DVIDS - News - Able Seaman Sees Big Picture and His Role in It
U.S. 7TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
To operate any U.S. Navy ship, including those part of the Military Sealift Command, the captain needs a helmsman he or she can turn to with confidence, knowing the person on point for the safe maneuvering is trained, ready, and up for the task.On USNS Yukon (T-AO 202), that go-to person is sometimes Able Seaman Ranard McPherson. "I'm responsible for steering the vessel, conducting security, and look-out duties while out at sea," the Charleston, South Carolina, native said.In addition to those on the bridge, he has other responsibilities on board the fleet replenishment oiler, which is part of the U.S. Navy's Combat Logistics Force. For instance, if a fire were ever to break out on Yukon, as a hose man, he'd be on the front lines fighting it. McPherson, who studied computer science at National University in San Diego and earned an Associate of Science degree in electronics as a network administrator from Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, also understands the responsibility he has to keeping the ship in shape. To do that, McPherson conducts routine maintenance and makes general repairs. While his regular tasks may seem mundane to some, McPherson believes these day-to-day operations are critical pieces of a much bigger picture."During replenishments at sea, I operate fueling stations to deliver liquid cargo to USS and USNS ships so they maintain the ability to stay at sea for longer periods of ti....