By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Buffalo native and 2014 Kenmore High School graduate Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicolas McMahon is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Halsey.
McMahon works as a damage controlman aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy damage controlman is responsible for the training of all personnel in areas of firefighting, flooding and ship board casualties.
"I like that my job is hands-on, which means it keeps me busy and allows me the freedom to think outside the box from time to time," McMahon said.
With the ability to conduct antiair warfare, antisubmarine warfare and antisurface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on U.S. partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.
"One of the things that makes our Navy the best in the world is the diverse backgrounds of our sailors," said Cmdr. David Reyes, commanding officer of USS Halsey. "Their ability to work together and bring their different perspectives to our ship, missions and various challenges enable us to be an unstoppable force. The personal experiences and values they offer cultivates an environment in which determination and creativity helps ensure our continued success. I am extremely honored to have the privilege to lead and serve with these extraordinary young men and women."
Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. They do everything from to maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.
"The best thing about serving here is the people," McMahon said. "You get to know everyone very quickly and you become one team, which helps everyone complete the mission."
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.
"Serving in the Navy has motivated me to be the best version of me I can be," McMahon added.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicolas McMahon