Cumming Native and Georgia Tech graduate serves on future Navy warship

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A 2014 Georgia Institute of Technology graduate and Cumming, Georgia, native is serving aboard the future USS Sioux City, a littoral combat ship homeported in Mayport, Florida.

Lt. j.g. Michael Klooster is the ship’s navigator, responsible for the safe navigation of the ship.

“I enjoy creating voyage plans,” said Klooster. “How to get from point A to point B safely and efficiently, while accounting for weather, traffic, speed restrictions, water depth… it is like solving a puzzle with multiple outcomes.”

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 our 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.

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

“Put others first,” he said. “I put my sailors first, protecting and taking care of them is the key to accomplish any mission.”

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. “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. I am honored to serve with them.” 

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

“My dad was a submariner aboard USS Jack and my uncle was also a submariner,” said Klooster. “Both my grandfathers were in the military. It’s a family thing.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s high-tech littoral combat ships, Klooster and other Sioux City sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team.

“Serving in the Navy means putting others first,” said Klooster. “I am proud to say that I serve in the world’s greatest Navy and make the world a bit better every day.”

Sioux City is the thirteenth 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 November 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.  

For information about the commissioning ceremony, visit https://usssiouxcitylcs11.org/.