Oceanside native serves aboard Navy warship


Oceanside native Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Lopezdiaz serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sang Kim, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West)

A native of Oceanside is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens.

Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Lopezdiaz, a 2003 San Marcos High School graduate, joined the Navy 16 years ago.

“I was looking for a challenge and a dependable job and the Navy was a great choice for me,” said Lopezdiaz.

Today, Lopezdiaz serves as an interior communication’s mate.

Military newsAn interior communication’s mate is responsible for the telephone systems on the ship. Lopezdiaz also works on the alarm systems, monitoring systems and all the wiring within the ship.

Homeported in San Diego, USS Cowpens is named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Cowpens, a major American victory near Cowpens, South Carolina. The historic battle weakened British attempts to wrest the southern colonies from American control.

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance, according to Navy officials.

Fast, maneuverable and technically advanced, cruisers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any task overseas.

Serving in the Navy means Lopezdiaz is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The U.S. Navy is a maritime force to protect our national interests across the seas,” Lopezdiaz said.

More than 90% of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.

Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of Naval Operations.

“The U.S. Navy — forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power — deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

“The Surface Force will continue to meet the challenge of strategic competition and respond to the realities of the modern security environment,” said Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener. “Our efforts are critical to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression and win wars.”

Sailors like Lopezdiaz have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment is leading others,” Lopezdiaz said. “Seeing them succeed and advance really makes this job worthwhile.”

As Lopezdiaz and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means having a purpose,” Lopezdiaz added. “I means doing something that is meaningful and that matters.”

— By Capt. David Russell,
Navy Office of Community Outreach

OsideNews and North Coast Current offer military outreach offices the opportunity to share news about local service members by submitting press releases for publication. They can be sent to osidenews[at]northcoastcurrent.com.