Londonderry sailor loves the feel of Navy's revolutionary ship
Engineman 1st Class Robert Carter, from Londonderry, N.H., left, assigned to USS Freedom (LCS 1), helps pin a junior Sailor during a frocking ceremony marking his advancement to a higher paygrade. Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom is homeported in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cassandra Thompson/Released)
Engineman 1st Class Robert Carter from Londonderry, N.H. , assigned to the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), monitors the ship's propulsion and engineering systems from the bridge. Freedom is underway in the 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cassandra Thompson/Released)
Engineman 1st Class Robert Carter joined the Navy in 2002. He never imagined he would be assigned to Freedom, a technologically advanced, revolutionary class of ship.
As one of fewer than a dozen engineers on the approximately 40-member core crew, Carter is in charge of the ship's propulsion systems, generators, damage control, firefighting efforts, potable water and air conditioning.
It's shallow draft and maneuverability make it a formidable adversary to small fast attack boats.
"Small communities are, in my opinion, a lot better," Carter said. "You get to learn a lot more outside your rate, and be more proficient at your job, becoming the ultimate hybrid sailor. Also being a small-handed crew, you're doing a lot more work in a lot of different fields, so it makes the deployment go by a little bit faster."
"I spent my whole Navy career overseas, so I'm used to being forward deployed," he said. "But for the first time, I have a fiancée waiting for me at home, so it's tough."
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