Salem Native Serves Aboard Navy Warship in Norfolk

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A Salem, Virginia, native and 1999 Salem High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Kearsarge. Senior Chief Adam Dickson is a master-at-arms aboard the amphibious transport dock operating out of Norfolk.

Kearsarge, one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

A Navy master-at-arms chief is responsible for the operations of the police department.
“I oversee all of the patrols, and interactions of more than 50 patrolmen,” Dickson said. “Diversity and success is being able to work with anyone on anything . . . No one dictates your future.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Kearsarge. More than 400 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 700 Marines can be embarked. USS Kearsarge is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.

“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 the each and every surface warrior’s contributions to the Navy’s enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world.”

These amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.

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

“My little brother is an Electronics Technician 1st Class stationed on the USS Gabby Gifford,” Dickson said.

Dickson remembers going fishing with his family on the Roanoke River, and going to Friday night football games and says his proudest accomplishment is his family more than anything else. “It means more than my career,”said Dickenson “and keeping things in the right order has allowed my career to soar.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Dickson and other USS Kearsarge sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. I love working with people,” Dickson said. ” It’s allowed me the opportunity to learn the lessons required to lead.”