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Thursday, August 9, 2018

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt

Navy Office of Community Outreach


ROTA, Spain—A 2015 Channel Islands High School graduate and Oxnard, California, native is serving our country in the Navy, living on the coast of Spain, and participating in a critical NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) mission while assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Francis Juliano is a gunner's mate aboard one of the four advanced warships forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, a small village on the country’s southwest coast 65 miles south of the city of Seville.

A Navy gunner's mate is responsible for maintaining and performing corrective maintenance of missile launchers.

Juliano credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Oxnard.

“Knowing where I came from always reminds me to be humble and to be grateful for every opportunity that has been given to me,” said Juliano.

These four destroyers are forward-deployed in Rota to fulfill the United States’ phased commitment to NATO BMD while also carrying out a wide range of missions to support the security of Europe.

According to the NATO website, many countries have, or are trying to develop ballistic missiles. The ability to acquire these capabilities does not necessarily mean there is an immediate intent to attack NATO, but that the alliance has a responsibility to take any possible threat into account as part of its core task of collective defense.

U.S. Navy Aegis ballistic missile defense provides scalability, flexibility and mobility. These systems are equally beneficial to U.S. assets, allies and regional partners in all areas of the world. Positioning four ballistic missile defense ships in Spain provides an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces, friends and allies while contributing to a broader defense of the United States.

Guided-missile destroyers are 510 feet long warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. The ships are armed with tomahawk cruise missiles, advanced gun systems, close-in gun systems and long-range missiles to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles.

Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups or amphibious readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the necessity for everything the Navy does. The Navy cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.

The ship is named after Adm. Robert Bostwick Carney, who served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower administration.

“We have an outstanding team here and I am honored to lead one of the finest, most capable crews in the U.S. Navy,” said Cmdr. Tyson Young, commanding officer of USS Carney. "Their continued efforts keep us as an integral part of U.S. 6th Fleet's presence in the region.”

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Juliano, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Juliano is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My uncle is a retired senior chief aviation structural mechanic in the Navy,” said Juliano. “Growing up, I always looked up to him and I always dreamt of being in the Navy one day. So here I am, taking over the watch for him.”

While serving in the Navy may present many challenges, Juliano has found many great rewards.

Juliano is proud of earning a Navy and Marine Corps Acheivement Medal for the excellent preparation of launchers for the ship's upcoming patrol.

Unique experiences build strong fellowship among the crew of more than 300 women and men aboard Carney. Their hard work and professionalism are a testament to the namesake's dedication and the ship's motto, "Resolute, Committed, Successful." The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions, according to Navy officials. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills. Serving aboard a guided-missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Juliano and other Carney sailors know they are a part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy has made me grow as a human being as well as spiritually. It taught me to come closer to God during hard times while on deployment,” said Juliano. “The best part about serving in Spain has been being a forward-deployed naval force. We are out to sea a lot, which allows us to the opportunity to see a lot of different countries.”