W-S native serves with U.S. Navy in Japan

W-S native serves with U.S. Navy in Japan
May 31
04:00 2018

SASEBO, Japan – A Winston-Salem, North Carolina, native and 2009 West Stokes High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy forward-deployed in Japan aboard USS Germantown.

Seaman Rodriguez Jackson is a culinary specialist aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for operating and managing Navy messes and living quarters established to subsist and accommodate Navy personnel.

Jackson said he is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of growing up.

“Growing up, I learned the importance of having a positive attitude about things in a negative situation you would always have a positive outcome,” said Jackson.

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.  The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

“I joined the Navy to be in the fight, protect, and serve my country,” said Jackson. “The Navy has taught to not be afraid and step out and be a leader.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Jackson and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“By serving in the Navy, I know that my friends and family are safe,” said Jackson.

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

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