Bronx Woman Serves With US Navy Half a World Away

The following is a guest post by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Zahn, Navy Office of Community Outreach who graciously allowed us to post the following article.

YOKOSUKA, Japan- A Bronx, New York, native and 2011 St. Raymond Academy graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Chelsea Serrano is a machinist’s mate aboard the aircraft carrier operating out of Yokosuka, Japan.

A Navy machinist’s mate operates, maintains, and repairs ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and various equipment throughout the ship.

Serrano is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Bronx.

“My parents instilled a good work ethic in me,” said Serrano.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Chelsea Serrano/Image Via Navy Office of Community Outreach

“They also taught me to be more independent which has helped me in the Navy.”

Moments like that makes 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.

Named in honor of former President Ronald Reagan, the carrier is longer than three football fields, measuring nearly 1,100 feet. The ship, a true floating city, weighs more than 100,000 tons and has a flight deck that is 252 feet wide. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 35 mph.

Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft.

“Being deployed here is nice because I like the consistency of knowing what we are doing,” said Serrano.

Serrano is also proud of overcoming her personal battle of beating cancer. She said that going through treatment showed her that she had a strong support system from home as well as on the ship.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard the carrier. Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,500 men and women form the air wing responsible for flying and maintaining more than 70 aircraft aboard the ship.

Ronald Reagan, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Serrano and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Being deployed on this ship took a while to get used to but there’s the camaraderie and there’s always someone to talk to,” said Serrano. “I really enjoy experiencing the different people I’ve met here and the bonds I’ve created.”

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.

Facebook Comments
Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.