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Lehigh native serves aboard USS Harry S. Truman

July 16, 2014
By LT. ANA MARING (Special to the Citizen) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A 2011 Lehigh Senior High School graduate and Lehigh Acres native is serving on one of the world's largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

Airman Jimson Alphonse is an aviation boatswain's mate aboard the Norfolk-based ship, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and one of only 10 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today.

Named in honor of former President Harry Truman, the carrier is longer than three football fields, at nearly 1,100 feet long.

Article Photos

Jimson Alphonse

The ship is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 30 mph.

As a 21-year-old with numerous responsibilities, Alphonse said he followed in his brother's footsteps when he joined the military.

"It sparked my interest when my brother was stationed in Germany. He talked to me about all the benefits and opportunities," Alphonse said. "It meant a lot coming from my brother. He and my mom are really proud of me."

He said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the Truman's 5,500-member crew, protecting America on the world's oceans.

"We are a ready warship if anything happens, they call us," Alphonse said.

He added the Truman recently won the Battle Effectiveness Award, known as the Battle E, which is awarded to selected ships for battle readiness after a yearlong evaluation.

"We are the go to ship," he said.

Sailors' jobs are highly varied aboard USS Harry S. Truman.

Approximately 3,000 men and women make up the ship's company, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly - this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors.

Another 2,500 or so form the air wing, the people who actually fly and maintain the aircraft.

"I never cease to be impressed with the type and quality of work that goes on aboard Truman each day," Capt. S. Robert Roth, the carrier's commanding officer, said. "Our team is filled with highly qualified young adults - in many cases, 19 and 20 years old - and they're out here running a complex propulsion system safely, serving as air traffic controllers, operating sophisticated electronics, launching and recovering aircraft when we're underway, and keeping this floating city alive and functioning.

"I can't express how proud I am to be a part of this team. They performed at the highest level, day in and day out during our recent nine-month combat deployment and are continuing to do so here at home,"?he said. "Their professionalism, dedication and commitment to excellence are second to none."

Ana Maring, is a member of the U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach in Norfolk, Virginia.



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