Nacogdoches Native Returns from 11-Month Deployment Aboard Nimitz
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Ware, a 2015 high school graduate and Nacogdoches native recently returned to Bremerton, Washington, marking the end of an 11-month deployment aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
Ware is an aviation ordnanceman aboard the carrier. As an aviation ordnanceman, Ware is responsible for assembly and disassembly, stowage and handling of ordnance.
“My favorite part of the job is when the jet comes back empty of ordnance," said Ware.
Nimitz was the first aircraft carrier to successfully deploy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with no reported cases aboard. Mitigations were implemented strike group-wide to prevent the spread of COVID-19 aboard the ships, and included wearing face masks, social distancing, increased shipwide cleaning and a focus on handwashing. A COVID-19 Medical Response Team was embarked for the duration of deployment. Visits to Oman, Bahrain and Guam were confined to the piers to ensure the health and safety of the crew. New personnel that joined the ship underway also completed a sequester and tested negative for COVID-19 prior to embarking.
“I am incredibly proud of this remarkable crew who have completed all assigned tasks and missions with great precision and professionalism over the course of a very long deployment,” said Capt. Max Clark, Nimitz commanding officer. “Each Sailor aboard Nimitz can be exceptionally proud of their accomplishments and service to the nation.”
Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG) completed multiple dual carrier operations in U.S. 7th Fleet with Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Groups, and conducted cooperative deployments with the Indian and Australian navies. The ships also participated in multinational Exercise Malabar 2020 with Japan, Australia and India.
“My proudest accomplishment on deployment was advancing in rank to petty officer third class," said Ware.
In U.S. 5th Fleet, NIMCSG supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. In September 2020, Nimitz conducted the first carrier transit through the Strait of Hormuz since November 2019. NIMCSG supported Operation Inherent Resolve, providing close air support and defensive counter-air missions to the coalition fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. NIMCSG transited to the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia to support Joint Task Force – Quartz and Operation Octave Quartz during a repositioning of U.S. forces within East Africa. While operating in 5th Fleet, NIMCSG also supported the 33-nation Combined Maritime Forces and the 8-nation International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) to ensure the free flow of commerce and maritime security in three critical waterways.
"I support the command's mission by assembling and handling all ordnance, such as bombs and missiles and rockets, so we can defeat the enemy and support our troops on the ground," said Ware.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Ware, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Ware is honored to carry on the family tradition.
"My uncles served in the Air Force and my brother was in the Marine Corps," said Ware.
Ware experienced an unprecedented deployment, one with unique challenges and successes, and both Navy and government leaders acknowledged the crew’s continued perseverance in the face of adversity.
“I joined the Navy to help protect loved ones and be a part of something great," added Ware.