PATRICK “PJ” HUGHES served in the Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician primarily on the E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound airframes. He left the Navy in December of 2010 as a First-Class Petty Officer to work on the civilian side of military aviation employed as a Technical Representative for the E-2C and E-2D Hawkeye.
He spent his active duty time on both the east and west coasts deploying in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. As an Aviation Electronics Tech, he was responsible for the Avionics and Weapon Systems onboard the Hawkeye. Those systems included AN/USG-3 Cooperative Engagement Capability, the APS-145 Radar System and various other communications, COMSEC, and navigation equipment.
In November 2004, Patrick was a Second-Class Petty Officer attached to VAW-117 (Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron), “The World Famous Wallbangers,” and was with the squadron on board the Nimitz conducting Air Wing and Battlegroup exercises. Though he did not directly witness the Tic Tac anomaly, he offers a unique insight into the aftermath of the event, when he describes how two USAF officers along with his Commanding Officer confiscated his classified recordings from an E-2C Hawkeye that witnessed the Tic Tac. PJ is also privileged to share the events described to him by another Sailor and close friend who was actually airborne the Hawkeye and witnessed the Tic Tac form up with the E-2C during flight.
Presently, PJ lives in Connecticut with his twin boys and dog. He spends his days working on Kawasaki Rail Car M8 trains, hand making knives in his basement and volunteering his time with various organizations.