Wilkes-Barre Native Serves with the U.S. Navy Half a World Away
SASEBO, Japan – A Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, native and 1994 Lake Lehman High School graduate is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.
Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Sickert is a culinary specialist aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.
A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for operating kitchen and dining facilities, budgeting for food service management, and ensuring morale aboard the ship.
Sickert is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Wilkes-Barre.
“I learned family values and friendships from back home,” said Sickert. “That helped open up my mind to all the cultures and people that I come across.”
Sickert thus far has volunteered helping out with a Moral, Welfare, and Recration (MWR) youth baseball league. He enjoys helping out a great organization while working with kids.
Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy's presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.
Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.
“It is a lot harder being stationed our here, you don’t have the time to enjoy family time. We are very busy,” said Sickert. “I do enjoy experiencing a different culture. The Navy has taught me to be more understanding of cultures and people. This is a great experience.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Sickert and other Sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy makes me proud to be an American,” said Sickert. “Not that many people can say they can serve for their country."
Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.