Seaman Apprentice Adam Awe, a Twin Lakes native, helps keep watch aboard the cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Firebolt, patrolling one of the world’s most dynamic maritime regions as part of Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Wilmot High School graduate Adam Awe serving aboard USS Firebolt

Seaman Apprentice Adam Awe, a Twin Lakes native, always wanted to join the military.

One year later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Awe keeps watch aboard the cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Firebolt.

“It is challenging because the schedule can change just like that and we are constantly at sea,” Awe said in a news release. “You have to be flexible to serve on the Firebolt.”

Awe, a 2016 graduate of Wilmot Union High School, is an operations specialist aboard the Manama, Bahrain-based ship, one of 10 PCs forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf in the Navy’s 5th Fleet.

“As an operations specialist, I maintain a visual picture of the surrounding seas,” Awe said. “We also use radios to communicate with air, land and sea units.”

Awe credits success in the coastal patrol force, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons he learned in Twin Lakes.

“One big lesson I learned from my hometown is hard work,” Awe said. “On this platform you have to be willing to show up and work hard every day.”

USS Firebolt is 179 feet long, 25 feet wide and weighs nearly 320 tons. Four diesel engines help push the ship through water at 40 mph. Firebolt is perfectly suited for the complex waters of the Arabian Gulf, where over 80 percent of maritime security operations take place in less than 39 feet of water.

The ship’s light tonnage, powerful propulsion plants and shallow draft mean it can move nimbly in crowded coastal waters.

This platform also is used to escort larger ships such as destroyers, protect infrastructure like oil platforms and distilling platforms and frequently participates in exercises with regional partners.

The PCs operate under U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 55, which is responsible for surface ships in the region. The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

“PCs have a small crew, which gives sailors the opportunity to take on additional responsibility,” Awe said. “We are required to know multiple jobs and be able to fill in when called upon.”

Serving in the Navy means Awe is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy, according to the news release.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans.

According to the news release, more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“I’m incredibly proud to serve with each of our sailors, Coastguardsmen and Marines forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations,” Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, deputy commander for NAVCENT/ U.S. 5th Fleet, said in the news release.

“They represent the very best of our country and serve as volunteers in a complex and dynamic region that’s vital to our security. I am honored to work alongside these warriors.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Awe said he is most proud of the qualifications he has earned while in the Navy.

“I am weapons qualified and stand watch on board my ship,” Awe said. “I would not be able to do this on any other ship.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Awe and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy.

“For me the Navy means I can grow and mature into the person I want to be,” he said.


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