SAN DIEGO — A 2004 Atascatero High School, Calif., graduate and Carson City native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Milius.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ann Foster is a fire controlman aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.
A Navy fire controlman is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the close-in weapon system, the last line of defense.
“I like the fact that my job is very labor intensive and technical,” Foster said. “I like the hands-on part of my job.”
Commissioned in November of 1996, Milius measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas. 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.
“Leading Milius sailors is exceptionally rewarding because they genuinely care for one another as people,” said Cmdr. Gil Ayan, commanding officer of USS Milius. “They want to see one another succeed and each of them works toward that collective goal. As a commanding officer, you can’t ask for a better culture than that.”
With a crew of more than 300 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
“Honestly, it’s the people that I like most about serving aboard this ship,” said Foster. “We’re around each other just about every day, and we have a really good crew.”
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It’s a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“The Navy has given me a different perspective on a lot of things,” added Foster. “Not just serving our country, but how we project ourselves abroad. Serving in the Navy gives me a good perspective of what we do as a nation.”