Editor’s Note: A family member told News 19 that Holpp is a Huntsville native. This story was updated to correct his residence.

VALLETTA, Malta (WHNT) — A Huntsville native is serving his country aboard a Navy ship as it sails across international waters.

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Nicholas Holpp can be seen peering through binoculars as he stands on board the USS San Jacinto (CG 56).

220626-N-AO868-1129 VALLETTA, Malta (June 26, 2022) Operations Specialist 2nd class Nicholas Holpp, from Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, looks through binoculars as the USS San Jacinto (CG 56) enters Valletta, Malta for a scheduled port visit June 26, 2022. San Jacinto is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Conner Foy)

Holpp joined the Navy in December of 2018 as another rate, but due to certain circumstances, was forced to convert to an OS, a Navy spokesperson told News 19.

According to Navy officials, the USS San Jacinto was entering Valletta, Malta for a scheduled port visit last week. The vessel is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by the U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend the U.S., allied and partner interests.

“OS2 Holpp is an Operations Specialist Second Class (OS2) currently stationed onboard USS SAN JACINTO, a Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruiser,” a Navy spokesperson told News 19. “Operations Specialists function as plotters, radio-telephone and Command and Control sound-powered telephone talkers and maintain Combat Information Center (CIC) displays of strategic and tactical information.”

Holpp also works with other watchstanders in CIC and on the bridge to “build and maintain a maritime picture and provide recommendations to senior leadership.”

One of his qualifications is being a CIC Watch Supervisor, meaning he is “overall in charge under the Tactical Action Officer to keep CIC fully operational.

Holpp is currently deployed with the Harry S. Truman Strike Group on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations. This is Holpp’s second deployment on the USS San Jacinto.

His first deployment was a 206-day no port-call deployment in 2020.

Navy officials tell News 19 that Holpp has plans to leave the Navy in less than a year to pursue an education at Auburn University.