BY KAYLA TURNBOW
NAVY OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH
A Denver native and 2012 Cherry Creek High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Makin Island.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Damien Quinonez is a cryptologic technician (maintenance) aboard the amphibious assault ship operating out of San Diego. As a cryptologic technician, he is responsible for working with wiring aboard the ship to keep communications open for signal traffic and radio frequency.
Quinonez credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Denver.
“I was taught to always strive to be better than you were before,” said Quinonez. “Every day in the Navy you come in thinking that what you did yesterday, you need to try and top that and do better.”
Makin Island, one of the Navy’s most advanced and largest 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.
The ship, which resembles a small aircraft carrier, is longer than two football fields at 847 feet, is 106 feet wide and weighs more than 41,000 tons fully loaded. It has gas turbine engines and two variable speed electric motors that can push the ship through the water in excess of 20 knots. It can carry more than 12 helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft.
Quinonez is the son of Deann Lopez and Joseph Quinonez.
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