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The Madison Record

Barranco learning duties of electrician’s mates in U.S. Navy

ROTA, Spain – Stationed in Rota, Spain, Fireman Gabriel Barranco serves as a sailor aboard the USS Ross, a forward-deployed, guided-missile destroyer in the Arleigh Burke class.

Barranco graduated from East Limestone High School in 2015.

As an undesignated Navy sailor, Barranco is pursuing on-the-job training with electrician mates. “I enjoy meeting all the different cultures and backgrounds of the crew through my work,” he said. “No two people have the same story.”

“As my first ship, I am glad I got a chance to be on a smaller ship,” Barranco said. “It makes it easier to figure out where you are and get to know people faster. It wasn’t too overwhelming.”

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials said. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapts to changing conditions in their lives of specialized work, watches and drills.

Barranco explained that he and other Ross sailors know they are part of a legacy that will be last beyond their lifetimes.

“I am a third-generation sailor,” Barranco said. “My grandfather served in the Navy and my father did, too. I know I am making my family proud.”

Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women work in the ship’s company. The crew maintains each part of the cruiser to run smoothly, Navy officials said. Jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.

Commissioned in June 1997, the Ross measures approximately 500 feet and uses power from four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas. The vessel’s name pays homage to Medal of Honor recipient Captain Donald K. Ross, who was recognized for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In addition to Ross, three other ships capable for ballistic missile defense are forward deployed in Rota: USS Porter, USS Carney and USS Donald Cook. The U.S. 6th Fleet sends these ships to various locations for a range of missions, while simultaneously providing a large umbrella of protection for European allies.

The Navy Office of Community Outreach or NAVCO produced this information and photograph. Mass Communication Specialist Amanda Rae Moreno documented Barranco’s work.

The Media Outreach Department with the Navy Office of Community Outreach is located in Millington, Tenn. For more information, visit outreach.navy.mil, Facebook/Navy Outreach, Twitter @NavyOutreach or Instagram @US_Navy_Outreach.

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