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Pittsgrove Native Serves Aboard One of Navy’s Most Versatile Combat Warships

Photography by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward

A 2013 A. P. Schalick High School graduate and Pittsgrove native provides key support as part of combat operations aboard surface division two one, stationed at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

Petty Officer 1st Class Maurice Johnson serves as a quartermaster responsible for navigating the ship to ensure the ship is able to complete its mission safely.

“I have a brother and cousins who are also serving in the military,” said Johnson. “We are representing a new generation of service.”

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused- platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship’s technological benefits allow for swapping mission packages quickly, meaning sailors can support multiple missions, such as surface warfare, mine warfare, or anti-submarine warfare.

Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is a long one. Following an 18-month training pipeline, sailors have to qualify on a simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping onboard.

“It is definitely a privilege to serve in the Navy,” said Johnson. “I have been all over the world, and I get so much respect from people I meet.”