Clay native serves aboard aircraft carrier “Strength from the Sea”

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller
Posted 11/2/17

SAN DIEGO – A 2009 Ridgeview High School graduate and Clay County native is serving on one of the world’s largest warships, the USS Carl Vinson.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Fahie is …

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Clay native serves aboard aircraft carrier “Strength from the Sea”

Posted

SAN DIEGO – A 2009 Ridgeview High School graduate and Clay County native is serving on one of the world’s largest warships, the USS Carl Vinson.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Fahie is working with logistics specialists aboard the San Diego-based ship, the third Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and one of only 11 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today.

Working in supply, Fahie is responsible for keeping track of store rooms and hazardous material parts for aircraft as well as many parts for the ship.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard the Vinson. Approximately 3,000 men and women make up the ship’s company, and they keep all parts of the aircraft carrier running. They do everything from preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,000 sailors comprise the air wing. These are the people who fly and maintain the aircraft embarked aboard the ship.

Fahie has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.

“My dad taught me the importance of saving money and taking stock in what I have,” Fahie said. “I also learned to always do my best regardless of what happens around me. While working in supply, these values help me every day,” he said.

Vinson, 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 60 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.

Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship, and those planes land upon their return to the aircraft carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft. All of this makes Vinson a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, often the first response to a global crisis because of an aircraft carrier’s ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.

The ship was commissioned in 1982 and named after former Georgia Congressman, Carl Vinson. A member of the United States House of Representatives for 50 years, he was, for 29 years, the Chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee. Vinson was the principal sponsor of the so-called “Vinson Acts,” culminating in the Two-Ocean Navy Act of 1940, which provided for the massive naval shipbuilding effort in World War II.

“Carl Vinson was a visionary congressman,” said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson. “His support led to a stronger Navy that was pivotal in winning World War II and the Cold War. Our sailors embody his commitment to service and bring to life a warship that has been an enduring asset to America’s defense for more than 35 years.”

Fahie has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“I have many family members who served in different branches,” he said. “My dad is a retired Navy engineman, and his influence in my career made a big difference – it’s the reason I’m in the Navy now. I didn’t realize how many family members served until I got in, and in a way I’m following in their footsteps, but I also feel like I’m creating my own path.”

While Fahie’s is proud of obtaining both aviation and surface warfare qualifications, but he is proudest moment was the birth of his son.

“I spent six weeks of hard studying along with being mentored and it feels great to get both qualifications, but I’m most proud of my new son and my family and I’m thankful they are supportive of my Navy career,” he said.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Fahie and other Vinson sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

“Serving in the Navy gives me many opportunities that many people my age won’t have,” Fahie said. “I’ve been to more countries that most people will never see and experience. Mostly though, the Navy is providing a great foundation for my family.”

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