By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Zahn, Navy Office of Community Outreach
YOKOSUKA, Japan- A San Rafael, California, native and 2016 Sem-Yeto High School is serving in the U.S. Navy forward-deployed aboard USS Blue Ridge.
Seaman Karina Ibarramartinez is a yeoman aboard the ship operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. The ship routinely deploys to protect alliances, enhance partnerships, and be ready to respond if a natural disaster occurs in the region.
A Navy yeoman is responsible for performing administrative and clerical work aboard the ship. They deal with visitors, coordinate personnel travel, and handle various forms of military correspondence.
Ibarramartinez is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of San Rafael.
“I learned from family that you have to have authenticity, and have love for other people and life,” said Ibarramartinez. “This follows me throughout my Navy career, always being humble and caring about yourself and others.”
Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.
USS Blue Ridge serves as the flagship for the U.S. Seventh Fleet. It is one of only two U.S. Navy command ships in the world, providing command and control for fleet commanders.
“We have very high standards and the workload can be stressful, but I know it is making me a stronger person and it’s worth all the effort,” said Ibarramartinez.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Ibarramartinez and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“The Navy has made me into a better person and I’m proud to serve,” said Ibarramartinez. “I enjoy being here in Japan and because we are the flagship, we get to visit a lot of ports.”
Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.