Fulton Native Serves With U.S. Navy Half a World Away

Petty Officer 1st Class William Pangburn

Petty Officer 1st Class William Pangburn

Submitted by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SASEBO, JAPAN – A Fulton, New York, native and 2005 G. Ray Bodley High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo.

Petty Officer 1st Class William Pangburn is a gunner’s mate serving with the security department at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

Petty Officer 1st Class William Pangburn
Petty Officer 1st Class William Pangburn

A Navy gunner’s mate is responsible for operating and maintaining missile launching systems aboard ships.

“I’ve learned a lot from the Navy,” said Pangburn. “I love being able to work with guns. I like that gunner’s mates are sent to work on a lot of different things. The command is a close-knit community which makes for a good working environment.”

Pangburn has also done a deployment in Iraq, which he felt really made a difference.

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests.

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.

The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

“I love being forward deployed because we are closest to the enemy,” said Pangburn. “The Navy has made me more of a complex person and given me life experience that I will take with me after I leave here.”

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

“Serving in the Navy means I get to defend my country every day,” said Pangburn. “I get to bring the fight to the enemy, which to me is the greatest honor you can have.”

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.

Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.


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