Capital Heights Native Serves Aboard U.S. Navy Guided-Missile Destroyer

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – A 2006 Largo High School graduate and Capital Heights, Maryland, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Halsey.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Pitt works as a Navy gas turbine systems technician (mechanical) aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Pitt credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Capital Heights.

“I learned that everyone is different,” said Pitt. “Not all people respond to situations in the same way, so having the ability to adapt as needed is important.”

Halsey measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.

Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.

As a Navy gas turbine systems technician (mechanical), Pitt is responsible for maintaining the equipment that moves the ship and assisting junior personnel in adapting to Navy life onboard the ship.

According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required war-fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.

Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Pitt is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“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, Pitt is most proud of earning two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and advancing to petty officer second class.

“I was in charge of two major programs to help improve operations on the ship and was successful in doing so,” said Pitt.

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

“Serving in the Navy means being part of something bigger than me and doing something positive with my life,” added Pitt. “I love being able to travel and see the world, visiting places I probably wouldn't have on my own.”

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