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Local man serving as electronics tech on USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 — A 2020 Thomas Nelson High School graduate from Bardstown is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS VANCE WILLIAMS

Petty Officer 3rd Class Vance Williams is an electronics technician aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier operating out of San Diego, Calif.

Williams is a Navy electronics technician responsible for the electronic equipment used to send and receive messages, detect enemy planes and ships, and determine target distances.

Aircraft carriers, such as USS Abraham Lincoln, have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief worldwide.

Today, Williams uses skills and values similar to those learned in Bardstown.

“My family told me to mind your own business,” said Williams. “On a ship there is no personal space. We have to recognize and respect that. Sometimes the quarters are so close, I have to wait until my shipmate finishes getting dressed before I can even get out of my rack.”

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2022 is Capable, Adaptive, Partners. The participating nations and forces exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

“At RIMPAC, I’m looking forward to the training exercises with the other countries,” said Williams. “I’d like to trade souvenirs with sailors from other countries.”

Serving in the Navy means Williams is part of a team 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.

“The Navy has boats the size of small cities,” said Williams. “It’s pretty impressive to see this ship (USS Lincoln) when it comes around the corner. We can keep other countries safe around the world with our presence.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent 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.

“I’m proud of being good at my job,” said Williams. “My job keeps communications going around the ship. Without those communication systems, many people can’t get their jobs done.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Williams and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy is fun because I get to meet so many people from so many countries,” added Williams.

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