SAN DIEGO – A 2010 Ceres High School graduate 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 2nd Class Elizabeth Canalesnunez is a Navy engineman serving under Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Naval reserve unit based in San Diego.
As a Navy engineman, Canalesnunez is responsible for maintaining diesel engines, small boats, air compressors, and other mechanical equipment onboard LCS ships.
“I get to make really close friendships with the people I work with because we work so much together. It’s hands-on work and you learn a lot.”Elizabeth Canalesnunez
“We do a lot of maintenance of damage control equipment on the LCS,” said Canalesnunez. “I get to make really close friendships with the people I work with because we work so much together. It’s hands-on work and you learn a lot.”
Canalesnunez credits success in the Navy to lessons she learned in Ceres.
“There’s a lot of diversity in Northern California and that has helped me a lot in the Navy,” she said. “Ceres is a small town, and when I came here I found similar diversity and that has helped a lot.”
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 of 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.”
Canalesnunez’s proudest accomplishment so far has been making rank and getting her surface and air warfare pins.
“Those were very hard for me. It took a lot of studying.”
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, Canalesnunez explained that she 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.
“Since this is a smaller command you get to learn on both the admin side and the maintenance side, and you create a really close bond with the small community of people you serve with. They really push you to do better,” said Canalesnunez. “The main reason I joined the Navy was to be a part of something bigger and to serve others. I’m really honored and happy to serve in the Navy.”