Cocoa Native and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Zach Johnson Now Serving at Pearl Harbor
By Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach // April 27, 2018
serving at U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters
PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII –A Cocoa, Florida native and 2009 Cocoa High School graduate is now serving in the U.S. Navy at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Zach Johnson, a gas turbine systems electrician, is serving where U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters is located.
As a gas turbine systems electrician, Johnson is responsible for maintaining electrical equipment in the engine rooms associated with ship propulsion, power generation and electrical distribution.
“I grew up near a beach so I really learned to not take things too seriously,” said Johnson. “It has helped me to not get angry easily, or stressed out while serving in the Navy.”
According to Navy officials, the U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means that Johnson is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America’s national defense strategy.
“Our sailors in Pearl Harbor are doing an excellent job at warfighting and supporting the warfighter,” said Cmdr. Hurd, chief staff officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“Historically, Pearl Harbor is a symbolic base of sacrifice and resiliency. Today, on every Navy ship and shore facility’s flagpole, the First Navy Jack, ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ flies reminding sailors to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades, according to Navy officials. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
The Navy has plans, by 2020, to base approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region.
Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships; submarines; reconnaissance aircraft; and its newest surface warfare ships, including all of the Navy’s new stealth destroyers.
Johnson has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My grandpa was in World War II and the Korean War,” said Johnson. “ I know that my family is happy that I chose to carry on the military tradition.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Johnson and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means serving my country while being a part of something bigger than myself,” added Johnson.
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