Town's Faraj serving aboard USS Constitution

Town's Faraj serving aboard USS Constitution

Hull Technician 3rd Class Johana Faraj, a North Providence native, is seen on board the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution, in Boston.

BOSTON, Mass. - A 2011 North Providence High School graduate is part of a hand-picked Navy crew serving on the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Johana Faraj serves aboard the 216-year-old Boston-based ship named by President George Washington to honor the Constitution of the United States. Famously known as "Old Ironsides," the ship is a wooden-hulled three-masted heavy frigate that originally launched in 1797 as one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Armament Act of 1794.

Faraj, 20, said she is honored to have been selected to serve on the ship that is rich in history and successfully held off the British Navy in the War of 1812.

"Interacting with the public and telling the USS Constitution's story has helped me build confidence and grow as a person," she said.

The ship defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, the ship and her crew offer community outreach and education about its history and the importance of maintaining a strong Navy to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Seventy-five sailors make up the crew aboard USS Constitution. The sailors routinely interact with the public about their jobs on the ship, their previous duty stations, Navy rules and regulations, and life aboard a Navy vessel.

The USS Constitution is scheduled to conduct several sailing demonstrations in Boston Harbor this summer prior to entering a three-year dry dock maintenance period.

The popular Independence Day sailing, open to the public via lottery, will occur on July 4.