Fort Lauderdale native Serves Aboard Floating Airport USS Carl Vinson

Seaman Andy During

 Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sang Kim, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

 By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jerry Jimenez, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, serves the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson.

Seaman Andy During, a 2020 Cypress Bay High School graduate, joined the Navy two years ago.

“I was inspired to join the Navy because I didn’t want to go into debt to go to college,” said During. “The Navy provided the financial opportunities needed to further my education.”

Today, during serves as a culinary specialist.

A culinary specialist is responsible for feeding thousands of sailors every day on board the ship.

“When we go out to sea, we have to feed the whole crew,” said During. “We’re in charge of the crew’s morale.”

During relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Ft. Lauderdale to succeed in the military.

“I learned that you have to work hard for everything and to keep a cheerful outlook,” said During.

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Carl Vinson is the United States Navy’s third Nimitz-class supercarrier. She is named for Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the U.S. Navy.

Aircraft carriers provide unique capabilities and survivability. They are a powerful exhibition of the American Navy’s legacy of innovation, technological evolution, and maritime dominance, according to Navy officials.

Vinson, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack fighter jets, helicopters, and other aircraft – all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.

With more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard, Vinson is a self-contained mobile airport.

Aircraft carriers are often the first responders in a global crisis because of their ability to operate freely from anywhere on the world’s oceans. Carrier strike groups are uniquely mobile, which makes them far more strategically advantageous than fixed-site bases. No other weapon system can deploy and operate forward with a full-sized, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s speed, endurance, agility, and the combat capability of its air wing.

Since USS Langley’s commissioning 100 years ago, the nation’s aircraft carriers – such as Vinson – and embarked carrier air wings have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintained enduring commitments worldwide.

“The aircraft carrier is our U.S. Navy’s centerpiece, our flagship, and a constant reminder to the rest of the world of our enduring maritime presence and influence,” said Rear Adm. James P. Downey, Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Aircraft Carriers. “These ships touch every part of our Navy’s mission to project power, ensure sea control and deter our adversaries.”

Serving in the Navy means During is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities, and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we go out to sea and patrol the waters,” said During. “We make sure that our waters and ports are safe at all times.”

More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.

Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Sailors like During, have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment is helping my division win the culinary food competition,” said During. “We had the best food and best breakfast. I went to Chicago for that, and we got the trophy.”

As During and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means I have to hold myself to the highest standard,” added During.

 

About Carma Henry 20568 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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