JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KAMR/KCIT) — An Amarillo native is currently serving at the Naval Air Station (NAS), located in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the American Connections Media Outreach website.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Rebecca Higby joined the Navy two years ago and today, Higby is serving as an air traffic controller, the website said.
“I joined the Navy for the opportunity to learn a new trade and see the world,” said Higby.
Higby attended Randall High School and graduated in 2014 and according to the website, she is finding the values in Amarillo that are needed in the military.
“I’ve taken the lessons I learned working in the corporate world in Amarillo and Lubbock,” said Higby. “I apply the professionalism and organization from that experience with me into my current role.”
On Oct. 15, 1940, NAS Jacksonville was officially commissioned, and became the first part of the Jacksonville Navy complex that would also include NAS Cecil Field and Naval Station Mayport.
According to Navy officials, the mission of NAS Jacksonville is to enable warfighter readiness focused directly on support of operational units aboard the base and throughout the fleet.
The website stated that Higby is “part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.”
“The Navy completes its mission for the benefit of the nation,” said Higby. “We work with other countries to maintain good alliances around the world.”
Navy officials continue to say that prosperity and security are directly linked to the Navy, with 90 percent of all trade travels by sea and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and web traffic is carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor.
According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.
“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”
Higby is proud of earning Junior Sailor of the Quarter at the end of 2020.
“I was in Japan stationed at the Atsugi Air Base,” said Higby. “I worked hard that quarter volunteering for events in my department and helping maintain quality of work in the department during the initial wave of COVID.”
The website said that the sailors continue to train and take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“It’s important to our nation, but it also means a lot to my parents,” added Higby. “I know they’re very proud. I have lots of opportunities for growth in the military, and that means a lot to me.”