Rothbury native serves aboard Navy warship ported in Pearl Harbor.

June 20, 2017

Rothbury native serves aboard Navy warship ported in Pearl Harbor.

By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach.

PEARL HARBOR – A Rothbury, Michigan native and 2013 Montague High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Lathrop is serving in the US Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Michael Murphy.

Lathrop works as a hull maintenance technician aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy hull maintenance technician is responsible for all of the welding, ship fitting and machine fabrication for the ship.

“I take a lot of pride in my work and it’s rewarding knowing that the equipment is working in part because of me,” said Lathrop.

With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on US partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.

“Service at sea onboard a Navy destroyer is an incredible experience,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., Commanding Officer of USS Michael Murphy. “The extraordinary performance of Michael Murphy is made possible by the sailors that man her on a daily basis. Team Murphy is comprised of 350 talented sailors from across our country. They are all resilient and dedicated professionals, who strive each and every day to uphold the strong legacy of our namesake, Lt. Michael P. Murphy. I’m proud of their teamwork and commitment to the mission.”

Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. They do everything from to maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.

“The best thing about this ship is how the leadership cares for the sailors and supports them in their safety, personal growth and professional growth,” said Lathrop.

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.

“Serving in the Navy has given me the opportunity to give something back to my country while earning a steady paycheck,” added Lathrop.

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