On board, USS Higgins - In the midst of the many detailed training evolutions during RIMPAC 2012, a distinguished visitor to the ship reminded the HIGGINS crew that the Navy’s finest asset was indeed its manpower. On July 13th 2012, HIGGINS was privileged enough to host Rear Admiral Peter Gumataotao, Commander of Carrier Strike Group 11 and NIMITZ (CVN 68) Strike Group, for a wardroom lunch and a tour of the ship.
Over an exceptional lunch prepared by the ship’s culinary specialists, RDML Gumataotao shared stories of his upbringing in his native country of Guam and how these experiences led to his desire to join the Navy. He spoke extensively on the importance of optimism and maintaining a positive attitude in the work place in order to inspire confidence in others. He reinforced these ideals by visiting with individual sailors and recognizing them for their contributions to HIGGINS and the Navy.
Among these sailors was Electronic Technician Second Class Jaymes Wilke who spent his authorized liberty time in Hawaii correcting a lingering deficiency in one of the ship’s computer systems. RDML assured ET2 Wilke, that his dedication and proficiency was appreciated and recognized.
Similarly, RDML Gumataotao singled out Gas Turbine Systems Technician-Electrical Third Class Martin Garabedian for the effort he continually maintains when troubleshooting issues with the gas turbine systems. The admiral noted Petty Officer Garabedian’s “level of professionalism is impressive,” and he was, “proud and thankful to have such skilled technicians who take their jobs seriously” under his command.
When RDML Gumataotao departed the ship, he left behind a sense of gratitude for the effort HIGGINS sailors sustain on a daily basis. Inspired by the admiral’s confidence in the work they do, HIGGINS Heroes will continue to set high standards while fulfilling the words of RDML Gumataotao: “The USS Higgins will lead forward with an incredible ‘can do’ attitude in everything she does.”