By: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Karolina A. Oseguera
USS Freedom, At Sea (July 13, 2013) – An Olmsted Falls High School alumni is one of 91 Sailors aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1), making history as he is assigned to the Navy’s first littoral combat ship deployed to Southeast Asia.
Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Roig from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, joined the Navy in 2010. He never imagined he would be assigned to Freedom, a technologically advanced, revolutionary class of ship. Fast, agile and mission-focused, LCS platforms are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare.
Freedom, homeported in San Diego, left on her maiden deployment March 1. Roig is temporarily assigned to the ship for the duration of the underway. He is originally assigned to the USS San Diego, also homeported in San Diego. San Diego is scheduled to deploy in mid 2014, but Roig wanted an earlier opportunity to improve his skills. “At the time I was a 3rd Class”, said Roig. “They needed a 2nd Class to come onboard the Freedom but nobody volunteered so I stepped up.”
Knowing his wife was pregnant with their first child, Roig was confident with his decision. He understood that this was the best choice for his career and ultimately for his family. “I joined the Navy to deploy,” said Roig. “I wanted to go out there are do something for my country and to see the world.” His wife supported his decision and it was not long before Roig was underway with the Freedom crew.
Although the deployment was unexpected, Roig came onboard with various goals in mind. “I wanted to come on this deployment mostly to get qualifications,” said Roig. “I wanted to get my engineering plant technician qualification, enlisted surface warfare, and flight deck crewmember qualification.” While he strives to accomplish these many goals, he still performs his regular duties as an electrician’s mate. These duties include maintaining anything that has electricity running to it, as Roig says.
“I enjoy being on the Freedom because I get many opportunities to work outside my rating and do not only electrician work but engineman work as well,” said Roig. “I am also doing a lot of cross training.” Working on the Freedom has proven to be very challenging but at the same time very rewarding for Roig.
On his return to San Diego, Roig will meet his son Ayden for the first time and be back at his command with a higher set of skills and confidence. “Before I left to the Freedom my Chief told me, ‘we are going to send you there and you are going to shine. When you come back you are going to have better knowledge and you are going to share that knowledge with the rest of us.’” said Roig.