By Ensign Amaia Maldonado, GSN Guest Writer

A 2007 Mesquite High School graduate and Gilbert native is serving aboard the future USS Sioux City, a littoral combat ship homeported in Mayport, Florida.

Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew David Boldt is an information systems technician responsible for all shipboard network, computer and communication systems.

“Working with networks is a team effort,” said Boldt. “Teamwork is something I enjoy in my line of work.”

Sioux City is a Freedom “variant littoral” combat ship that is a resilient flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities – from the most advanced sensors, to the latest missiles, to cutting-edge cyber systems. Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help U.S. sailors achieve the mission.

Littoral combat ships are a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft.

Sioux City is the 13th littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the sixth of the Freedom variant. It is the first ship named after Sioux City, the fourth-largest city in Iowa.

During its Nov. 17 commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the warship will be officially placed into active service. The ceremony includes “bringing the ship to life” and other orders rooted in centuries old naval tradition.

Boldt has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.

“Living in my hometown taught me the importance of adapting to whatever life throws at me,” Boldt said. “It’s not always easy, but you have to find a way to keep moving forward and overcoming any challenge.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Sioux City. Increased automation equals a smaller crew. In the case of LCS 11, that is a core of 70 men and women who keep all parts of the ship running smoothly. Minimally manned crews place high demands on Sailors. Each crew member performs a number of tasks outside of their traditional job or rating.

“My success aboard this ship is due to the overwhelming motivation and steady strain this crew maintains, no matter what is required of them,” said Cmdr. Randy Malone, Sioux City’s commanding officer, adding:

“These men and women are unmatched. They adapt and overcome any challenge thrown at them. From the moment we moved aboard the ship, each Sailor has had to wear three or four different hats for the ship to run smoothly.”

Boldt’s family has military ties and he is honored to carry on the tradition of service.

“My father and two of my uncles were in the military,” said Boldt. “Joining the military really wasn’t a tough choice. It is where I wanted to be.”

Boldt’s proudest Navy accomplishment came when he was stationed aboard USS Peleliu. In 2010, Pakistan experienced destructive floods that affected approximately 20 million people, destroying homes, crops and infrastructure. The team aboard Peleliu provided much needed humanitarian aid.

“It was pretty tough,” Boldt said. “We were the first Navy ship to arrive and offer support. I like helping people, it is what sailors do.”

Boldt said he is proud to be part of a warfighting team.

“Serving in the military means I can protect and help others,” said Boldt. “I am protecting my country, my shipmates and my family.”

Ensign Amaia Maldonado is attached to the Navy’s media relations office.