Mundelein native serves U.S. Navy at Assault Craft Unit Five
By Jeffery Tilghman Williams
Chief Mass Communication Specialist Navy Office of Community Outreach
Petty Officer 1st Class Mike Gielczyk, a native of Mundelein, Illinois, serves the U.S. Navy at Assault Craft Unit Five (ACU-5) operating out of San Diego, California.
Gielczyk joined the Navy eight years ago. Today, Gielczyk serves as an electronics technician.
“I joined the Navy as part of family tradition,” said Gielczyk. “I’m the twelfth person in my family to join the Navy. We consider it a family business.”
Growing up in Mundelein, Gielczyk attended Mundelein High School and graduated in 2008. Today, Gielczyk uses the same skills and values learned in Mundelein to succeed in the military.
“Coming from a military family, I was conditioned to commit to hard work,” said Gielczyk. “It’s a requirement in order to be successful in anything you do in life.”
Located on a Marine Corps base, ACU-5 is a self-sustained command established in 1983 and encompasses 34 buildings across shore and sea-components including a control tower, eight hangars, a 100,000-gallon fuel storage-and-supply facility, a HAZMAT storage and collection center and a 50-acre flight apron. ACU-5 is composed of over 600 Sailors and 30 Civilians that train, maintain, repair and operate the 32 Navy hovercraft, Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).
The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft, capable of carrying up to a 75-ton payload. It is used to transport the weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach. LCAC can carry heavy payloads, such as an M-1 tank, at high speeds. The air cushion technology allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world’s coastline, while only about 15 percent of that coastline is accessible by conventional landing craft.
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Gielczyk and the sailors he serves with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My wife and daughter are my greatest accomplishments,” said Gielczyk. “They are the reason and motivation for everything I do.”
As Gielczyk and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy wasn’t ever a question for me,” added Gielczyk. “I always knew I’d serve my country in some capacity.”