Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville native is part of Navy warfare exercise

Hannah Lee

A Fayetteville native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific.

Airman Destiny Lanford is an undesignated sailor aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier out of San Diego. As an undesignated sailor, she learns about several different jobs and positions on a ship. At the end of a designated time, she will choose which job fits her best for the rest of her naval career.

Today, Lanford uses skills and values similar to those learned in Fayetteville.

“I believe it's important to always look out for others,” said Lanford. “My brothers always looked out for me, now it's my turn."

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

“At RIMPAC I'm looking forward to getting better at the work I do,” said Lanford.

Since the USS Langley was commissioned 100 years ago, the aircraft carrier has projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintained enduring commitments worldwide.

“The Navy is on the water so we can go everywhere we need to,” said Lanford. “Defense is important as well as humanitarian aid. We can bring that everywhere.”

According to the U.S. Navy, the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy. This is because a majority of all trade traveling occurs on the sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic is carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor.

“I'm very proud and happy I'm on deployment with the ship,” said Lanford. “Being deployed means I’ve arrived at my calling to the Navy. I want to get to work.”

“Serving in the Navy means I'm on the front lines protecting my family and all the citizens in America,” added Lanford.

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Hannah Lee is a freelance journalist who covers local politics in Cumberland County, North Carolina, true crime, parenting trends, and recent studies in psychology.

Fort Bragg, NC

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