By Heidi McCormick / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO – A 2012 Midlothian High School graduate and Midlothian native is currently serving aboard the largest amphibious warship in the Navy.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Raymon Dominguez is an aviation ordnanceman serving aboard USS Boxer, based in San Diego.
As a Navy aviation ordnanceman, Dominguez is responsible for handling, servicing, and inspecting all weapons and ammunition carried onto aircraft.
“I’ve learned to keep a positive attitude and the importance of teamwork to get the job done,” Dominguez said.
Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that resembles a small aircraft carrier. Approximately 3,000 Sailors and Marines serve aboard the ship and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill.
The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.
Boxer is famous for playing a critical role in the rescue mission of Capt. Richard Phillips on April 12, 2009.
U.S. Navy SEALS and other special operations forces from USS Bainbridge rescued Phillips, who was later transferred to Boxer for medical evaluation and care. This successful rescue mission was portrayed in the 2013 movie, “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, and featuring crewmembers from the Boxer.
The ship is armed with two semi-active radar-guided NATO Sea Sparrow missile systems for anti-air warfare protection, two rolling airframe missile systems and two Phalanx close-in weapon-system mounts to counter threats from low-flying aircraft and close-in small craft.
It’s 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and weighs nearly 45,000 tons, with two gas turbine engines that push the ship through water at more than 22 knots.
As a member of the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship, Dominguez is proud to be part of the most capable amphibious force in the world.
Dominguez’s proudest accomplishment was advancing to the rank of petty officer third class during his time onboard.
“The success of our Surface Force ships is measured by our ability to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters,” said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “It’s hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea – it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I’m extremely proud of each and every surface warrior’s contributions to the Navy’s enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world.”
Dominguez has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“I have an uncle that was in the Marines,” Dominguez said. “I wanted to be the next person in my family to serve in the military.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Dominguez and other Boxer sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“The Navy has given me the opportunity to become a better leader,” said Dominguez. “I’ve worked with people from different walks of life and learned how to come together to get the job done.”