Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sailor from Belize supports versatile missions while serving at U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josiah Trombley, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class
Jordan Jennings, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 3rd Class Darnell Williams, a sailor from Belize City, Belize, supports versatile missions while serving at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3. Williams joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Williams serves as a logistics specialist.

“I joined the Navy because I was inspired by my family’s military heritage,” said Williams. “My dad is a senior chief in the Navy, my mom is a chief warrant officer in the Navy and my grandfather, rest in peace, served in the Air Force. My dad told me what the military had to offer and convinced me to join the Navy.” Williams attended First Coast High School and graduated in 2017.

Skills and values similar to those found in Belize City are similar to those required to succeed in the military. “My hometown taught me tough love, security within myself and to have intuition,” said Williams. “Jacksonville gave me endurance and showed me how to take care of myself during rough situations. I knew that when certain things would take place and I acted on it, which taught me to trust my intuition.”

These lessons have helped Williams while serving with the Navy. Members of HSC 3 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. In general, some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.

This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. Our Nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service.

As a member of the Navy, Williams is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we do what others don’t have the will to do for the security of others,” said Williams. “We wake up early, we act quickly on emergencies and we execute exercises that help us to prepare for those emergencies.”

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

Williams and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment is learning something new in my rate every day,” said Williams. “One of my warrant officers calls it being a “squared-away sailor. I am retaining the information that I need to complete my mission.”

As Williams and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means learning what hasn’t been learned yet,” said Williams. “The Navy is an experience that only those who join will know. I have family members that saw my career and started joining because of me, such as my sisters and my cousins.”

Williams is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my dad, Senior Chief Howard Williams, and my mom, Chief Warrant Officer Lssette Williams, for making me feel secure enough to continue in my Naval career,” said Williams. “There were times when I first got in the Navy when I wanted to give up. They encouraged me to keep going and that they understood my difficulties. I would also like to thank HSC-3 for being there for me and not kicking me to the rocks when things got tough. I had a hard time, but things got better. ”

“I want to give a shoutout to Jacksonville brothers that are still out there, doing their thing,” added Williams. “You know who you are. Thank you for still having my back.”

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