Kyle Rick Wood was born in Soldotna, Alaska on May 24, 1990. Growing up in Alaska, he spent his youth hunting, fishing and exploring the last frontier. The most influential people in his life were his family. In September 2009, he joined the United States Navy as a Naval Aircrewman (Operator). Throughout his naval career, Wood has been the recipient of several awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal and the Navy Air Medal. This past year, Wood was honored as Acoustic Operator of the Year by Wing TWO, commander of Naval Forces Pacific.
Friends would describe Wood as hard-working, knowledgeable and good-natured.
“He’s the guy you want to be on a flight with,” said Mackenzie Ball, a Naval Aircrewman (Operator) 2nd Class Petty Officer in the Navy. “He is such a talented acoustic operator and also a really great friend to everyone. He knows how to joke around while still performing exceptionally.”
Throughout his seven-year career, Wood has traveled to ten different countries, flown over 1,600 hours in the P-3C Orion aircraft and has been involved in some pretty memorable missions. But he said his favorite missions are those that were with a small group of people just doing training missions.
Wood’s contract for the Navy ends June 21, 2016. He looks forward to moving back home to Alaska to live close to his family.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in the service, but I’m looking forward to getting out and going back home,” said Wood. “There’s no better feeling than when you know you’re finally going home.”
When he gets out of the service, he plans on going into the reserves to continue to serve his country while still doing the job he loves.
“I love my job,” said Wood. “I love flying and I love being an acoustic operator, but I’d rather have a normal lifestyle and pursue my goals. That’s hard to accomplish while you’re active duty.”