Port Republic Native Serves Aboard USS Cole

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Taylor A. Elberg

Lt. j. g. Justin Allgood, from Port Republic, Md., aboard USS Cole (DDG 67) the Norfolk based Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer.
Lt. j. g. Justin Allgood, from Port Republic, Md., aboard USS Cole (DDG 67) the Norfolk based Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer.

NORFOLK, Va. — Navy Lt. j.g. Justin Allgood, a 2007 Calvert High School graduate from Port Republic, Md., is serving on one of the world’s most advanced warships, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67).

Allgood is a division officer aboard the Norfolk-based ship.

“I make sure that everybody is taken care of,” said Allgood. “I make sure the division is run properly and things like maintenance are getting done for the ship. I help people get their leave taken care of if they need to take time off and see their families.”

Allgood said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the Cole’s 270 plus-member crew, protecting America on the world’s oceans.

The men and women that make up the ship’s company keep all parts of the destroyer running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the gas turbine systems.

“In 2001 when 9/11 happened, that convinced me to join the military and do my part,” said Allgood.

Cole is an Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer and one of 62 destroyers in the Navy today.

Cole is a multi-mission medium surface ship capable of sustained performance in anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive strike operation. When deployed with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, Cole, along with other AEGIS-capable cruisers and destroyers in the strike group, is primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities.

The wide range of missions that Cole is capable of performing, and the ability of the ship to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans often makes them the first response to a global crisis.

Allgood knows that being onboard one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, he and the rest of the crew could be called upon to defend America at any moment.

On October 12, 2009 al-Qaida attacked the Cole in a suicide mission while the Cole was refueling in Aden, Yemen.

The ship has many reminders onboard of that attack including a hallway that has 17 permanent stars embedded in the floor.

“It’s a humbling experience, every day you walk past the stars down by the mess deck. Seventeen stars for each sailor who died during the terrorist attack,” said Allgood. “Everyone thinks the war on terror started on 9/11, but it really started in 2000 with the bombing of USS Cole.”

The attack ripped a 40 by 60 foot hole in the port side of the ship near the crew’s dining and mess facility. Seventeen Sailors lost their lives and another 37 sailors were injured during the attack.

Named in honor of Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, a machine-gunner killed in action during World War Two, the ship is nearly 500 feet long. The ship is 66 feet wide and weighs more than 8,000 tons. Four General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, along with two shafts generating up to 100,000 horsepower can push the ship through the water at more than 30 nautical mph.

Cole is scheduled to deploy later this year.

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