New Utrecht High School grad serving on warship

April 3, 2015 By Lt. Christopher Hanson, U.S. Navy Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dania Bologna, a native of Brooklyn, is serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy
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Dania Bologna, a New Utrecht High School graduate, is serving on one of the world’s largest warships, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Bologna, a petty officer 3rd class, is an aviation ordnanceman aboard the San Diego-based ship, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that is one of only 10 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today.

Ordnancemen are responsible for guns, bombs, missiles and other weapons aboard a ship.

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“We build bombs and assemble missiles and rockets to be loaded on our F-18’s and helicopters,” Bologna said.

Named in honor of former President Ronald Reagan, the aircraft carrier is longer than three football fields. The ship is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at nearly 35 mph.

As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, Bologna said she is proud to serve her country aboard an aircraft carrier.

“I love the fact that we are ported in California. This was somewhere new for me and I love the weather,” she said.

Bologna graduated from New Utrecht in 2012. The high school is located at 1601 80th St. in Bensonhurst.

Bologna also said she is very proud of the work she is doing as part of USS Ronald Reagan’s nearly 3,000-member crew, helping protect America on the world’s oceans.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Ronald Reagan. Nearly 3,000 men and women make up the ship’s company, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,000 or so form the air wing, the people who actually fly and maintain the aircraft.

“I never cease to be impressed with the type and quality of work that goes on aboard the carrier each day,” said Capt. Christopher E. Bolt, the carrier’s commanding officer. “Our team is filled with highly qualified young adults – in many cases, 19 and 20 years old – and they’re out here launching and recovering aircraft, running a complex propulsion system safely, serving as air traffic controllers, operating sophisticated electronics, and keeping this floating city alive and functioning.”

The USS Ronald Reagan is also a self-sustaining mobile airport. The ship carries more than 70 jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land on the carrier’s 4.5-acre flight deck.

After an extended maintenance period spent pier side in San Diego, the USS Ronald Reagan is preparing for a move to Japan where it will replace the USS George Washington and become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Bologna and other USS Ronald Reagan sailors know they are part of an agile and skilled team.

“I have met some good people and one of my best friends is a sailor. I laugh a lot and that helps me enjoy life,” Bologna said.

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