Pomona Native Serves Aboard Navy’s Most Versatile Combat Ships

SAN DIEGO – A 1998 Gary High School graduate and Pomona, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the staff assigned to Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Naval reserve unit, supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ruben Sandoval is a Navy boatswain's mate serving under Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Naval reserve unit based in San Diego.

As a Navy boatswain's mate, Sandoval is responsible for overall ship's maintenance and integrity as well as steering the ship.

“I take a lot of pride with the upkeep of the ship, especially when we're out to sea,” said Sandoval. “Everyone knows whose ship looks the best, has the most ribbons and won the most awards."

Sandoval credits success in the Navy to a lesson he learned growing up in Pomona.

“It’s the lesson of commitment, from family and school, which has carried over to the military,” he said. “It’s kept me going for 19 years.”

COMLCSRON ONE NR is the Reserve unit working alongside their active duty counterparts at COMLCSRON ONE to man, train and equip LCS, in addition to leading Navy-wide change to support the minimally manned rotational crews and mission packages for littoral combat ships.

Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs, supporting multiple missions, such as surface warfare, mine warfare, or anti-submarine warfare. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

“I continue to be impressed with the high caliber of sailor that the LCS community attracts,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. “When these sailors join LCS, they already know the reputation of our ships as fast, agile, maneuverable and soon to be the largest class of vessel on the waterfront. They also know the credentials of our sailors as being highly trained, talented, mature and versatile. So, the ships’ unique capabilities and the high quality of LCS sailors appeals to those who are eager to be a part of a community which affords them qualification opportunities and chances to excel that they might not get anywhere else."

Sandoval says he is fortunate that he has found such opportunities throughout his reserve career, which he says is his proudest accomplishment.

“Everything I have today, and everything I have accomplished, I owe to the Navy,” he said.

Through innovative planning, the design of systems, and crew requirements, the LCS platform allows the fleet to increase forward presence and optimize its personnel, improving the ability of the Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.

As part of that LCS community, Sandoval explained that he and the other sailors of the unit are helping to build a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, including helping to develop new war-fighting capabilities to continue the Navy’s success on the world’s oceans.

“The amount of knowledge that you gain working here, because of the small manning levels of the LCS, is a lot more than any other command,” said Sandoval. “I’ve been blessed to do what I do. I love the fact that my reserve duties are very flexible for my civilian career and my family. I’m able to do everything I can to serve my country.”

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