Ensign Lee Adrian Tengco, a native of Waldorf, Maryland Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amber Weingart, / Navy Office of Community Outreach

NORFOLK, Va. – Ensign Lee Adrian Tengco, a native of Waldorf, Maryland, serves aboard the Navy’s newest warship operating out of Norfolk, Virginia. USS Fort Lauderdale, an amphibious transport dock ship, was commissioned July 30 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“If there is one thing that history has shown us from the days of antiquity it is that the stakes of the competition for control of the seas are high and for our part, USS Fort Lauderdale stands ready to deliver on any day and at any time,” said Capt. James Quaresimo, the ship’s commanding officer. “And those that may wish to challenge us – they should pause. For we are equipped with America’s unstoppable secret weapon that our enemies will never be able to duplicate and that is the fierce, dedicated, and unstoppable, men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps!” 

Tengco joined the Navy one year ago. 

“I joined the Navy because I wanted to gain leadership experience,” said Tengco. “Despite only being in for a year, I already feel like I’ve learned so much.”

Growing up in Waldorf, Tengco attended North Point High School and graduated in 2016. 

“Shout out to the Tengco family back home,” said Tengco.

Today, Tengco relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Waldorf to succeed in the military.

“My hometown taught me the value of teamwork,” said Tengco. “It’s essential to getting the job done. That’s definitely true in the Navy.”

Amphibious transport dock ships are warships used to transport and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft. These ships support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions and serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious operations. 

Serving in the Navy means Tengco is part of a team 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 contributes to the National Defense Strategy by providing an international defense of the seas,” said Tengco. “We also provide a defense to our allies.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.

“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.”

Tengco and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest Navy accomplishment is being able to balance between standing up the admin office and standing watch as a surface warfare officer,” said Tengco.

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

“To me, serving in the Navy means making sacrifices for the ones I love and being put in a situation where I need to make hard decisions,” added Tengco.

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