By Lt. Cmdr. David Daitch, Navy Office of Community Outreach
DOWNEY – A 2012 Downey High School graduate and Downey native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Chung-Hoon.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Fausto Arteaga is a gas turbine systems technician aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
A Navy gas turbine systems technician is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the propulsion and power generation systems on the ship.
“I work in the oil lab, testing fuel and lube oil for the whole ship,” said Arteaga. “I test for flash point, contamination and water, so we know we're getting good fuel so our engines can operate at maximum efficiency and safety.”
Chung-Hoon, measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.
According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
“Our Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific guided-missile destroyers are poised, trained, equipped and ready to deploy forward and support the Fleet,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “Working with friends and allies, our MIDPAC sailors provide sea control, advance maritime security, enhance regional stability, and foster continued prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.
“Besides being my job, the Navy is my life," said Arteaga. "The other sailors I work with are like brothers, and very close friends, and that's something I never had before."
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“Being in the Navy has given me so much opportunity," said Arteaga. "I never would have imagined myself traveling the world, working on millions of dollars of equipment. It's a lot of responsibility for someone my age, and I'm proud to be a part of it."