Cartersville native keeps the Navy’s most advanced helicopters flying


A 2008 Cass High School graduate and Cartersville native is serving with a U.S. Navy helicopter squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced helicopter.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Allan Graham is an aviation machinist’s mate with the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46, a Florida-based squadron that operates the Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk.

Each helicopter is nearly 65 feet long, may weigh up to 23,500 lbs. and can travel over 120 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on a tank of gas.

As an aviation machinist’s mate, Graham is responsible for keeping the helicopter flying.

“Growing up in Cartersville I learned discipline, to be punctual and to stay organized,” said Graham. “My grandfather and my mom served in the military.”

According to Navy officials, the MH-60R is the most capable multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. It is used for a variety of missions, including hunting and tracking enemy submarines, attacking enemy ships, search and rescue, drug interdiction, delivering supplies and supporting the Navy’s special operations forces.

Graham said he is proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“It means a lot to me that I am able to give back to the country,” said Graham.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied within the squadron. Approximately 297 Navy men and women are assigned and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly. This includes everything from maintaining helicopter airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weapons and flying the aircraft.