By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr., Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson G. Brown
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Petty Officer 2nd Class Levelle Jacobs, a Waldorf, Maryland, native, joined the Navy to make a better life for himself.
Now, seven years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Jacobs serves as the leading-edge of the Navy the nation needs.
“It can be challenging dealing with all the different personalities on the base,” said Jacobs. “It takes communication and understanding to achieve the mission.”
Jacobs, a 2010 graduate of Westlake, is a master-at-arms at NSA Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet.
“As a master-at-arms, I am responsible for providing security for the base and keeping everyone safe,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs credits success in Bahrain, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Waldorf.
“Growing up in Maryland, I learned to see things from different perspectives,” said Jacobs. “This has helped me relate to sailors from all backgrounds.”
U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.
NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. 5th Fleet and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia’s mission to provide services to the fleet, warfighter and family.
“Working in anti-terrorism and force protection is a huge responsibility,” said Jacobs. “It is our job to keep the base safe and protect Navy assets.”
The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
“The culture is unique here in Bahrain. I enjoy the learning new things and meeting people out in town,” said Jacobs.
Serving in the Navy means Jacobs is part of a 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.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, 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.
“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.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Jacobs is most proud of getting promoted to petty officer second class.
“Getting the opportunity to serve the Navy and see my hard work payoff is a big accomplishment,” said Jacobs.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Jacobs and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing the Navy the nation needs.
“I am proud to be an ambassador for the Navy,” said Jacobs. “I know I must represent this organization in a positive manner.”