Cheyenne Native Serves with the U.S. Navy Half a World Away

© 2018-Cheyenne Minuteman

SASEBO, Japan – A Cheyenne, Wyoming, native and 2012 Central High School graduate is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Connell is a hull maintenance technician aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy hull maintenance technician is responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing valves, piping, plumbing systems, and marine sanitation systems and repair decks, structures, and hulls, examine welds, and fabricate metal.

Connell is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Cheyenne. 

Connell is also proud of earning the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal award while in dry dock for his dedication shown to the ship’s mission.

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 Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.  

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

Connell has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“I grew up in an Air Force town so I was used to that lifestyle,” said Connell. “I carry the same values which I use today in the Navy.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Connell and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy has given me an opportunity to make better life choices,” said Connell. “It’s also given me an opportunity to travel and experience other countries and cultures.”

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.


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