A 2010 McLean High School graduate and McLean native is serving aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), living and working at the Navy’s forward-deployed base south of Tokyo.
Ensign John Nowell is a surface warfare officer aboard the destroyer operating out of Yokosuka, which is located approximately 35 miles south of Tokyo and accommodates the United States’ furthest forward-deployed naval forces.
An Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Mustin is 509 feet long or more than 1 1/2 football fields. The ship is 66 feet wide, weighs more than 9,200 tons, and its four gas turbine engines can push the ship through the ocean at nearly 35 miles per hour. The ship is named in honor of the Mustin family, who has recorded a rich and honorable tradition of naval service, a family legacy to the Navy service that lasted from 1896 until 1989.
As a Sailor with numerous responsibilities, Nowell said he is proud to serve his country aboard a destroyer in Japan. He added that it is an exciting time to be in the military, and serving in the world’s greatest Navy.
“I work on the really big, jet engines that power the ship,” said Nowell.
Nowell also said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the Mustin’s 330-member crew, living thousands of miles from home, and protecting America on the world’s oceans.
“The people are awesome and the experiences, such as traveling, are once in a lifetime for the average American,” said Nowell. “Sometimes I will be doing something and then I pause and think whoa, this is amazing.”
“Mustin is always where she needs to be when it matters. I am so proud of the utmost professionalism her Sailors display every day,” said Cmdr. Joseph A. Torres, Jr., the ship’s commanding officer. “Their honor, courage, commitment, and selfless dedication to the Navy are truly motivating.”
Approximately 40 officers and 290 enlisted Sailors make up the ship’s company and helicopter detachment. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the $2 billion destroyer running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry, as well as conducting helicopter flight operations.
Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas. With multi-mission capabilities in surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, ballistic missile defense, and humanitarian assistance, Arleigh Burke destroyers excel as the Navy’s premier fighting warship.
Assigned to U.S. Seventh Fleet, Mustin sailors are continuously on watch throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, acting as America’s first responders in that part of the world.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile combat ships, Nowell and other Mustin sailors understand they are part of a forward-deployed team that is heavily relied upon to help protect and defend America across the world’s oceans.
“I love all the opportunity for travel and moving around that the Navy provides,” said Nowell. “It’s a pretty good lifestyle.”
— Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs