LAHS Alumnus And Española Native Jared Rodriguez Serves U.S. Navy At Assault Craft Unit Five

 U. S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Rodriguez/Courtesy photo


Los Alamos High School alumnus Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Rodriguez, a native of Española, serves the U.S. Navy at Assault Craft Unit Five (ACU-5) operating out of San Diego, Calif.

Rodriguez joined the Navy six years ago and today he serves as a gas turbine systems mechanic.

“I joined the Navy to honor family tradition and serve my country,” Rodriguez said.

Growing up in Española, Rodriguez attended Los Alamos High School and graduated in 2015. He uses the same skills and values learned in Española to succeed in the military.

“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the guidance of my family,” Rodriguez said. “This provided me with the foundation to succeed.”

Located on a Marine Corps base, ACU-5 is a self-sustained command established in 1983 and encompasses 34 buildings across shore and sea-components including a control tower, eight hangars, a 100,000-gallon fuel storage-and-supply facility, a HAZMAT storage and collection center and a 50-acre flight apron.

ACU-5 is composed of more than 600 sailors and 30 civilians who train, maintain, repair and operate the 32 Navy hovercraft, Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). The LCAC is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft, capable of carrying up to a 75-ton payload. It is used to transport the weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach. LCAC can carry heavy payloads, such as an M-1 tank, at high speeds. The air cushion technology allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world’s coastline, while only about 15 percent of that coastline is accessible by conventional landing craft.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Rodriguez and the sailors he serves with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My biggest accomplishment has been advancing in rank at a fast pace,” Rodriguez said. “Traveling the world has also been an amazing experience.”

As Rodriguez 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 everything to me,” Rodriguez said. “I love the camaraderie, team building and focus we have in the Navy.”