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    Tyler Native Serves Aboard USS Rafael Peralta

    USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115)

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Isaacs | PACIFIC OCEAN (March 12, 2020) U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jonathan Cox, from...... read more read more

    Tyler Native Serves Aboard USS Rafael Peralta
    By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Isaacs, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) Public Affairs
    PACIFIC OCEAN (March 23, 2019) A Tyler, Texas native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115).
    Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Cox is a master-at-arms aboard the forward-deployed destroyer which is homeported in San Diego.
    Cox is the only master-at-arms aboard Rafael Peralta. Among his many duties, Cox is responsible for managing, training and assessing the ship’s security force.
    “My main role aboard Rafael Peralta is the anti-terrorism training supervisor," said Cox. "I ensure that every Sailor is trained to the highest standard in force protection. I am passionate about teaching because at the end of the day if we have a security alert and my Sailors know how to react properly and safely then they get to go home to their families."
    Commissioned July 29, 2017, Rafael Peralta measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. The ship is named in honor of Navy Cross recipient Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta. During the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004, he smothered a grenade with his body, absorbing the majority of the blast. He was killed instantly, but saved the lives of his fellow Marines. The ship has been fitted with the Aegis ballistic-missile defense (BMD) capability that enables the ship to conduct long-range surveillance, tracking, and engagement of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
    Destroyers are tactical, multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, and humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable and technologically advanced; destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking.
    Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. Their jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
    Although Cox has numerous deployments to the Middle East, he is on his, and Rafael Peralta’s, first at-sea deployment.
    “Life out on the ocean is a lot different than life out in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Philippines,” said Cox. “Here on the ship we have air conditioning and good food. We have two awesome gyms to work out in and a proactive morale welfare and recreation team that always has events scheduled for Sailors to participate in.”
    Serving aboard Rafael Peralta has special meaning for Cox, who has experienced the loss of a brother-in-arms.
    “During my 2010 deployment to Afghanistan we lost numerous service members, but one that was closest to me was U.S. Army Capt. Kyle Comfort,” said Cox. “Like Sgt. Peralta, he put his country before himself and made the ultimate sacrifice. I heard stories about Sgt. Rafael Peralta and how he saved his brothers, so once I saw the orders for USS Rafael Peralta, I knew that I had to go there.”
    There is a passageway on board Rafael Peralta named the Honor Passageway. It is filled with memorabilia from Sgt. Peralta and has a quote written along the wall that, for Cox, defines Peralta the man.
    “’Be proud of me bro, and be proud to be an American.’ That quote embodies what an American is,” said Cox. “In the rawest form he is the definition of a true American and I am proud to serve on his namesake warship.”
    Rafael Peralta, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. Operating in U.S. 7th Fleet, Sailors are on watch throughout the region and are important assets supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific and stability within the region.



    Date Taken: 03.23.2020
    Date Posted: 03.27.2020 08:26
    Story ID: 366020
    Location: PACIFIC OCEAN
    Hometown: TYLER, TX, US

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