Resident’s Sailor Son Is Part Of Operation Enduring Freedom
By Misty Trent
In October, USS Bataan (LHD 5) departed Norfolk, Va., on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment as part of the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), along with the dock landing ship, USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), and the amphibious transport dock, USS Shreveport (LPD 12). For the Sailors currently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the southwest Asia region on board the amphibious assault ship, the circumstances of this mission are anything but business-as-usual.
Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Donovan E. Grant, son of Veronica Grant of East Flatbush, is an electrician’s mate on board Bataan. This year, being deployed for the holiday season was especially meaningful for Grant.
"I missed spending time with my family and friends, and doing things with my kids," said Grant, a 1976 graduate of St. George’s College in Kingston, Jamaica. "I also missed our sight-seeing trips during the weekends."
Amphibious assault ships like Bataan are called upon to perform as primary landing ships for assault operations of Marine expeditionary units. These ships use Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), conventional landing craft and helicopters to move Marine assault forces ashore. Amphibious warships are uniquely designed to support assault from the sea against defended positions ashore.
Bataan, one of the largest amphibious ships in-the world, carries a detachment of almost 2,000 United States Marines, more than 50 AV-8B Harrier attack planes and CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, and is home to a crew of more than 1,000 Sailors, all responsible for fulfilling the ship’s mission.
"I am the ship’s electrician. I am responsible for all electrical equipment, including propulsion machinery, galley equipment and flight deck lighting. Without us, the ship can not move," explained Grant, 43.
Grant joined the Navy in May of 1981. In the oath of enlistment, he swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, and for U.S. Sailors, that can mean long deployments away from family and friends.
"We keep the peace by show of force and presence. Also, it’s almost ambassadorship, revealing to the world who and what we are," said Grant, husband of the former Porsha Haire and father of three.
Sailors deployed overseas on board USS Bataan, like Master Chief Petty Officer Donovan E. Grant, are standing the watch, protecting and defending the rights and freedoms of their fellow citizens back home.