A 2005 Carson High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Ross.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan La Porte is a damage controlman aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of Rota, Spain. Ross is one of four destroyers home ported in Rota.
A Navy damage controlman is responsible for training the crew on fire fighting survival and maintaining fire fighting and lifesaving equipment.
“I am in a position to where I am giving a sailor knowledge to potentially save their life or give them the tools to save someone else’s life,” said La Porte.
Commissioned in June of 1997, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Ross, measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas. It was named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Donald K. Ross. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This ship has been fitted with the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability that enables the ship to conduct long-range surveillance, tracking, and engagement of short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
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 war fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
Assigned to U.S. 6th Fleet, sailors are on watch throughout the European region and are important assets supporting the European Phased Adaptive Approach to enhance the security of that area of the world from ballistic missile threats originating in the Middle East.
In addition to Ross, three other BMD capable ships are forwarded deployed in Rota: USS Porter, USS Carney and USS Donald Cook. Having four destroyers based in Rota gives the U.S. 6th Fleet flexibility to send these ships to a variety of locations for a range of missions, while at the same time providing a large umbrella of protection for European allies.
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 washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
“I enjoy being stationed in Rota,” said La Porte. “I was on an aircraft crew prior to this duty station and I enjoy the smaller crew size. I can really get to know the sailors I work with. I enjoy our mission as the tip of the spear!”
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.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, La Porte explained he and other Ross sailors know they are part of a legacy that lasts beyond their lifetimes.
“Serving in the Navy is important to me because we are a part of something bigger than ourselves,” added La Porte. “Our job is impacting everyone back in the United States. They count on us.”