Bovich On Navy Ship Forged From Trade Center Steel, Headed To Hurricane Relief

By on September 11, 2017

Mark BovichAs the nation prepares to observe the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a Saint Peters Preparatory School graduate, later Drexel University graduate and Verona, New Jersey native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard a ship built using steel from the World Trade Center.

Lt. j. g. Mark Bovich is a main propulsion officer aboard USS New York, serving as a project manager for a division of 30 diesel mechanics. His division is responsible for the upkeep and safe operations of all main engines and diesel generators and support equipment. USS New York, one of the Navy’s newest and most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

“My dad always said there are two types of people in the world: problems and problem solvers,” said Bovich. “I am a problem solver. I break down obstacles and help my sailors when their normal avenues don’t work.”

Serving aboard the New York is means different things for each sailor.

“It hits home for me to be onboard,” said Bovich. “I grew up in Jersey, only a mile from Manhattan. I was about eight years old and I watched the second plane hit the towers. It was the only time I ever saw my dad cry. That chain of events made me want to join the Navy. The irony of it all is that my teacher took me to a ship in 2009 during Fleet Week New York. It was the USS New York.”

Homeported in Mayport, Florida, USS New York, named for the state of New York, is longer than two football fields at 684 feet, is 105 feet wide and weighs more than 24,000 tons. It has four diesel engines that can push the ship through the water in excess of 26 mph.

According to the Navy, New York’s bow, forged from steel salvaged from the wreckage of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, embodies the strength and determination of the people of the United States: to recover, rally, and take the fight to the enemy and honor the memory of those who were affected by the attacks. USS New York forges an enduring alliance between the people of New York, the ship, and her crew

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Serving in the Navy and aboard New York, Bovich is constantly learning how to be the best leader, Sailor and person possible by handling numerous responsibilities, meeting deadlines, and forging lasting professional relationships.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS New York. More than 400 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the engines. An additional 700 Marines can be embarked. New York is capable of transporting the Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.

“It’s a ship like no other,” said Capt. Todd Vandegrift, commanding officer, USS New York. “It represents the fighting spirit and resiliency of our Navy and Nation. While 9/11 maybe a distant memory for many, the events of that day are ever present before the crew and they shape the service and performance of each Sailor. The USS New York is at the forefront of readiness, amphibious operations and warfighting innovation. From being the ship of choice for the most demanding mission, to the highest scores in the amphibious transport dock (LPD) fleet during the USS New York’s recent Board of Inspection and Survey Inspections Material Condition Inspection, this ship and its crew leads the LPD fleet. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to help guide and mold these young men and women’s futures.”

Collectively, the San Antonio-class ships will functionally replace more than 41 ships providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions. These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice as well.

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As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s high-tech amphibious assault ships, Bovich and other New York sailors are proud to part of a warfighting team that embodies the spirit, strength and resilience of the American people.

“I enjoy the opportunity the Navy has afforded me,” said Bovich. “I am the manager of 30 people and I am only 24 years old. I had a short amount of time to mature and I am proud that I have. The Navy has allowed me to punch well above others in my age group.”

This story was written by Lt. Wes Holzapfel, Navy Office of Community Outreach. The photo is by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Zhan. Reprinted with permission of the Navy Office of Community Outreach. The USS New York arrived in Norfolk on September 7 to pick up supplies and equipment for hurricane relief, and is on its way to provide aid in Florida.

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