Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn native serves with Helicopter Squadron in San Diego

September 8, 2021 By Jennifer Gold, Navy Office of Community Outreach
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Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeanette Alexis, a native of Brooklyn, New York, serves in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California.
“I wanted to do something different than what was expected of me,” said Alexis.

Alexis joined the Navy 12 years ago. Today, Alexis serves with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SIX (HSC 6) in San Diego, working with one of the Navy’s most advanced helicopters, the MH-60S Knighthawk.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Alexis attended Nazareth Regional High School and graduated in 2007. Today, Alexis uses the same skills and values learned in Brooklyn to succeed in the military.

“When I was younger I was scared to go on to the next grade, but I made it through school and I took that can-do mindset with me to the Navy, ” said Alexis. “Through perseverance, I can always learn and grow and achieve the next step.”

These lessons continue to help Alexis while serving in the Navy.

Pilots and aircrew at HSC 6 constantly train to ensure they are prepared for peacetime and warfighting missions. The mission set of the MH-60S includes anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, logistics support, personnel transport, humanitarian disaster relief, medical evacuation, support to Naval Special Warfare and organic airborne mine countermeasures. MH-60S helicopters are also equipped with the ability to conduct replenishments at sea, search and rescue missions and enable other operations for the carrier strike group.

“For over 60 years, HSC 6 has provided all-weather rotary wing operations to America’s Navy,” said Cmdr. Charles A. Chmielak, HSC 6’s commanding officer. “Whether it’s recovering the astronauts of Apollo 14 after they returned to Earth, or deploying around the world to preserve free and open sea lanes, our highly trained sailors have always answered the call, wherever and whenever the nation needs them.”

Serving in the Navy means Alexis is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus, rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“There is always a Navy presence on the water,” said Alexis. “We have the watch and we are always protecting and projecting power.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

Alexis and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I’m most proud of when I was the leading petty officer aboard USS Essex,” said Alexis. “I felt proud of myself that I accomplished it and it gave me confidence in my leadership.”

As Alexis and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Being in the Navy requires a significant sacrifice of your time, body and mind,” added Alexis. “But, it’s for a greater cause than ourselves.”

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