Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Rifle native serves aboard future Navy warship

By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

MAYPORT, Fla. - Lt. Cmdr. Lehvy Davis, a native of Rifle, Colorado, serves aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Nantucket, in Mayport, Florida.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st
James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach

PCU is a designation used by the U.S. Navy to describe crews aboard vessels under construction prior to official commissioning.

Davis, a 2001 graduate of Rifle High School and a University of Washington alum, joined the Navy 21 years ago.

“I initially joined the Navy for the GI Bill,” said Davis. “Six years and out was the plan, but here I am 21 years later. I came in as a seaman recruit in March 2002. I became a petty officer first class and at my seven-year mark, got picked up for the Seaman-to-Admiral program, so I decided to stay in to lead sailors. I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie with my fellow shipmates.”

Today, Davis relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Rifle to succeed in the military.

“Growing up in the small town of Rifle, Colorado, taught me the value of hard work and to always strive to be the best,” said Davis.

These lessons have helped Davis while serving in the Navy.

Nantucket will be a fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatant that operates in near-shore and open-ocean environments, according to Navy officials. Littoral combat ships integrate with joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.

Littoral combat ships are hybrid surface combatants that lead manned-unmanned teams using unmanned aerial systems like the Fire Scout and Expeditionary Ordnance Disposal forces unmanned underwater vehicles. They conduct forward and maritime security missions like the Secretary of Defense Oceania Maritime Security Initiative. The ships also strengthen partnerships through port visits in small island nations like Tahiti and Fiji due to their shallow-depth hull.

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is unique and challenging. The culmination of their 18-month training pipeline, sailors qualify on a virtual reality simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping on board.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

"Our mission remains timeless - to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level," said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. "This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy."

Serving in the Navy means Davis is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy contributes to national defense by providing a ready and capable force that can maintain a global presence in support of both military force and humanitarian and disaster relief,” said Davis.

Davis and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment is the ability to continue to serve and do what I love to do on a daily basis,” said Davis.

As Davis and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“For me, serving in the Navy means being a part of something greater than myself,” said Davis. “I am doing what only one percent of people in our country are able to do by serving in the military.”

Davis is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my wife, Kelsey, for all of her love and support,” said Davis. “We got married two weeks before I went to boot camp. She has been a great mother to our four children, Zyre, 20, Quiyen, 17, Traice, 15, and Wreylin, 12,” said Davis.

“I am currently working on my Master's in Human Resources and will be moving to Millington, Tennessee, in a couple of months to work as a Human Resources officer,” added Davis.