Senior Chief Information System Technician (ITCS) Robert L. Halsey, met with his sister, Aviation Electronics Mate 2nd Class Mystique Queen, on the flight deck of Queen’s ship. Halsey is assigned to Commander Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (DESRON 15), which is currently embarked on the USS Ronald Reagan, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. Queen is assigned to the “Easy Riders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, currently embarked on USS Halsey, homeported out of Pearl Harbor.
The reunion proved to be serendipitous as USS Halsey asked for some additional training from DESRON 15, and ITCS Halsey was sent over to assist the ship where his sister is currently serving.
“Yesterday morning, the Commodore [DESRON 15], Capt. Steven DeMoss and I were discussing sending me over for training,” said Halsey. “During the conversation I brought up the fact that my baby sister, AE2 Mystique Queen was stationed onboard. The Commodore was also already aware of the fact that Admiral Halsey was a distant relative of mine. So the opportunity for him to send Senior Chief Halsey to the USS Halsey to see his kid sister Halsey, and conduct training with USS Halsey was too much for him to pass up!”
Halsey says the commodore expressed his happiness that he was able to reunite him with his sister, while still taking care of one of the ships to remain mission-ready.
Queen caught wind of her brother coming to surprise her, and decided to surprise him instead by serving with the flight deck personnel responsible to chock and chain (securing) the helicopter upon landing.
“I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest,” said Queen. “I was so excited! He looked so surprised when he saw me. I surprised him, as he thought he was surprising me.”
The eldest of five, Halsey would take time to drive up to visit his sister and three other siblings in Oregon while stationed in California.
“Mystique was actually born a few months before I graduated high school in Ventura, California in 1996,” said Halsey. “I was raised by my grandparents in Ventura after my father passed away when I was 10 years old. My mother had previously moved to Oregon a few years before that where she lived with Mystique's father, and our three other siblings. I'm the oldest of five siblings, and Mystique is the youngest.”
According to Halsey, once their mother had passed in 2014, Queen moved in with his family in San Diego to finish high school and was encouraged to join the Navy.
Halsey says that he had taken Queen to a local Navy recruiting station in San Diego to show her what the Navy had to offer while she was still in high school.
“She and I come from a very poor family, our parents and other siblings hadn't even graduated high school, so college wasn't really an option for us,” said Halsey. “She had grown up seeing how well the Navy had impacted my life, and she was intent on joining the military to give herself a chance at a better life like I had. It had to have been the easiest enlistment contract that recruiter ever had to process!”
Meeting up aboard the ship of their family’s namesake is a special moment these siblings will treasure for years to come.
“This is my first ship and first deployment, and it just so happens to be on the Halsey,” said Queen. “It’s really amazing that on my first deployment I would reunite with my brother who might be serving on his last deployment.”
The Halsey siblings were able to reunite thanks to the proactive health protection measures, which have maintained a COVID-free environment aboard Reagan and Halsey.
“This is something I had dreamed of,” said Halsey. “When I brought her in the Navy I was always hoping something like this would happen.”
A U.S. Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with a vertical launching system, tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and Phalanx close-in weapons systems.
DESRON 15 is the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. USS Halsey and DESRON 15 are deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.