the upkeep of aircrew survival gear.

Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, the Growlers and their crews engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems in order to render air defenses ineffective.

To accomplish these tasks, the Growler has a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods and satellite communications.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Farnsworth said he and other VAQ-139 sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

Farnsworth is the son of Rick and Kim St. Amand, of Vassalboro, and John Farnsworth, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, formerly of South Gardiner.

He is stationed in Washington with his wife, Angela Dearborn Farnsworth, of Richmond, and their daughter, Tressa.

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