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Evan Bumgardner stationed at naval base readying pilots popularized by blockbuster film

COURTESY PHOTO: U.S. NAVY - Evan BumgardnerThere isn't as much volleyball, and he hasn't met Tom Cruise, but a Gresham native is making his mark and supporting the best naval aviators in the U.S. military.

Airman Evan Bumgardner, a 2017 Barlow High graduate, is serving with the Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center while supporting TOPGUN aviators — the Navy's premier tactical air warfare training center that inspired a blockbuster movie in 1986.

"My hometown taught me a strong work ethic from having a lot of jobs," Bumgardner said. "I apply those skills in the Navy."

Bumgardner serves as an aviation electronics technician aboard Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.

"I joined the Navy for work experience and for educational benefits so I can get my bachelor's degree," he added.

NAS Fallon, where Bumgardner serves, supports carrier air wings prior to deployment. The base is home to a 14,000-foot runway, the longest in the Navy. The base provides realistic battle scenarios for the burgeoning pilots.

"The Navy is the frontline between us and other countries invading us," Bumgardner said.

He said he is most proud of earning his plane captain qualification, because it took five months of hard work to achieve.

"Serving in the Navy is an opportunity to benefit me and also do something good in the process," Bumgardner added.

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