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Fowlkes serves on ‘city at sea’ Navy ship

SAN DIEGO – A Huntsville native, Petty Officer 3rd Class Akeveyai Fowlkes serves on a “city at sea” aboard the U.S. Navy’s largest amphibious warfare ship, USS Makin Island.

Fowlkes has military ties with relatives who previously served. She feels honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My father, aunt and cousin all served in the Navy,” Fowlkes said. “My father is my role model, and seeing how proud he is of his service made me want to join.”

“Serving in the Navy means continuing a legacy and being part of something bigger than yourself,” she said. Her ship operates out of San Diego, Calif.

Fowlkes works as a logistics specialist and is responsible for handling all supply requests for the entire ship. She must confirm that the ship has the money and parts needed for the current mission.

Fowlkes credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Huntsville. “I learned you go a lot further in life with sugar than salt,” she said. “You can get more out of people when you treat them with respect and the right attitude.”

The Navy designed Makin Island to deliver Marines and their equipment on various missions, ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

The ship resembles a small aircraft carrier and is longer than two football fields at 847 feet. The vessel is 106 feet wide and weighs more than 41,000 tons fully loaded. USS Makin Island can carry more than 12 helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft.

These amphibious assault ships project power from the sea serving as the cornerstone of the amphibious ready group. Makin Island was delivered to the Navy in April 2009 and is the first U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship to be equipped with both gas turbines and auxiliary propulsion system instead of steam boilers.

Note: Headquartered in Millington, Tenn., the Navy Office of Community Outreach travels the globe and collects sailors’ stories. Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James H. Green wrote Fowlkes’ story.

For more information, visit outreach.navy.mil.

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