Philadelphia's Eric C. James and the crew of the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge (LLC-19), the home of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, recently participated in the largest joint military exercise in the Western Pacific.
Navy Seaman Apprentice James, the 19-year-old son of Teresa Cumberland of Philadelphia, is a cryptologic technician on board Blue Ridge.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Fernando M. Jejia, a 2000 graduate of Northeast Lauderdale High School, recently returned from a five-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf while assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ponce, homeported in Norfolk, Va.
Jefia was one of nearly 22,000 Pacific Fleet sailors and marines aboard 14 amphibious ships of Task Group 51 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Navy Seaman Demetrick D. Johnson, son of Lenora Johnson of Cuba, Ala., is halfway through an eight-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf while assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Nashville, homeported in Norfolk, Va.
During the first half of the deployment, sailors and marines from Johnson's ship operated day and night inserting Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They also participated in two major exercises and made a port visit to Trieste, Italy.
Johnson, a 2002 graduate of Sumter High School in York, Ala., joined the Navy in June 2002.
Marine Corps Pfc. Milton L. Jones Jr., son of Alberta and Milton L. Jones of Heidelberg, recently made a port visit to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates while assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Camp Lejeune, N.C. The unit is currently aboard the USS Iwo Jima.
Jones is one of more than 4,000 Atlantic Fleet sailors and marines who deployed aboard the ships of the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. He is a 2001 graduate of Heidelberg High School and joined the Marine Corps in September 2001.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tamara I. Thomas, daughter of Glenda A. and Charles W. Thomas of Louisville, is currently assigned to the Navy's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, commissioned at Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia.
The ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan will be homeported in San Diego and is capable of transporting 5,500 sailors and 75 aircraft.
Thomas is a 1997 graduate of Louisville High School and joined the Navy in May 2001.