Frayser High Grad Now Serves Aboard Navy Ship
A 2004 Frayser High School graduate and Memphis, Tenn., native is currently serving aboard the largest amphibious warship in the Navy.
Petty Officer 1st Class Christy Naranjo is a ship’s serviceman serving aboard USS Boxer, based in San Diego.
As a ship’s serviceman, Naranjo is responsible for managing and operating all shipboard retail and services.
“Growing up in Memphis, I learned that you won’t get anything you want unless you go out and get it yourself,” said Naranjo. “That life lesson has helped me get where I am today in the Navy.”
Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that resembles a small aircraft carrier. Approximately 3,000 Sailors and Marines serve aboard the ship and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.
Boxer is famous for playing a critical role in the rescue mission of Capt. Richard Phillips on April 12, 2009. U.S. Navy SEALS and other special operations forces from USS Bainbridge rescued Phillips who was later transferred to Boxer for medical evaluation and care. This successful rescue mission was portrayed in the 2013 movie, “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, and featuring crewmembers from the Boxer.
The ship is armed with two semi-active radar-guided NATO Sea Sparrow missile systems for anti-air warfare protection, two rolling airframe missile systems and two Phalanx close-in weapon-system mounts to counter threats from low-flying aircraft and close-in small craft.
It’s 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and weighs nearly 45,000 tons, with two gas turbine engines that push the ship through water at more than 22 knots.
As a member of the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship, Naranjo is proud to be part of the most capable amphibious force in the world.
Naranjo’s proudest accomplishment is being in a leardership position on such a large ship and training the future of the Navy.
“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.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Naranjo and other Boxer sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“The Navy has given me a new view of life,” added Naranjo. “It has expanded my knowledge of different cultures and experiences with different people. It has changed me into a better person allowing me to be more open minded and expand my intelligence.”