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Sailor, Florence Native, Checks in from Pearl Harbor

A Florence native and 2010 Boone County High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jace Johnson is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Halsey.

Johnson works as a cryptological technician (collection) aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy cryptological technician (collection) is responsible for the collection and dissemination of naval intellegince to warfare commanders.

“I like that my job allows me to work with a lot of high tech stuff,” said Johnson. “I feel like with my job you can make a difference.”

With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on U.S. partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance.  Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.

"One of the things that makes our Navy the best in the world, is the diverse backgrounds of our sailors,” said Cmdr. David Reyes, Commanding Officer of USS Halsey. “Their ability to work together and bring their different perspectives to our ship, missions, and various challenges enable us to be an unstoppable force. The personal experiences and values they offer cultivates an environment in which determination and creativity helps ensure our continued success. I am extremely honored to have the privilege to lead and serve with these extraordinary young men and women."

Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly.  They do everything from to maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.

“Serving on the Halsey has me stationed in Hawaii,” said Johnson. “Being able to serve here is being in a vacation spot.”

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.

“Serving in the Navy gives me the opportunity to get more experience for a job in the civilian sector,” added Johnson.

By Kayla Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo: Jace Johnson (provided)