Chief Petty Officer Mark L. Clark of Warrenton was recently deployed aboard USS Ford in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Clark is a fire control technician in charge of a team that maintains and repairs equipment necessary to operate the ship's weapons systems. Clark is the 39-year-old son of Theresa Sponberg of Warrenton. He is a 23-year Navy veteran.

Aboard the USS Ford, Clark also helped keep the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia safe. This area, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is a military asset serving as a logistical center for the U.S. and British military.

As part of this operation, Clark was able to visit some areas of southeast Asia and Australia.

The USS Ford escorted various U.S. military and cargo vessels through the pirate-infested waters of the Malacca Straits near Indonesia. Protection was afforded by the ship's air, surface and undersea weapons capabilities and two Seahawk helicopters.

Clark and his fellow crew members were away for six months.

When this article ran July 19 it contained incorrect information from the U.S. Navy.