AP NEWS

Houston native supports critical Navy mission in the Middle East

May 2, 2019

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN - Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Miller, a Houston native, has a long line of military service in his family and knew he wanted to join the Navy.

Now, two years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Miller serves at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) / U.S. 5th fleet.

“The most challenging aspect is the high tempo of the command,” said Miller. “This is the most active area of responsibility in the world.”

Miller, a graduate of Deer Park High School, is an information systems technician at U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain.

“I maintain a network for a coalition of allied countries, which is used for anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and anti-drug operations,” said Miller.

Miller credits success at U.S. 5th Fleet, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Houston.

“I learned to never let other people’s words define you and to work hard for everything you get in life,” said Miller.

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.

“Three of our task forces use the system I am responsible for to communicate with their assets in the 5th fleet area of responsibility,” said Miller.

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

Serving in the Navy means Miller 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.

A key element of the Navy is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Miller is most proud of completing a three-month troubleshooting evolution to repair an information system on board a ship.

“My work allowed the ship to communicate effectively with allies and complete its mission,” said Miller.

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

“Being in the Navy means I am able to change the world,” said Miller.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr. is with the Navy Office of Community Outreach.