TJSL grad Lorena Slomanson '03 is flying high these days – literally. She recently participated in a two-day "Distinguished Visitor Embark" aboard the USS Carl Vinson, hosted by the Commander of the Naval Air Forces. Slomanson, along with 15 other community leaders from Los Angeles and Chicago, received a rare first-hand look at life aboard an aircraft carrier. After touring Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI), participants were flown to the USS Vinson on a Navy C-2 Greyhound, experiencing an arrested landing (100 to 0 mph in 2 seconds). Even more exciting, Slomanson and the other participants flew back to NASNI the next afternoon, experiencing a catapult launch off of the ship (0 to 150 mph in 2.5 seconds).
While onboard, participants were briefed by high-ranking Navy officials on flight operations, the domestic and global roles of our Navy, and daily life on the ship for the 5,000 Sailors who call it home. Slomanson observed day and night flight operations from the Admiral's Bridge, the flight deck and the flight deck control room, dined with the Commander of the USS Vinson and spent the night in a stateroom. The group toured the hangar and operations below the deck, such as the aircraft engine repair shop, refueling station and room where the ship's two anchors are housed.
The goal of the Embark program is to foster awareness among selected community leaders of the role of carrier aviation, and to demonstrate the high-level training required to keep our Sailors ready to meet the nation’s needs. Guests typically include legislative representatives, city council members, corporate executives, educators and other leaders of broad-based organizations who have not previously experienced the excitement of aircraft carrier operations. Slomanson is actively involved in San Diego’s legal community as an attorney at Legal Aid Society of San Diego and as a member and past president of La Raza Lawyers board. She also is a member of the TJSL Alumni Association Board of Directors and frequently works with student members of the La Raza chapter at the law school.
"This was an unforgettable experience,” commented Slomanson. “I am impressed by the Navy's efforts at engaging local communities and encouraging students to pursue higher education and careers in science and technology. I have a newfound admiration for our Navy and service members, and am especially proud of my father (TJSL Professor William Slomanson) who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He is very jealous because he was flown to and from Navy ships via helicopters, while his daughter got catapulted off of a carrier via a cargo plane."