By ROBERT ZAHN
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class, USN
YOKOSUKA, Japan – A Bremerton native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54).
Seaman Hanna Motz is a quartermaster aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. Curtis Wilbur is one of eight destroyers forward-deployed in Yokosuka.
Navy quartermasters stand watch as assistants to the officer of the deck and to the ship’s navigator. They serve as helmsman, perform ship control, navigate waterways, and stand bridge watch duties. They render “honors and ceremonies” in accordance with national observance and foreign customs, send and receive visual messages, and serve as petty officers in charge of small craft.
“I learned from my family at a young age to work hard and always be persistent,” Motz said. “This has helped me succeed in the Navy.”
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, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. “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.”
Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the Curtis Wilbur. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the ship 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.
Forward-deployed sailors are crucial to the success of the global Navy mission and earn high praise from their leaders.
“My dad served in the Navy and I saw how he carried himself and realized that joining the Navy is what I really wanted to do,” Motz said. “I enjoy being stationed here in Japan because I enjoy experiencing a foreign country on my own.”
Sailors serving abroad in Japan are highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions, Navy officials said.
“What serving in the Navy means to me is making my parents proud and succeeding in life,” Motz said.
With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on U.S. partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.