Omro Native Serves Aboard One of Navy's Most Versatile Combat Warships

by Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO - An Omro, Wisconisn, native provides key support as part of combat operations aboard USS Montgomery stationed in San Diego, California.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Adam Ross is an electronic technician serving aboard the littoral combat ship.

A Navy electronics technician is responsible for electronic equipment used to send and receive messages, computer information systems, long range radar, and calibration of test equipment.

"LCS is a challenging tour," Ross said. "However, with great challenge comes a great sense of accomplishment. Working with a small crew means that we are all working closely together to get the job done, and it builds a strong sense of camaraderie."

Ross credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Omro.

"I grew up on a dairy farm, which gave me a strong work ethic and a 'can do' attitude," Ross said. "This has served me well throughout my career."

Ross has served more than three years on USS Montgomery, bringing the ship from the builder in Mobile, Alabama, commissioning, testing and certifying the ship. He brought her through a shipyard period designed to prepare the ship for deployment, and supported several “first” certifications as an operational asset and crew ready for deployment.

“I had the pleasure of watching ETC Ross work as a ET1 and then become a chief within the USS Montgomery Blue Chief’s Mess," said Ensign Daniel Vossler, communications officer of USS Montgomery. "As a brand new ensign fresh from college, he has become one of the chief sources of information and training while I’ve been with USS Montgomery Blue Crew. ETC Ross is dedicated and motivated, and is always willing to step up to the plate with a smile on his face and an unparalleled drive to accomplish our mission.”

The ship’s technological benefits allow for swapping mission packages quickly, meaning sailors can support multiple missions, such as surface warfare, mine warfare, or anti-submarine warfare. 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. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is a long one. Following an 18-month training pipeline, sailors have to qualify on a simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping onboard.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Ross is most proud of being an electronics technician.

"Electronics Technicians are generally a diverse group with a wide range of skillsets," Ross said. "I’ve worked hard to become an “everything tech”, but I do have a few areas where I’m considered a 'subject matter expert.' Being called upon to help other ships with an issue on their systems is encouraging because it shows the work I’ve put in over the years is paying off."

Ross has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

"My grandfather served in the Navy as a signalman second class in World War II, though it wasn’t talked about much when I was young," Ross said. "He was also in the African campaign, guiding amphibious forces to the beach."

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Ross provides a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

"Serving in the Navy is serving something other than yourself; working towards a greater purpose," Ross said. "You have to balance the needs of the Navy against your own personal goals. I’d like to think I’ve done a pretty good job in that balance during my career."

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