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Meet Chicago Sailor Joshua Johnson

MANAMA, Bahrain - A 2013 Kenwood Academy High School graduate and Chicago native is helping the U. S. Navy keep sea lanes safe and open in the Middle East, serving on the mine countermeasures ship USS Sentry (MCM-3).

Seaman Apprentice Joshua Johnson is a Navy information systems technician and lives and works at a Navy base in Manama, Bahrain, where the Sentry is based. Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Arabian Gulf.


A Navy information systems technician is responsible for computer and communications systems.

"I am gaining lots of experience and knowledge in the Navy," said Johnson.

The Sentry was commissioned in 1994 and is the second Navy ship to bear this name. It is one of the Navy's 11 Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships that are designed to remove mines from vital waterways and harbors.

"I like this ship, because it's a small, close-knit community," said Johnson. "Resources and people are easily accessible."

The Sentry is 224 feet long, 39 feet wide and displaces 1,312 tons of water. It is powered by four diesel engines and can reach speeds of more than 16 mph.

With approximately eight officers and 80 enlisted comprising the ship's company, jobs are highly varied which keeps the ship mission ready - this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the propulsion system.

As a member of the crew, Johnson and other Sentry sailors know they are part of a forward-deployed naval forces team that is heavily relied upon to help protect and defend America on the world's oceans.

"It's good to see other places and cultures outside the U.S. and overseas pay is very generous," said Johnson.

In addition to the Sentry, three other Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships are forward deployed in Bahrain along with ten Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships.

The world is increasingly complex and crew members aboard the Sentry, as well as the other forward-deployed naval vessels in Bahrain, assist with assuring international sea lines between the Middle East and Europe remain open and help protect against possible maritime threats.

As a Sailor with numerous responsibilities, deployed halfway around the world away from friends and family back home, Johnson said he is learning about himself as a leader, Sailor and a person.

"I've strengthened my people and technical skills since serving in the Navy," said Johnson.


* Chicago Navy Commander's Continuing Promise.


Comments welcome.


Posted on September 9, 2015

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