Phoenix native Joseph Garcia works aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

A Phoenix native and 2012 Washington High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Garcia is an electrician’s mate aboard the carrier operating out of one of the Navy’s largest base.

Joseph Garcia (Photo Courtesy of Petty Officer 3rd Class Omar Diaz)

As an electrician’s mate, Mr. Garcia is responsible for troubleshooting and repairing electrical issues around the ship.

“An aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of the fleet,” Mr. Garcia said. “It’s really cool to see the different types of aircraft we deploy with.”

Named in honor of former President George H.W. Bush, the carrier is longer than three football fields, measuring nearly 1,100 feet.

The ship, a true floating city, weighs more than 100,000 tons and has a flight deck that is 252 feet wide. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 35 mph.

Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft.

As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, Garcia learns about life at sea serving in the Navy and the importance of taking personal responsibility while leading others while still using lessons learned from their hometown.

“Growing up in Arizona, you’re used to the heat, so it’s easy to deploy to the hot areas of the world,” Mr. Garcia said.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard the carrier. Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors.

Another 2,500 men and women form the air wing responsible for flying and maintaining more than 70 aircraft aboard the ship.

George H.W. Bush, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.

All of this makes the George H.W. Bush a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, and often the first response to a global crisis because of a carrier’s ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.

“Making third class petty officer and being part of the electrician’s mate community are special accomplishments to me,” Mr. Garcia said.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Mr. Garcia and other George H.W. Bush sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“The Navy has equipped me with a wide range of versatile skills,” Mr. Garcia said. “It’s great to put them to good use on the Bush.”

Editor’s Note: Tom Gagnier is a Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class of the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment