Washington native serves on Pearl Harbor destroyer

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016

By Navy Office of Community Outreach

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — A 2013 Washington High School graduate and Washington, North Carolina native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS O’Kane.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Runfola is an operations specialist aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
A Navy operations specialist is responsible for the safe navigation of the ship, as well as tracking and identifying the air, surface and subsurface contacts around the ship.
“I work within multiple warfare areas,” said Runfola. “It’s a great place to work, and I feel as though I am worth something and that what I do is really important.”
O’Kane, measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 knots in open seas.
According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
“Our Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific guided-missile destroyers are poised, trained, equipped and ready to deploy forward and support the Fleet,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “Working with friends and allies, our MIDPAC Sailors provide sea control, advance maritime security, enhance regional stability, and foster continued prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship’s company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.
“There is a great group of people on board the ship,” said Runfola. “I was quite surprised when I got orders to Hawaii. Most people come here to visit and I get to live here. It’s amazing.”
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“I have always known that I wanted to serve in the Navy,” said Runfola. “I’m the third generation to serve in the military, and it’s an honor to follow in my family’s footsteps.”