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Bellingham Bulletin

Bellingham Native Serves with the U.S. Navy in Japan

May 27, 2018 12:50PM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham Native Tyler Luciani

Bellingham native and 2013 BHS graduate Tyler Luciani is serving in the U.S. Navy, forward-deployed aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur.
 
Petty Officer 3rd Class Luciani is a gunner's mate aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. The ship routinely deploys to protect alliances, enhance partnerships, and be ready to respond if a natural disaster occurs in the region. A Navy gunner's mate is responsible for the operation and maintenance of guided missile launching systems; underwater explosive weapons such as torpedoes, rockets and missiles; gun mounts and other ordnance equipment; and small arms magazines.
 
Luciani is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Bellingham. “I learned the value of hard work from my dad and my experience starting to work at age 14,” said Luciani.
 
Moments like that make it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. 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 United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.  The Navy's presence in Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.
 
“It can get stressful being deployed out here because it’s a lot of hard work and there’s lack of sleep, but I do enjoy experiencing other cultures,” said Luciani.
 
Destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. They are 510 feet long and armed with Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles, Standard Missile-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family, advanced gun systems and close-in gun systems. Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the precondition for everything else the Navy does. It cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.
 
The Curtis Wilbur has anti-aircraft capability armed with long-range missiles intended for air defense to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles.
 
As members of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Luciani and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, providing the Navy that the nation needs.
 
"My favorite part of serving here is definitely the people I work with and the amount of knowledge I have gained,” said Luciani. “With all of the experience I’ve gotten from working on the ship, and from things I’ve learned from fellow shipmates and from the local Japanese, I have grown so much and I feel it’s beneficial to my future.”
 
Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border, and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

Submitted by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Zahn,
Navy Office of Community Outreach
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