East Flatbush woman serving on combat ships
Carol Thompson is originally from Brooklyn, but now she is 3,000 miles away in San Diego.
Thompson, a 2001 graduate of Catherine McCauley High School in East Flatbush, is currently serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working on a rotating schedule aboard different combat ships.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Thompson is an operations specialist and a member of Crew 206, also known as the “Vikings,” serving aboard littoral combat ships based in San Diego. Littoral combat ships are stationed close to the shoreline.
As an operations specialist, Thompson is responsible for providing a wide range of technical information and assistance relating to anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
The technology allows for changing missions quickly, according to U.S. Navy officials.
Thompson said she feels proud to be serving her country in uniform.
“What I enjoy most about my job is knowing that when pilots fly their aircraft, their life is in my hands, and I get a sense of pride and honor knowing that they arrive back safely,” she said in a statement.
Thomspon is also helping out younger sailors by serving as a mentor to them. “Additionally, my secondary job is to steer my fellow peers in the right direction to further their careers not only professionally, but on a personal level as well. I love knowing that my sailors trust in me to take care of them,” she stated.
Thompson is part of a 53-person crew, one of several crews that rotate between littoral combat ships as part of a concept called “3-2-1,” in which three crews serve aboard two different ships, one of which is deployed. This manpower concept allows the ships to spend more time deployed without overtaxing the crew, according to officials.
The path to becoming a littoral combat ships sailor is a long one. Following an 18-month training program, sailors must qualify on a simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. The intense training allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping onboard.
As a crewmember, Thompson said that she and her colleagues are building a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. Crewmembers know how important it is for the Navy to develop new war fighting capabilities to continue its success on the world’s oceans, she said.
“Prior to joining the Navy, I felt like I was heading down the wrong path,” Thompson said. “It’s opened my eyes and expanded my horizons, helping me to accomplish my goals both in my career and in life.”
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