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Las Cruces native serves aboard USS Essex


A Las Cruces native is serving aboard USS Essex, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Alysa Sanchez is a 2018 Mayfield High School graduate. She serves as a Navy aviation boatswain's mate responsible for the safe movement and launching and recovery of all aircraft on board the ship.

 Sanchez joined the Navy three years ago to be more independent and to have the opportunity to travel the world.

“I learned that a team is made up of a group of people where everyone has their own skills that they may be good at that could be contributed to help the team,” Sanchez said. “As an individual, you need to figure out what you’re good at so that you may contribute and allow the team to be successful and function as a unit."

“In my time serving in the Navy, I’ve learned how to be dependable,” she said. “I've figured out how to provide for my sailors and being someone my leadership can count on when they need a task accomplished.”

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Essex is the second ship in the Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts. Essex was a 1,000-ton ironclad river gunboat of the U.S. Army and later U.S. Navy during the American Civil War.

According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets and Landing Craft Air Cushioned, as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.

“I like serving here at this command because they have guided me and given me opportunities that have made me successful during my naval experience,” Sanchez said.

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Sanchez is most proud of making it through her second deployment on board USS Essex.

“I'm also proud getting qualified as a landing signalman because it allowed me to help support the ship and its missions,” Sanchez said.

“Serving in the Navy to me means starting the first generation of sailors in my family, and to have my nieces and nephews follow in my footsteps,” she said.

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