Swansboro Grad Supports Critical Navy Mission in the Middle East - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Swansboro Grad Supports Critical Navy Mission in the Middle East

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2019 11:00 am

Petty Officer 1st Class Edward LaMarca, a Hubert, North Carolina, native, joined the Navy to serve his country and carry on a family tradition of service.

Now, nine years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, LaMarca serves at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) / U.S. 5th fleet.

“My job directly pertains to the base operating support contract and essentially everybody here is our customer,” said LaMarca. “We make sure the quality of life is up to Navy standards.”

LaMarca, a graduate of Swansboro High School, is a utilitiesman at U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain.

“As a Navy utilitiesman, we are responsible for the installation, maintenance, operation and repair of all Navy facilities around the world,” said LaMarca.

LaMarca credits success at U.S. 5th Fleet, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Hubert.

“One lesson I learned growing up is that hard work and integrity can get you pretty far in life,” LaMarca said. “These values have played a vital role in the success of my career.”

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.

“We ensure that our living standards and facilities meet Navy requirements,” LaMarca said. “We pride ourselves on proving great customer service.”

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean. The area includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

“I work with different operational units in the Navy that I don’t typically get to,” LaMarca said. “It has been interesting and lets me see a different side of the Navy.”

Serving in the Navy means LaMarca is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, LaMarca is most proud of his deployment to Afghanistan.

“I was able to see morale improve, with all the construction projects we completed, and that is an accomplishment I am most proud of,” LaMarca said. “It is a great feeling when you can give people some of the comforts of home when they are so far away.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, LaMarca and other Sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs in times of war or otherwise.

“Serving in the Navy means sacrificing my time to enable everyone to enjoy the benefits that the military affords all Americans,” LaMarca said.

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