PEARL HARBOR – A Mount Airy native is serving as an anti-terrorism officer aboard the USS O’Kane in the Pacific.
Lt. J.G.. Nolan Beasley, a 2004 Mount Airy High School graduate, serves in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy anti-terrorism officer is responsible for the security of the ship, security plans for port visits, maintaining the weapons qualifications for all sailors on board, and anti-terrorism training.
“I enjoy meeting people and being able to work with the diverse crew,” said Beasley, 31. “We get to interact with each other and become a family, which I think is an important aspect of this job.”
With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations, stated the U.S. Navy.
The ships can support 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.
About 300 men and women serve aboard the ship, according to Kayla Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. They do everything from to maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.
“I enjoy that this is a smaller ship and a smaller crew,” said Beasley. “It gives you the chance to get to know everyone. I also get to stand a variety of watches aboard the ship.”
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.
“Serving in the Navy has been very important to me,” added Beasley. “I joined when I was 28, and this has meant the world to me with being able to do this type of job and travel the world. I feel like I am really making a difference now in life, even if it is a small one.”