Ali Harkous has a special appreciation for the United States. With the goal of going to college, he came to the U.S. during a time of conflict in his home of Beirut, Lebanon.
“There was a civil war in Lebanon in 1975,” he said. “It was a scary time. I was really lucky that I was able to leave Lebanon and come to the United States to go to school.”
After graduating from college, Harkous, now a manager of the surface program management office at HII’s AMSEC subsidiary, turned to the U.S. Navy to start his career. With that experience, he joined AMSEC to help sailors from the civilian side.
“The majority of our employees are retired Navy,” Harkous said. “We call them subject matter experts that provide fleet service to U.S. Navy ships, no matter where they are.”
Harkous and his team train Navy crews to operate and repair equipment aboard their ships, both at the pier and at sea.
“It’s in our blood to help the sailors,” he said. “We assess their equipment, troubleshoot and see if there are any discrepancies and help them do the repair.”
Working from the motto “find, fix and train,” Harkous recognizes the important role AMSEC plays for Navy sailors.
“Giving sailors the ability to maintain their equipment and be able to operate sufficiently while they’re underway—and in harm’s way—gives us the freedom that we enjoy here in the United States,” he said.
And after living in the U.S. for 30-plus years, Harkous still appreciates this freedom.
“We are lucky to live in the United States,” he said. “It makes me proud to know we’re making a difference in our sailors’ lives. Wherever you find the U.S. Navy, you will find Huntington Ingalls Industries.”