PEARL HARBOR – Most Americans would agree that communications are a vital part of their lives. The same is true for the U.S. Navy. Instead of using smart phones and tablets, a group of sailors stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, use the most-advanced satellite and telecommunications equipment to share vital information with sailors deployed around the world.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Shaunte Frazier, a 2007 Phoebus High School graduate and native of Hampton, Virginia, has served in the Navy for 10 years and is assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific.
As a Navy information systems technician, Frazier is responsible for maintaining circuits and communications throughout the fleet.
Frazier credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Hampton.
“Growing up, I learned responsibility, how to be tough and how to make quick logical decisions, which has helped me excel in my Navy career,” said Frazier.
NCTAMS Pacific is the center of communications for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. They provide command, control, communications, computers and intelligence connectivity to Naval and Joint forces from San Diego to Singapore and beyond. NCTAMS Pacific is the largest naval communications station in the world, known as the “Pacific Voice of Command.”
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means that Frazier is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Frazier is most proud of developing into the person she has become by joining the Navy.
“I'm most proud of the woman I've become since I joined the Navy,” said Frazier. “It has made me a better person all around.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Frazier, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Frazier is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My family members were mainly Army,” said Frazier. “That actually influenced me to not join, but I joined the Navy because I had a baby girl and couldn't find a job. Making a better life for my daughter influenced me the most to join the Navy.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Frazier and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving means to be able to fight for something bigger than myself, for others' rights and for the people who aren't able to fight for themselves,” added Frazier.