BREMERTON, Wash. – A North Bend native and 2014 North Bend High School graduate is serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, a floating airport at sea.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jesse Wilson is an electronics technician (nuclear) serving aboard the carrier.
A Navy electronics technician is responsible for operating and maintaining the nuclear reactor on the ship.
“It's our job to provide propulsion for the ship and generate the electricity,” said Wilson. "Without us, the ship wouldn't be able to function at all."
Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the crew of John C. Stennis, with an additional 2,000 sailors assigned to the ship’s embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 9.
Named in honor of former Senator John C. Stennis from Mississippi, the carrier is longer than three football fields, measuring nearly 1,100 feet. The ship, a true floating city, weighs more than 100,000 tons and has a flight deck that is 252 feet wide.
When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.
Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft.
Wilson combines the lessons learned from both the Navy and North Bend to take personal responsibility in performing assigned tasks and leading others.
“One of the most important things I learned when I was younger, was the value of compartmentalization,” said Wilson. "Being able to put tasks in order, and prioritize them, is a big help for me in the Navy.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Wilson and other John C. Stennis sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy is a chance for me to prove myself,” said Wilson. "I get to learn an incredibly unique profession, all while serving the greater good of humanity."