Cocoa Native Kimberly Smith Serving Aboard Navy Warship USS Mason in Norfolk, Virginia
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tom Gagnier, U.S. Navy // March 15, 2018
U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA – Cocoa, Florida native and Cocoa High School graduate Seaman Kimberly Smith is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason.
Smith is a hull maintenance technician aboard the destroyer operating out of the Navy’s largest base. A Navy hull maintenance technician is responsible for welding, plumbing and the overall ship’s hull maintenance.
“My city was small, so I was really motivated to succeed,” Smith said. “The Navy has helped me do just that.”
More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.
“The success of our surface force ships is measured by our ability to provide combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters,” said Cmdr. Stephen W. Aldridge, the ship’s commanding officer.
“It’s hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea – it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I’m extremely proud of each and every surface warrior’s contributions to the Navy’s enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world. These young men and women provide the Navy the nation needs.”
Navy guided-missile destroyers like USS Mason are multi-mission ships that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. They are equipped with Tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a Phalanx close-in weapons system.
Smith has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My sister currently serves in the Navy, while my uncle retired from the Army,” Smith said. “The Navy has helped me mature as person quite a bit. I learn new things every day.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Smith and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I’ve only been at this command a short time, and I’ve been welcomed with open arms,” Smith said. “I’m proud to be part of the USS Mason crew.”
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