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    Mansfield, Texas native serves aboard USS Mustin

    PHILIPPINE SEA

    08.16.2020

    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody Beam 

    Destroyer Squadron 15

    PHILIPPINE SEA— A Mansfield native and Mansfield High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Mustin.

    Petty Officer Second Class Joanna Rakes is a hospital Corpsman aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. Mustin is one of six destroyers forward-deployed to Yokosuka.

    Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials. They do everything from maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.

    A Navy Hospital Corpsman provides medical care and consultation to sailors onboard USS Mustin.

    “I enjoy helping and taking care of people,” said Rakes. “It’s the little things that I can do that help people get through their day.”

    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.

    Forward-deployed Sailors are crucial to the success of the global navy mission and earn high praise from their leaders.

    “I’ve been in seventh fleet for three years.” said Rakes. “The arduous, high-tempo environment helped me learn so much. It’s as much stressful as it is rewarding.”

    Sailors serving abroad in Japan are highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions, explained Navy officials.

    “It is so different from home,” said Rakes. “Every day presents it a new set of challenges and opportunities.”

    A navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with a vertical launching system, tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and Phalanx close-in weapons systems.

    Sailors play a vital role in the overall military mission around the world.

    Mustin is operating as part of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of its allies and partners in the region.

    For more information on Mustin and other forward-deployed ships in Japan, visit https://www.facebook.com/DESRON15.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.16.2020
    Date Posted: 08.16.2020 03:03
    Story ID: 376089
    Location: PHILIPPINE SEA
    Hometown: MANSFIELD, TX, US

    Podcast Hits: 0

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