YOKOSUKA, Japan – A Waurika, Oklahoma, native and 1999 Waurika High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander, Task Force 70, Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15).
Senior Chief Petty Officer Rodney Duran is a damage controlman serving with DESRON 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
A Navy damage controlman is responsible for performing organizational and intermediate level maintenance and repairing of damage control equipment and systems.
Duran is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Waurika.
“I’ve been in the Navy 19 years and I am having fun,” said Duran. “The Navy is a bigger extension of my family. One of my most memorable moments was when I was part of the honor guard in the 2008 presidential inauguration.”
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 Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.
“It’s not easy being forward deployed,” said Duran. “The fast-paced tempo allows you to step up to challenges and reap all of the rewards that comes with completing the mission successfully. The leadership opportunity the Navy has given me has made me who I am today.”
Duran is also proud of receiving the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for continuous volunteering off duty hours to the community.
“You make a difference every day,” said Deputy Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Joey Dodgen. “We are the most prepared, highly trained and the most capable force in the Indo Pacific. Our carriers, amphibious assault ships, aircraft and most importantly, our people, are ready today to face regional challenges and lead our Navy’s forces in this theater, just as the officers and sailors of 7th Fleet have done for 75 years. So thank you for all that you do.”
The mission of the DESRON 15 is to conduct underway operations and exercise tactical control of destroyers during peace and wartime operations.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Duran and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means pride and honor,” said Duran. Wearing the uniform is a huge reward and I am very appreciative of having this opportunity.”
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.