04-18 COM Rafuese

Petty Officer 3rd Class Hunter Rafuese is currently serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Portland. (Courtesy photo/Navy Office of Community Outreach)

SAN DIEGO — A Bristol native and 2016 Newfound Regional High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Portland.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Hunter Rafuese is an operations specialist. An operations specialist is responsible for tracking navigation and radars to make sure the ship is safe.

Rafuese credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Bristol. “Everybody is different,” said Rafuese. “You are going to meet so many different people in the Navy. This is a pre-commissioned unit so every program, every rule, we started,” she said. “Commissioning the ship has brought this crew closer. It really made the Portland crew a family.” 

Being stationed in San Diego, the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, Rafuese plays a part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy. Sailors’ jobs are varied aboard Portland.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Rafuese is most proud of earning her rank as third class petty officer by merit.

“Being promoted showed me that people in my work force actually recognized that I was working my butt off and doing my job,” said Rafuese.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Rafuese and other Portland sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nations needs.

“People don’t realize all the things the Navy does for the country and I am proud to be a part of that,” Rafuese added.

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