San Tan Valley native lives in Europe, supports NATO mission

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Dennis (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda Rae Moreno)

A 2013 Poston Butte High School graduate and San Tan Valley native in the Navy lives on the coast of Spain while supporting NATO mission.

According to a press release, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Dennis, participates in a critical NATO ballistic missile defense mission while assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross.

She is a gas turbine systems technician (electrical) aboard one of the four advanced warships forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, a small village on the country’s southwest coast 65 miles south of the city of Seville, detailed the release.

A Navy gas turbine systems technician (electrical) is responsible for the maintenance and operation of four gas turbine engines, three Allison turbine generators and its auxiliary equipment, the release described.

The four destroyers are forward-deployed in Rota to fulfill the United States’ phased commitment to NATO BMD while carrying out a wide range of missions to support the security of Europe, the release noted.

Ms. Dennis credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in San Tan Valley, the release stated.

“Growing up, I learned how respect work and how to properly treat others including my elders and superiors,” said Ms. Dennis in a prepared statement. “Those lessons have helped me out the most in my military career.”

According to the NATO website, many countries have, or are trying to develop ballistic missiles. While the ability to acquire these capabilities doesn’t necessarily mean there is an immediate intent to attack NATO, the alliance has a responsibility to take any possible threat into account as part of its core task of collective defense, the release said.

Positioning four ballistic missile defense ships in Spain provides an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces, friends and allies while contributing to a broader defense of the U.S.

“I’m proud to lead such a dedicated, experienced, resilient and mission-oriented crew,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of USS Ross in a prepared statement. “Team Ross always meets the mission while taking care of each other and having a fun time doing it.”

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Ms. Dennis, who has long-rooted military ties. Her family members previously served and she is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather served in the Marine Corps,” said Ms. Dennis. “The knowledge he obtained and pride from serving is what influenced me to join the military.”

A member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Ms. Dennis and other Ross sailors are noted as part of a lasting legacy.

“The Navy has helped me to understand what hard work is and how to manage my time properly,” Ms. Dennis stated. “My favorite parts about serving in Spain are learning the language, adapting to the culture and making new friends and experiences while being able to travel the world.”

Editor’s note: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt is with the Navy’s Office of Community Outreach. Independent Newsmedia Reporter Delarita Ford contributed to this article.

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