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Natchez Native Serves Aboard one of Navy’s Most Advanced Warships
from Staff Reports - NEWS
October 22, 2018 -

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Gary Ward 

NORFOLK, Va. – A 2010 Natchez High School graduate and Natchez, Mississippi, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason. 

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Cardell Mason is a boatswain’s mate aboard the warship, based in Norfolk, Virginia. USS Mason is named after Secretary of the Navy John Young Mason and Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient Ensign Newton Henry Mason.

As Navy boatswain’s mate, Mason is responsible for training and supervising sailors in all activities relating to deck and boat seamanship, overseeing the maintenance of the ship’s external structure and deck equipment.

“What I love about my job is that we can work on almost any type of platform, anywhere in the world,” Mason said.

Mason credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Natchez. 

“I grew up with diversity and saw people from different walks of life coming together to help each other," Mason said. "This same positive attitude helps me in the Navy every day.” 

U.S. Navy sailors, like Mason, are stationed both stateside and on the high seas aboard surface ships around the world. USS Mason is one of more than 60 ships on the east coast of the United States as part of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. 

U.S. Navy ships are deployed globally, and their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is vital to project power, secure common areas, deter aggression and assure allies when and where desired.

Due to its extensive combat capability, the Mason is able to fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and other weapons as part of sustained combat operations against targets on and below the sea, in addition to hitting targets hundreds of miles over the land. 

The ship is equipped with the Aegis Combat System, which integrates the ship’s electronic sensors and weapons systems to defend against anti-ship missile threats. The ship’s air search and fire control radar provides continuous search and tracking of hundreds targets simultaneously. 

The crew of more than 300 sailors build a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The sailors are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions as part of a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.

“I enjoy working on a destroyer," Mason said. "Every evolution involves a boatswain’s mate.”  

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Mason is most proud of finishing the landing signalman enlisted course.

“Going through this course makes me more valuable as a sailor," Mason said. "I can now assist with flight operations which ultimately helps my crew.”  

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Mason and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means freedom for my family," Mason added. "With the Navy, I know I have a great foundation for the rest of my career.” | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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