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Somerset Sailor Serves Aboard Navy Warship

Somerset sailor serves aboard Navy warship homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

By Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community OutreachPhoto By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse HawthornePEARL HARBOR – A Somerset, Kentucky, native and 2011 Southwestern High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS John Paul Jones.Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Pence is a sonar technician (surface) aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.A Navy sonar technician (surface) is responsible for maintaining all sonar equipment on board the ship and consistently training sailors about anti-submarine warfare.“I learned the value of teamwork while growing up, so now that I work with about 16 sailors, I am able to use that teamwork mindset in my career,” said Pence.More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignment that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea."Our sailors in Pearl Harbor are doing an excellent job at warfighting and supporting the warfighter," said Cmdr. Hurd, chief staff officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. "Historically, Pearl Harbor is a symbolic base of sacrifice and resiliency. Today, on every Navy ship and shore facility's flag pole, the First Navy Jack, 'Don't Tread on Me,' flies reminding sailors to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy."Navy guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission ships that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea, Navy officials explained. They are equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.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.“I am the first to serve in the military in my family,” said Pence. “It makes me proud while making my family proud.”Pence is also proud of earning a Good Conduct Medal for three years of service without getting into trouble.“I am glad that I can wear that ribbon on my uniform because it shows that I take my job seriously,” said Pence. “It reflects how serious I take my career.”As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Pence and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.“Serving in the Navy is giving me the opportunity to serve my country and better myself professionally,” added Pence. “I would not have had the opportunities I have now if I would not have joined the Navy.”

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