SAN DIEGO — Littoral combat ships were first introduced more than a decade ago to the naval fleet to increase forward presence and complete diverse missions. Petty Officer 2nd Class Devon Williams, a culinary specialist responsible for preparing meals for the crew, is one of the sailors serving aboard USS Jackson, homeported in San Diego.
“I like meeting all the members of the crew, learning a skill that everyone should have and the camaraderie we have aboard this ship,” said Williams. “As a cook we try to boost their morale.”
Williams is a 2009 Hopkinsville High School graduate and native of Fort Campbell.
According to Williams, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Fort Campbell.
“I learned the importance of hard work,” said Williams. “Do the best you can and you’ll go far.”
With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Littoral combat ships are considered the future of the Navy because of their technologically advanced engineering and versatility to deter multiple threats. Jackson is named after the capital city in Mississippi and has a crew of 40 sailors.
Jackson is 418 feet long, 104 feet wide and weighs 3,104 pounds when fully loaded. The ship is equipped with two gas turbine engines, two diesel engines and four waterjets, allowing it to navigate the water at 47 knots.
According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Williams is most proud of earning Junior Sailor of the Quarter at his previous command in 2017.
“It was nice to be recognized for work I did in addition to my daily job,” said Williams. “I was volunteering to do other work to help out other commands.”
For Williams, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one Williams hopes to continue.
“My mom, dad and stepdad all served in the military,” said Williams. “I was inspired by the sacrifices my parents made to preserve my freedom, so I wanted to do something similar to make them proud.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Williams, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I feel like I’m doing something bigger in the world that impacts the whole picture,” added Williams. “I like knowing that I’m doing my part to defend freedom.”