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    26 MEU Marine integrates with New York’s engineers

    By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle Wilkie
    ARABIAN SEA (NNS) – On any naval ship, you might see a variety of Sailors roving the engine rooms. Perhaps the Sailors are there for watch or they’re looking to repair a piece of equipment.

    In the engine room aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York, you might come across something different; a Marine working hand-in-hand with the enginemen.

    “Originally, I started by sorting all the extra parts that maintenance division had in their storage rooms during one of the ship operations before deployment,” said Cpl. Alfred Kerswill, a Marine assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “I volunteered with the intent of eventually working down in the main spaces.”

    His hope of working in the main spaces became a reality because of his hard work.

    “Cpl. Kerswill was looking for employment during (a pre-deployment training) exercise and was interested in working on the diesel engines during the deployment, so we made a deal he would have free reign to the engineering spaces and receive on-the-job training as long as he assisted in the organization and inventory of the storeroom,” said Chief Engineman Daniel Quinn, the maintenance division leading chief petty officer. “After a long four weeks, the motivated Marine had the storeroom organized and inventoried.”

    The enginemen were happy to receive a helping hand from an unlikely source.

    “I thought it was pretty cool that a Marine wanted to go to the engineering space to help and be a part of what really keeps this warship operational,” said Engineman 2nd Class Skyler Mayo, a maintenance division Sailor, “He’s integrated pretty well amongst other engineers.”

    Soon after, Kerswill was taken under the wing of the enginemen aboard the New York and start learning what it means to work in the ship’s engine rooms.

    “He integrated very well with [maintenance division] in my opinion,” said Engineman 2nd Class Matthew Vance, a maintenance division Sailor. “He is learning how to be an engineman and [learning about] the components and operation of the equipment. He is willing to learn and he gets along pretty well with everyone. He helps out where he is needed and won’t say no to anyone's requests.”

    Kerswill says he has learned that whether in his job in the Marine Corps or being an engineman, there are some basic principles that relate to both jobs.

    “I can say confidently that in ways the job as engineman does relate to my job,” said Kerswill. “We provide indirect fires to maneuvering elements on the battlefield. We have to get rounds down range when the maneuvering element calls for our fires to support their movement to objectives. Working as an engineman is also quick and you have to give your full undivided attention when you are working on a piece of equipment, the same as providing fires in combat.”

    Although Kerswill admits he didn’t know much before setting out on his journey, he is grateful for what he knows now and for the enginemen who taught him.

    “I was not mechanically inclined by any means beforehand,” said Kerswill. “Now with what I know and what I feel like I will know by the end of deployment, I feel super comfortable with working on engines. Yeah, I may not know nearly everything, but I feel that there is a level of comfort you have to have with engines in order to even want to learn more about them. So it is safe to say considering that I knew absolutely nothing beforehand that everything I know now is because of them.”

    His contribution to the ship is not unseen even by the ship’s executive officer..

    “It is always great to see the integration that occurs between the Navy and Marine Corps team when we are on deployment,” said Cmdr. Daniel Hollingshead. “This is an example of a highly motivated Marine that wanted to learn something new and help out the force as a whole. We are proud of our brothers in arms and the diverse knowledge that they bring to the fight. The case of Cpl. Kerswill is a beacon of the Blue/Green integration.”
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    Date Taken: 03.08.2020
    Date Posted: 03.15.2020 15:35
    Story ID: 365250
    Location: ARABIAN SEA

    Web Views: 119
    Downloads: 0