New London Residents Son Shares Navy Experience

The son of a New London, Iowa, resident is serving aboard USS Essex, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship. Airman Nathaniel Page joined the Navy to follow a tradition of family service. “Both my parents and grandfather were all in the Air Force,” said Page. “I thought about joining but wanted to make my own path for life.” Today, Page serves as an aviation boatswain’s mate (fuel). “We control aviation fuel for the aircraft,” said Page. “We supply all the jets and helos with fuel.” According to Page, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in New London. “When I was on the football team, or even track team, everybody counted on everybody,” said Page. “If you are the weakest link, no one will trust you to do your part. However, if you work hard and become a ‘master at your craft’, you will do your job with ease and others will count on you. Just remember never give up.” Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Essex is the second ship in the Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts. Essex was a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat of the U.S. Army and later U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned, as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations. Serving in the Navy means Page is part of a team 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. There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers while serving in the Navy. Page is most proud of forming relationships with other sailors. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Page, 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. “Serving in the Navy allows me to grow into a better person by surrounding myself with my friends,” added Page. “I just joined, but I know I will do some pretty great things.”