A 2008 Boothbay Region High School graduate and Boothbay Harbor native is helping the U.S. Navy keep sea lanes safe and open in the Middle East, serving on the mine countermeasures ship USS Sentry.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Cyrus King is a Navy quartermaster and lives and works at a Navy base in Manama, Bahrain, where Sentry is based. Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Arabian Gulf.
A Navy quartermaster is responsible for managing the navigational systems of the ship.
“I like the travel and the benefits of being in the Navy,” said King.
The Sentry was commissioned in 1993 and is the first Navy ship to bear this name. It is one of the Navy’s 11 Avenger class mine countermeasures ships that are designed to remove mines from vital waterways and harbors.
“I like the small community,” said King. “The crew size makes it easier to get the work done.”
The Sentry is 224 feet long, 39 feet wide, and displaces 1,312 tons of water. It is powered by four diesel engines and can reach speeds of more than 16 mph.
With approximately eight officers and 80 enlisted comprising the ship’s company, jobs are highly varied, which keeps the ship mission-ready. Jobs include everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the propulsion system.
As members of the crew, King and other Sentry sailors know they are part of a forward-deployed naval forces team that is heavily relied upon to help protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.
“I find life is more simple when I am deployed. I am closer to work and I can focus on the task at hand,” said King.
In addition to Sentry, another Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship is forward deployed in Bahrain along with seven Cyclone class coastal patrol ships.
The world is increasingly complex and crewmembers aboard the Sentry, as well as the other forward-deployed naval vessels in Bahrain, assist with assuring international sea lines between the Middle East and Europe remain open and help protect against possible maritime threats.
As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, deployed halfway around the world away from friends and family back home, King said he is learning about himself as a leader, sailor, and person.
“During my time in the Navy, I have gained an appreciation for veterans,” said King.