Phoenix native serves in Japan aboard forward-deployed ship

Danillo Olla, Petty Officer 2nd Class engineman on USS Germantown. (photo by U.S. Navy)

A 2012 Apollo High School graduate and Phoenix native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Danillo Olla is an engineman aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy engineman is responsible for maintenance of the diesel propulsion engines and high pressure systems on the Germantown.

“I like working on the equipment and being in the ‘pit’, the main machinery space where the engineer works,” said Olla.

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 U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.

“Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values,” said Adm. Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander.

“It’s not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth. And for the last six decades, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have worked side by side with the Japan Self Defense Force to protect and advance peace and freedom.”

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

“I like the Germantown,” Olla said. “The crew is great, I enjoy serving here. I really like Japanese culture, this is the first foreign country I’ve been to. It’s pretty awesome.”

Sea duty is inherently arduous and challenging but it builds strong fellowship and esprit de corps among members of the crew. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“The Navy has helped me in so many ways,” said Olla. “I’ve always seen it as a win-win – the Navy provides me with future education and I can serve a greater cause than myself.”

The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part a long-standing commitment.

“The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Harris.

Editor’s note: Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele is a part of the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

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