Brentwood native serves aboard Navy warship in San Diego, CA
February 20, 2018
A Brentwood, Pennsylvania, native and 2013 Brentwood High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Anchorage.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Luke Bernardo is an electrician's mate aboard the amphibious transport dock operating out of San Diego.
Anchorage, one of the Navy's newest and most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.
A Navy electrician's mate is responsible for keeping the ship's electrical components working by being an electrician for the ship.
"Keeping an open mind, and always keeping the bigger picture in mind, has allowed me to grow while serving in the Navy," Petty Officer Bernardo said.
Anchorage is longer than two football fields at 684 feet, is 105 feet wide and weighs more than 24,000 tons. It has four diesel engines that can push the ship through the water in excess of 26 mph.
Sailors' jobs are highly varied aboard Anchorage. More than 400 men and women make up the ship's crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 700 Marines can be embarked. Anchorage is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.
"The success of our Surface Force ships is measured by our ability to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters," said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. "It's hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea - it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I'm extremely proud of the each and every surface warrior's contributions to the Navy's enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world."
These amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.
Petty Officer Bernardo's proudest accomplishment was advancing to the rank of petty officer.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy's most relied-upon assets, Petty Officer Bernardo and other Anchorage sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
"Serving in the Navy has made me a more well-rounded, hard working person," Petty Officer Bernardo said.