Warrior at sea: Chelsea native serves aboard Navy warship

Published 11:11 am Friday, October 19, 2018


Navy Office of Community Outreach

MAYPORT, Fla. – A 2013 Chelsea High School graduate and Chelsea native provides key support as part of combat operations aboard USS Philippine Sea.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Rushhaven is a Navy fire controlman aboard the guided-missile cruiser.

A fire controlman is responsible for providing weapon direction systems employment recommendations; performing organizational and intermediate maintenance on digital computer equipment, subsystems, and systems; operating and maintaining combat and weapons direction systems, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, and gun fire control systems at the organizational and intermediate level.

“The best part of my job is shooting the big guns for accuracy and precision knowing I worked on maintaining the weapons system,” Rushhaven said.

Rushhaven credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Chelsea.

“I learned that having a good work ethic and pride in your work pays off in the end,” Rushhaven said.

U.S. Navy sailors, like Rushhaven, are stationed both stateside and on the high seas aboard surface ships around the world. Philippine Sea is one of more than 60 ships on the east coast of the United States as part of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

U.S. Navy ships are deployed globally, and their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is vital to project power, secure common areas, deter aggression and assure allies when and where desired.

Due to its extensive combat capability, Philippine Sea is able to fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and other weapons as part of sustained combat operations against targets on and below the sea, in addition to hitting targets hundreds of miles over the land.

The ship is equipped with the Aegis Combat System, which integrates the ship’s electronic sensors and weapons systems to defend against anti-ship missile threats. The ship’s air search and fire control radar provides continuous search and tracking of hundreds targets simultaneously.

The crew of more than 400 sailors build a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The sailors are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions as part of a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.

“The advantage of serving on a cruiser is going on deployment and being at sea,” Rushhaven said.

Though there are many ways for a sailor to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Rushhaven is most proud of completing a seven-month deployment last year.

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

“Serving in the Navy make me proud of my service. I have done so much in the Navy,” Rushhaven said.