Howard in the Navy: Training

- Honor, courage, commitment – it’s a US Navy motto.  The sailors are committed to their jobs and to their country. 

The majority of their day is spent training. 

Jetting out to see after a man overboard. It’s a drill, but the expectation is that all 3,000 sailors will report to their assigned position and the person in the water will be rescued within 13 minutes 

“We try to do it as often as possible to get very proficient, very quick at this evolution,” said Ryan Logan the USS Abraham Lincoln’s navigator. 

The water on this day was 57 degrees. Hypothermia is a concern, but if this were real the person could be hurt. 

At the helm during the drill is hometown hero, Javien McClam of Fayetteville, 

“I didn’t know it was training at first. I was a little scared,” he said while controlling the ship’s speed. 

The idea is to keep them at the top of their game. They never know when this drill will be real. They also never know when their skill will be needed. 

The USS Abraham Lincoln was one of the first ships to deploy to the Persian Gulf in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

It’s a duty that I have to fulfill,” said Taronda Anderson, another hometown hero. She graduated from Harding University High School. 

Anderson’s job directly relates to the readiness of the vessel. 

“I build bombs and I make sure that people are qualified to handle them,” she said. “Essentially without what me and my coworkers do, it would be just a ship without any fight power and we provide that.”

All of the fight power is their own. All 3,000 sailors on this ship are trained firefighters 

“Sailors we have to depend on ourselves in the middle of the ocean. What happens if we have flooding? What happens if we have a fire? Do you think we can call the fire department? We are the fire department,” said James Stedding the command master chief of the ship. 

On land the 30,000 sailors at Naval Station Norfolk are also firefighters. 

“You can only fit so many so if something really bad were to happen the more people that are knowledgeable the more help you can get,” said Jay Russell, another hometown hero. He graduated from Hopewell High School in Mooresville. 

These pieces highlight Howard's experience with our men and women in the United States Navy. They are written in the first person for that reason.

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