February 16, 2001

San Diego Sailor Supports Interdiction Efforts

Story by David Hayes and J.L. Chirrick

By maintaining a forward deployed presence, the U.S. Navy supports several presidential objectives that protect the interests of the United States. These objectives range from enforcing U.S. sanctions against Iraq to drug interdiction operations. In order to meet these objectives though, Sailors like Jerry R. Rodriguez must first volunteer for naval service.

"I joined the Navy because of tradition --my grandfather, dad and uncle were all Sailors," Rodriguez said.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry R. Rodriguez

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Rodriguez, the 35-year-old son of John and Sheila Rodriguez of San Diego, is assigned to the USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), a 453-foot Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate based in Everett, Wash. With advanced weapons, radar, sonar, and engineering systems, the Davis can be employed to provide protection of shipping, support interdiction efforts, and meet other mission requirements as directed.

Upon departing her home port in the first week of March, the Davis will begin a three-month deployment period by relieving another Navy ship to support counter-drug operations in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. While in this region, Davis Sailors will work closely with Coast Guard air and surface units by providing covert detection and monitoring activities to stem the flow of drugs.

Rodriguez knows that deploying naval forces in support of interdiction and other operations is important to the Navy's assigned foreign and domestic objectives.

"It is important for Sailors to deploy to ensure that the drugs and other evil stay out of the United States, as well as protect our home," said Rodriguez, a 1983 graduate of San Diego High School.

Following the period of counterdrug operations, the Davis will take park in "Teamwork South," a multinational exercise involving navies from Chile, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States.

As a cook aboard the Davis, Rodriguez will combine his talents with those of the Coast Guard and other Davis Sailors to ensure the success of count-erdrug activities and multinational efforts.

"I order supplies, food and consumables to ensure the smooth operation of the crew and wardroom (officer) dining facilities on the ship. I also supervise 18 personnel," said Rodriguez, an 18-year Navy veteran.

While performing their duties, Davis Sailors will constantly be at work, pushing to fulfill the ship's mission, but Rodriguez will manage to find free time to work on his personal and professional goals.

"I plan to work on completing my journeyman's license in cooking and training more of my cooks on how to bake," Rodriguez said.

As the United States Navy begins a new year, Americans can rest safe, knowing that Sailors like Rodriguez will continue to maintain a high state of readiness to preserve national interests.

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