NORFOLK, Va., — A 2005 B.F. Terry High School graduate and Rosenberg native returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman.
Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Petty Officer 1st Class Angel Montoya is an operations specialist aboard the carrier. Montoya is responsible for providing navigational and tactical direction to the ship’s aircraft on missions.
“I love talking with the pilots,” Montoya said. “As a kid I sometimes would watch movies and imagine myself using ‘code words’ with other people for an important mission to save the world. This is sort of like that in the sense that we use a variety of words to short hand the mission and intentions.”
Following a scheduled return from deployment in March, after operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations, Truman remained underway in the Western Atlantic as a certified and ready carrier force ready for tasking. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, the Truman continued to conduct operations underway, minimizing the potential spread of the virus aboard the ships, in order to maintain maritime stability and security and ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
Truman sailed more than 56,000 nautical miles, deploying dynamically to support dual-carrier operations, air defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, and interoperability with joint services and with allies and partners.
“There have been a few times where our helicopter would find a stranded boat in the middle of the water and I would have to relay back and forth to the aircraft and officer in charge about getting help for these people to get them safely ashore,” Montoya said. “I’m very proud of that.”
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Truman. More than 6,000 men and women serve aboard the ship during deployment keeping all parts of the ship running smoothly. Each crewmember performs a number of tasks outside of their traditional job or rating.
“As an aircraft carrier, we are flying 18 hours a day some days and require someone to make sure these assets are safely flying near unknown merchant traffic and aircraft,” Montoya said. “I am the voice guiding them through the unknown while providing tactical recommendations,”
Throughout the deployment, Truman performed numerous training exercises to develop tactical competencies. Montoya is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My father was a Marine and growing up, he instilled the respect aspect that I am trying to instill in all people I come across,” Montoya said.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Montoya, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I joined the Navy to better myself and secure a future for future family,” Montoya added.