New Bedford Native Selected to Serve Aboard Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat
Original story by SN Alphonso Ortiz-Lopez, USS Constitution of Public Affairs.
New Bedford native, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Ryan Arsenault, checked aboard the USS Constitution on Thursday, August 13. Duty aboard USS Constitution is one of the Navy’s special programs, and all prospective crewmembers must meet a high standard of sustained excellence and interview to be selected for the assignment.
“I am excited for the new challenges ahead,” said Arsenault.
Arsenault has served in the Navy for nine years and his previous duty stations were the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) and Information Services Center in Washington, D.C. Arsenault is a 2006 graduate of the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.
USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, and played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.
The active-duty sailors stationed aboard USS Constitution normally provide free tours and offer public visitation to more than 600,000 people each year as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history, maritime heritage, and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.
USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and captured or destroyed 33 enemy vessels. The ship earned the nickname of Old Ironsides during the war of 1812 after British cannonballs were seen bouncing off the ship’s wooden hull.