A Milestone in the Skies Jacksonville Flight Engineer’s 50 Years of Dedicated Service

In the vast expanse of aviation history, one individual has etched a remarkable journey, reaching unparalleled heights of dedication and expertise. Paul J. Waeghe, Jr., a flight engineer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations, has recently marked a milestone that few can boast—a stellar 50 years of federal service, with an astounding 23,000 flight hours logged on a P-3 aircraft.

Waeghe’s aviation odyssey commenced in 1973 when he embarked on federal service with the U.S. Navy. Hailing from Wyandotte, Michigan, he started in a P-3 training patrol squadron. Over the ensuing 26 years in the Navy, he ascended through the ranks, serving in units dedicated to the P-3 platform. A testament to his commitment, he undertook nine deployments to locations in Asia and Europe, amassing a wealth of experience.

The journey was not merely about flight hours; it encapsulated a passion ignited in childhood. Waeghe’s father, a World War II Army and Air Force Veteran, instilled a love for aviation. “Even as a child, watching aircraft takeoff and land at Detroit Metro airport with my father, I always dreamed of flying,” shared Waeghe. The U.S. Navy provided the avenue to transform that childhood dream into reality.

His naval career included roles as a flight engineer instructor and evaluator. Later, he became a flight engineer for a Navy executive transport detachment, a role that saw him flying admirals on official Navy missions. Reflecting on pivotal moments, Waeghe recalled, “Shortly after my wedding in 1980, my wife and I discussed leaving the U.S. Navy.

In 2000, Waeghe transitioned to CBP Air and Marine Operations, embarking on a new chapter in his aviation saga. For the past 23 years, he has been an integral part of CBP, currently serving as an instructor and senior flight engineer at the National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville.

By August 2023, Waeghe had completed 48 years as a flight engineer, accumulating over 23,300 flight hours on a P-3 aircraft. A testament to his unwavering commitment, he officially marked 50 years of federal service in June 2024. Kraig A. Kamp, Director of National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville, acknowledged Waeghe’s unparalleled expertise: “Paul is a true professional, and his knowledge of the P-3 is unsurpassed. He has led an unparalleled career in aviation.”

Read More:

As Waeghe looks towards retirement in June 2024, his legacy endures not only in flight hours but in the lives touched and the dedication to a mission that goes beyond the skies. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations stand fortified by professionals like Waeghe, ensuring the nation’s security through vigilance in the air and at sea. His 50-year journey exemplifies a profound commitment to service, a beacon guiding those who follow in the contrails of his remarkable aviation career.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.