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Erasmus Hall graduate serving on US Navy ship in Japan

September 24, 2014 By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Pat Migliaccio Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Petty Officer 1st Class Miguel Barker is serving aboard the USS John S. McCain in Japan.

A 1996 Erasmus Hall High School graduate is serving aboard USS John S. McCain, living and working at a US Navy base in Japan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Miguel Barker is a machinist mate aboard the ship operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. Often called “the tip of the spear,” Yokosuka is located approximately 35 miles south of Tokyo and accommodates America’s furthest forward deployed naval forces.

An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, John S. McCain is 505 feet long at just over one and a half football fields. The ship is 66 feet wide, weighs more than 9,200 tons, and four gas turbine engines can push the ship through the ocean at more than 30 knots. The ship is so famous, it even has its own Facebook page.

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The ship is named in honor of two famous John McCains. Annapolis alumni, John Sidney McCain, Sr., and his son, John Sydney, Jr., both served in World War II and became the first father-son pair ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral. They are the grandfather and father, respectively, of US Senator John McCain of Arizona, who himself served as a Navy pilot during Vietnam and achieved the rank of captain.

As a 36 year-old with numerous responsibilities, Barker said he is learning about himself as a leader, a sailor and a person. ” Serving aboard the McCain is hard work but good work. Everyone learns to do their part so we get it right the first time,” he said.

Barker also said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the McCain’s 300-member crew, living thousands of miles from home, and protecting America on the world’s oceans. “Guidance is key. The more experienced sailors are always there to help and teach the newer sailors,” he said.

“Our Navy presence has to be where it matters and we have to be there when it matters. I am so proud and amazed by the knowledge McCain sailors display and the work they do every day,” said Cmdr. Chase Sargeant, the ship’s commanding officer.

As a member of one of the Navy’s most versatile combat ships, Barker and other John S. McCain sailors feel that they are part of a forward deployed team that is heavily relied upon to help protect and defend America across the world’s oceans.

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“The Navy has a lot of great mentors that come from all walks of life,” Barker said. “But they all come together as one and find a way to get the job done.”


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