NORFOLK – A 2008 Mount Saint Charles Academy High School graduate and Cumberland,
Rhode Island native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile cruiser,
Lt j.g. Robert Van Winter is a damage controlman assistant aboard the
Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.
A Navy damage controlman assistant is responsible for fire fighting, flooding and
all other damage and casualty efforts aboard the ship.
“I enjoy getting to work with the crew everyday and training them as well,” said Van
Commissioned in May of 1992, USS Anzio measures approximately 567 feet and is
powered by four gas turbines that allow the cruiser to achieve over 30 mph in open
seas. Cruisers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting
anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as
humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, cruisers
provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute
any tasking overseas.
“I am very proud of Anzio’s numerous accomplishments during our recent eight-month
overseas deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” said Captain Frank X.
Castellano, Commanding Officer of USS Anzio (CG 68). “It takes significant teamwork
and dedication to duty in order to achieve this success. Robert was a vital member
of team Anzio who definitely contributed to our mission.”
With a crew of over 300 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of
the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from
washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
“I enjoy getting to see the work the crew completes,” said Van Winter. “We have
people who complete work well above of their pay grade.”
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials
explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.
It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“Serving in the Navy is pretty special to me,” said Van Winter. “My father was
enlisted, and I am an officer, so it is an honor to get to serve.”