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Charleston Native Protects U.S. Navy Forces in the Middle East

Petty Officer 1st Class Earl Trammell. Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Erica R. Gardner, Navy Office of Community Outreach

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Petty Officer 1st Class Earl Trammell, a Charleston, South Carolina native, joined the Navy to honor his grandfather.

“My grandfather was a Stewardess 3rd Class. He passed away before I joined,” said Trammell. “I wanted to emulate the type of man he was, and joining the Navy seemed like a good place to start.” 

Now, nine years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Trammell serves as the leading-edge of the Navy the nation needs.

“The camaraderie with everyone I work with is the most exciting part of serving so far from home,” said Trammell.

Trammell, a 2006 graduate of Stratford High School, is an operations specialist at NSA Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet. 

“I work with both internal and external communications, establishing data links which play a role in the planning and execution of operations such as tactical air control, and the safety of flight navigation,” said Trammell.

Trammell credits success in Bahrain, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Charleston.

“I’ve learned that you can not do everything on your own,” said Trammell. “Charleston has a lot of great spirited people who live by an ‘I care about everyone’ mentality. Bringing that mentality has made my career rewarding beyond professional accomplishments.”

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways. 

NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. 5th Fleet and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia’s mission to provide services to the fleet, warfighter and family.

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. 

Serving in the Navy means Trammell is part of a world 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.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Trammell is most proud of having many accomplishments that range from flag letters of commendation to Navy commendation medals, but says he is proud just to serve in the world’s greatest Navy.

“I would not be able to do the things I do now financially, to support my family if not for the experiences I have had,” said Trammell.

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

“Serving in the Navy means so much more to me than just putting on a uniform,” said Trammell. “It is a career decision that has provided opportunities for me in the present, my future and my children’s future.”

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