Born in the small town of Spring, Texas, and having graduated from Klein Collins High School in 2013, Emelyn Owen now serves at one of the most emotively charged historic locations in the US. 75 years ago, Pearl Harbor was the ground zero that plunged the US into World War II.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Emelyn Owen is a sonar technician with the US Navy at the U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters. The US Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command. It encompasses an awesome 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.
As a sonar technician, Owen serves as a liaison between ships to ensure they have the ammunition required to complete missions.
“My job makes me think outside of the box,” said Owen. “It has taught me a lot that I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t served on a ship.”
Pearl Harbor is often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles. While it was a pivotal strategic point three quarters of a century ago, it’s taking on new importance in America’s national defense strategy.
“It’s important for those of us serving in Pearl Harbor today to remember the sacrifice of those who served before us,” said Admiral Scott Swift, Commander, U.S. Pacific fleet. “The important work we do everyday honors those who were here 75 years ago and is a testament to the enduring value of our Navy’s mission.”
Although the world has changed greatly in the past 75 years, 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 US allies.
“Being the most junior person within the command, I have several mentors and people I can go to for advice,” said Owen.
The Navy has plans, by 2020, to base approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region. Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships; submarines; reconnaissance aircraft; and its newest surface warfare ships, including all of the Navy’s new stealth destroyers.
“Serving means being able to have another family and knowing that we are the reason our families back home are safe,” added Owen.