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Boardman native serves with U.S. Navy half a world away

May 17, 2018
The Town Crier

A Youngstown, Ohio, native and 2015 Boardman High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with the forward-deployed unit, Naval Beach Unit 7. Seaman Courtney Lucarell is a logistics specialist operating forward in Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy logistics specialist is responsible for ordering, receiving, inspecting, stowing, preserving, packaging, shipping, and issuing materials and cargo. They perform postal counterwork, including sale of stamps and money orders and process incoming and outgoing mail. They process claims and inquiries, account for government materials, and prepare and maintain required forms, records, correspondence, reports, and files.

Lucarell is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Youngstown.

Article Photos

Seaman Courtney Lucarell

"My mom is a single mom and Navy veteran. She inspired me to join the Navy," said Lucarell. "She taught me to be independent. Since you're always on your own here, moving across the world by yourself, it definitely helps in what she instilled in me."

Lucarell thus far is proud of receiving her enlisted surface warfare qualification pin. Getting qualified helps her feel confident in knowing that she can contribute to the overall mission. She feels she is ready to deploy anytime with the landing crafts.

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America's interests. With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy's presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

Commissioned in August of 2012, Naval Beach Unit 7 was formed to combine the three forward deployed naval forces detachments in Japan.

Personnel from the command are responsible manning and operating either the landing craft-such as the landing craft air cushion or the landing craft utility-or manage landing operations from the beach.

NBU 7 landing craft serve an important function for the Amphibious Force 7th Fleet in being able to move personnel and equipment from ship to shore.

"It's fast paced work and we are always going out to sea," said Lucarell. "Being with this unit can be tough. We train a lot. We'll go out and sleep on beaches, we have tents, but some of us sleep on the Humvees. We bring wipes for cleansing, we eat MRE's, we get eaten by bugs. We learn how to protect ourselves and survive on our own. It's an experience. I like how we stick together and rely on each other. The Navy has matured me. I appreciate the small things."

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy's most relied-upon assets, Lucarell and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"I enjoy being forward deployed because we go everywhere," said Lucarell. "Also, it's the people that keep me going. My chain of command and friends that I've made. I realize that there's so much more out there to see. The Navy gives me the opportunity to see the world."

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world's population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

 
 

 

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