Photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Gary Ward
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Zahn, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SASEBO, Japan – Petty Officer 2nd Class Hayden Maloney, a native of Beavercreek, Ohio, joined the Navy for travel and to see the world.
Now, three years later and half a world away, Maloney serves aboard one of the Navy’s newest and most advanced amphibious ships at Fleet Activities Sasebo, patrolling one of the world’s busiest maritime regions as part of U.S. 7th Fleet.
“We are always working,” said Maloney. “It is good and bad at the same time because you are able to stay busy and keep your mind off things, but it’s a lot of hours. It can be a lot to take in sometimes”
Maloney, a 2016 graduate of Beavercreek High School, is an information systems technician aboard the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay in Sasebo, Japan.
“I’m in charge of all exterior communication on the ship and I provide a network connection for everyone’s use of the internet,” said Maloney.
Maloney credits some success in the Navy to lessons learned in Beavercreek.
“I learned a strong work ethic growing up in a small town,” said Maloney. “You learn to work for everything you that you have, so coming into the Navy I was prepared to work hard and do my job.”
U.S. 7th Fleet 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. U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of operations 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.
“It’s quite unique being underway because of where we are located in the world,” said Maloney. “We get to see a lot of different ports so the experience of visiting ports and meeting the people is cool.”
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.
“The Navy is forward-deployed to provide security and strengthen relationships in a free and open Indo-Pacific. It’s not just the ships and aircraft that have shown up to prevent conflict and promote peace,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “It is, and will continue to be our people who define the role our Navy plays around the world. People who’ve made a choice, and have the will and strength of character to make a difference.”
These ships support missions from sea to shore, special operations and other warfare missions. They also serve as secondary aviation platforms. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice, according to Navy officials.
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Green Bay. More than 400 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 700 Marines can be embarked. Green Bay is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed using helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and other water-to-shore craft.
Serving in the Navy means Maloney is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
There are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career. Maloney is most proud of advancing to the next rank of second class petty officer while serving in the Navy for only two years.
“I came into the Navy as an E1 and to be an E5 in two years is rare,” said Maloney. “Not a lot of people can say they did that. It’s one of my biggest achievements.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Maloney and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.
“I enjoy serving in the Navy because it gives me a sense of pride knowing that I’m here protecting the people back home,” said Maloney.
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