Petty Officer 3rd Class Elliott Williams recently returned from a seven-month deployment aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt according to a U.S. Navy press release. A 2015 graduate of Leesburg High School, the petty officer is an aviation boatswain’s mate (equipment) aboard the carrier that operates out of San Diego.
An aviation boatswain’s mate is responsible for maintaining and operating the equipment used to launch and recover aircraft.
“I learned the importance of hard work,” Elliott says about growing up in Leesburg. “In the Navy, your work ethic will determine how successful you will be.”
While supporting Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel and providing maritime security in the Arabian Gulf and the Pacific Ocean, the ship transited more than 56,000 miles and made five port calls in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Singapore, and the Republic of the Philippines along with Hawaii and Guam.
“This deployment gave me the opportunity to experience different cultures and grow as a person,” said Elliott. “Being that far away from home gave me a chance to prove to myself I can be more self-reliant.”
There were approximately 3,200 men and women aboard the ship, which kept everything on board running smoothly. An additional 2,500 men and women from the air wing were responsible for flying and maintaining aircraft aboard the ship.
Theodore Roosevelt, 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.
All of this makes the Theodore Roosevelt a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, and often the first response to a global crisis because of its ability to operate freely in international waters.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Elliott and other Theodore Roosevelt sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“Serving in the Navy means you are doing something to benefit others before yourself and there is a lot of pride in that,” added Elliott.