SAN DIEGO – A woman from Aberdeen serves aboard one of the country’s newest and most versatile warships, the USS Miguel Keith, which will officially go live this week.
Airman Paulian Beardsley graduated from Aberdeen High School in 2019.
According to Beardsley, the values needed to be successful in the Navy are like those found in Aberdeen.
“Living in my hometown has taught me the importance of hard work and self-confidence,” Beardsley said. “Leaving my hometown also taught me that no matter how difficult things are, it is imperative to stay positive.”
Serving in the Navy is a family affair for Beardsley, who joined his twin sister, Paulette. They are the daughters of Paul Beardsley and Charlette Glover-Beardsley of Aberdeen.
the Miguel keith is a Marine Expeditionary Base (ESB) vessel that will be commissioned by the US Navy May 8 in San Diego. Commissioning ships is a naval tradition that puts a ship into active service.
The ship is named in honor of Vietnam Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith and is the first ship to bear this name. Miguel Keith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for Heroism in Vietnam in May 1970.
Expeditionary sea bases are highly flexible platforms that provide logistical movement from sea to shore to support a wide range of military operations. They are designed around four basic capabilities: aviation, berthing, equipment staging area, and command and control. ESB-5 is the third maritime expeditionary base (ESB) variant of the Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) platform. The expeditionary mobile base was previously known as the Forward Afloat Transit Base (AFSB) under the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) program.
The trades of sailors are very varied on board Miguel keith. Approximately 100 military officers and crew, plus 45 personnel from the Military Sealift Command make up the ship’s company, and they keep all parts of the ship running smoothly. Each crew member performs a number of tasks outside of their traditional job or qualification.
Beardsley is an air force commander responsible for the maintenance of the arsenal and its weapons in addition to ensuring that ammunition is received and safely unloaded when necessary.
“We are taught to be subject matter experts on the safety and operation of every weapon we use,” Beardsley said.
With over 90% of all trade traveling by sea and 95% of the world’s international telephone and internet traffic via fiber-optic cables lying on the ocean floor, naval officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
While there are many ways for Sailors to distinguish themselves in their command, community, and career, Beardsley is very proud to have achieved the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) qualification. ESWS Qualified Sailors are technical experts within their qualification who understand oversight requirements and are proficient firefighters – they take their skills, knowledge and understanding to the next level.
“It was really tough but it was worth it,” Beardsley said. “I was temporarily posted to another ship for three months, so I was learning that ship and working long days and studying late every night. It was demanding but very rewarding at the same time.