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Ensign Katherine Kimsey, the USS Juneau’s weapons officer, describes flight deck operations to seniors from Kadena High School during a ship tour Wednesday at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa.
Ensign Katherine Kimsey, the USS Juneau’s weapons officer, describes flight deck operations to seniors from Kadena High School during a ship tour Wednesday at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa. (Adam R. Cole / U.S. Navy)

Seniors from Kadena High School in Okinawa got a tour — and a look at life as a sailor — aboard ships from the Essex Amphibious Ready Group in port at White Beach Naval Facility Wednesday.

Some of the students already knew about the jobs sailors perform, said Allison Whitney, Kadena High School career practicum coordinator, according to a Navy news release Thursday.

But they didn’t know “the day-in and day-out lifestyles that they lead,” she said. “I think the kids now … have a greater sense of gratitude” for men and women in the military.

The ships, based at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, were at White Beach after completing Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing 2006 exercises recently in the Philippines.

The students toured ship spaces on the USS Juneau and USS Fort McHenry including the bridge, forecastle, mess decks, well deck and flight deck.

The tour’s most valuable aspect, Whitney said in the release, was “opening the minds and hearts of the students,” who in their final year of high school are exploring career options.

Ensign Katherine Kimsey and Petty Officer 2nd Class Arturo Enriquez Jr. led the tours.

“It’s great to be able to give them a sense of what we do and create a positive experience about the Navy for other people,” Enriquez said, according to the release.

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