Most Americans would agree that communications are a vital part of their lives. The same is true for the U.S. Navy. Instead of using smart phones and tablets, a group of sailors stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, use the most-advanced satellite and telecommunications equipment to share vital information with sailors deployed around the world.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ngoc Chau, a 2011 Magnolia High School graduate and native of Anaheim, California, is one of these sailors assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific who provides these communication services.
Chau credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Anaheim.
“My hometown was a diverse melting pot of cultures and it has helped me to better understand the people who I’ve met along the way with different stories and backgrounds from my own,” said Chau.
As a Navy information systems technician, Chau is responsible for keeping up communications for various ships and shore commands.
NCTAMS Pacific is the center of communications for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. They provide command, control, communications, computers and intelligence connectivity to Naval and Joint forces from San Diego to Singapore and beyond. NCTAMS Pacific is the largest naval communications station in the world, known as the “Pacific Voice of Command.”
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
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 Chau is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades. 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.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Chau is most proud of graduating from basic and advanced information systems technician training schools.
“Despite some personal hardships, I was able to stay focused and made it to graduation,” said Chau.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Chau and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Aside from being in Hawaii, I think what I like most about being here is the people. I’ve been lucky enough to have been chosen to work with so many motivated individuals who are always willing to go the extra mile to help me out when I needed it,” added Chau. “Serving in the Navy means I am able to travel and meet new people and it gives me a chance to find myself, figure out who I want to be, and what I want in life.”
This article was written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, Navy Office of Community Outreach.