SAN DIEGO – A native of Brandywine, Maryland, serves the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Asia Stith Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sang Kim / Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

Petty Officer 2nd Class Asia Stith, a 2008 Frederick Douglas High School graduate, joined the Navy five years ago.

“I was inspired to join the Navy because I wanted to pay off my student loans, and the Navy provides financial stability and opportunities,” said Stith.

Today, Stith serves as a logistics specialist.

A logistics specialist is responsible for ensuring that sailors have the gear that they need.

Stith relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Brandywine to succeed in the military.

“I learned the importance of patience and how to deal with people on their own time from my hometown,” said Stith.

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Carl Vinson is the United States Navy’s third Nimitz-class supercarrier. She is named for Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the U.S. Navy.

Aircraft carriers provide unique capabilities and survivability. They are a powerful exhibition of the American Navy’s legacy of innovation, technological evolution, and maritime dominance, according to Navy officials.

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

With more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard, Vinson is a self-contained mobile airport.

Aircraft carriers are often the first responders in a global crisis because of their ability to operate freely from anywhere on the world’s oceans. Carrier strike groups are uniquely mobile, which makes them far more strategically advantageous than fixed-site bases. No other weapon system can deploy and operate forward with a full-sized, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s speed, endurance, agility, and combat capability of its air wing.

Since USS Langley’s commissioning 100 years ago, the nation’s aircraft carriers – such as Vinson – and embarked carrier air wings have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintained enduring commitments worldwide.

“The aircraft carrier is our U.S. Navy’s centerpiece, our flagship, and a constant reminder to the rest of the world of our enduring maritime presence and influence,” said Rear Adm. James P. Downey, Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Aircraft Carriers. “These ships touch every part of our Navy’s mission to project power, ensure sea control, and deter our adversaries.”

Serving in the Navy means Stith is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities, and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we protect international trade,” said Stith. “We’re always on the water.”

More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.

Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.

“The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Sailors like Stith have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment is winning the Blue Jacket of the Year award my first year in the Navy,” said Stith.

As Stith and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“There’s an honor to serving, and it’s a tradition in my family,” added Stith. “My grandfather was in the Air Force, my grandmother was in the Army, my cousin was a Marine, my mom was in the Navy, and my great uncle and uncle both served in the Army. Most of my close family served in the military.”

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