PHILIPPINE SEA --
“I wanted to follow my grandfather’s footsteps; he was in the Navy during the Vietnam War.”
U.S. Navy Hull Technician 2nd Class Dawsen Forbes enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2016 to do just that, and is currently serving aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6).
“I had an interest in welding before the military and knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said the Denver, North Carolina native.
Upon arriving at his first duty station, Forbes spent over a year working after hours to better himself at his job and as a welder.
On Jan. 20, 2021, Forbes was asked by his U.S. Marine counterparts with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to weld parts to fit inside of a light tactical all-terrain vehicle (MRZR). The parts would allow the Marines to safely secure their radios, laptop, and other equipment while the MRZR is moving during exercises and operations.
These parts would be needed as soon as possible, because the MRZR would be leaving the ship to be used in a training exercise the next day.
After being woken up from his berthing, and under a time constraint, Forbes welded these parts out of aluminum in under six hours with a little help from his fellow sailors.
Forbes went above and beyond to make sure his Marine counterparts had what they needed to complete the mission, becoming a good representation of the partnership between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Because of his welding craftsmanship, the pieces fit inside the MRZR like a glove, along with the equipment.
“When a tasker comes down the pipeline last minute, don’t let it get to your head,” said Forbes. “Push forward and get the job done.”
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit is operating aboard ships of the America Expeditionary Strike Group in the 7th fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.