[3/29/17] Waterville Sailor serves abaord USS Sterett

Posted in Feature

A 2007 Waterville High School graduate and Waterville, Washington native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Sterett.

 Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Rock is an electronics technician aboard the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.

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 An electronics technician in the Navy is responsible for maintaining and repairing electronics equipment such as radar, communication and navigation equipment.

 “The best part of my job is being able to see the world,” said Rock.

 Commissioned in August of 2008, Sterett measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. Sterett is the fourth ship to be named after Lt. Andrew Sterett, a U.S. naval officer who fought in the Quasi and Barbary wars.

 Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance.

 Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.

 With a crew of more than 300 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.

 “Being a part of this command is new and exciting,” said Rock.

 Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

 “Being in the Navy gives me a sense of pride,” said Rock. “I am proud to be one of the fortunate ones to get away from home to do something important.”