By Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach
A 2016 Covington High School graduate and Covington, Louisiana native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.
Seaman Recruit Nicholas Brumfield is an operations specialist aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.
A seaman recruit is the Navy’s entry-level enlisted position following graduation from boot camp. Brumfield graduated from the Navy’s Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Illinois in July and has begun his apprenticeship training on the Germantown.
“I decided to become an operations specialist because it sounded cool,” Brumfield said. “It sounded like I would be actually doing something, playing an active role in protecting the ship and my shipmates.”
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 my chain of command, they really focus on us as junior sailors, helping us build up not only Navy-wise but far into the future about what we want to do when we leave the service. They genuinely care about us,” said Brumfield.
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.
“Serving in the Navy, not only does it have benefits for me but I’m doing something greater than myself,” Brumfield said. “Nothing is given to us, you have to work for everything you accomplish.”
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.