DELTA, MO (KFVS) - A 2003 Delta High School graduate and Delta, Missouri native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Rafael Peralta.
Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick McCoy is a fire controlman aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of Bath, Maine.
A Navy fire controlman is responsible for operating weapons systems on surface combatant ships.
"I like meeting new people and the camaraderie and teamwork that we have here," said McCoy.
Currently under construction, Rafael Peralta measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 mph in open seas.
Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and ballistic missile defense, as well as humanitarian assistance.
Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
"The men and women of Peralta are the best and brightest our great nation has to offer in defense of our ideals and way of life," said Cmdr. Brian Ribota, Commanding Officer of USS Rafael Peralta. "They are an impressive group of volunteer patriots who all citizens of this great nation should be proud of. It is an honor to stand the watch alongside them onboard this amazing ship built in the best shipyard in America, Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine."
With a crew of over 300 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials.
The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
"Being on a pre-commissioning ship is a unique experience because you learn more about your job from the actual engineers that are building the systems that you work on," said McCoy.
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained.
The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
"Serving in the Navy is about working as a team to accomplish the mission. I enjoy coming to work every morning knowing that I have a family there and that we are all going to look out for each other," said McCoy.