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    This is Ford Class: Fighting the Ship with Seaman Apprentice Britnee McMahon

    This is Ford Class Boatswain's Mate Seaman Britnee McMahon

    Photo By Seaman Apprentice Trenton Edly | Boatswain's Mate Seaman Britnee McMahon, from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, assigned to USS...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Riley McDowell  

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)     

    This is Ford Class: Fighting the Ship with Seaman Apprentice Britnee McMahon

    By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Riley McDowell
    USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs

    ATLANTIC OCEAN — The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed the first scheduled explosive event of Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, June 18, 2021.
    Prior to the explosion, Ford Sailors manned repair lockers and drilled extensively on damage control scenarios to ensure that the crew could respond to any casualties that may have been found post-shock.
    One of those Sailors is Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Apprentice Britnee McMahon, from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, assigned to Ford’s deck department. McMahon is a member of Damage Control Repair Locker (DCRS) 2. Deck department Sailors are assigned to DCRS 2 and she is one of nearly 30 boatswain’s mates manning the locker.
    Damage control is a skill that all Sailors must possess. As locker personnel earn qualifications and as manning requires, they may move from one team to another. McMahon has moved twice so far.
    “At first, I was on the stretcher bearer team, and then I was moved to the shoring team,” she said. “On the shoring team, we would [practice] dealing with any buckled bulkheads or sagging overheads. We go in there and place wedges or wood and metal shores to keep the bulkheads and decks from any further damage. I am like anybody else. I do my part. I try to contribute to everything.”
    Before enlisting in the Navy, McMahon attended a trade school for three years, working towards earning her certified nursing assistant certificate when she felt the need to change the direction of her life. When recruiters from all branches of the military came to her school and provided information on enlisting, the Navy stood out above all the rest.
    “I come from a small town and I wanted to get out,” said McMahon. “I like to help people. I like to get my hands dirty. I wanted to do my part as an American and help my country – get out there and see the world.”
    Unlike most in the boatswain’s mate (BM) rate, McMahon was classified as a BM from her recruiting station. She said that the favorite part of her rate is being 19 years old and getting to drive a billion-dollar warship.
    Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Richard Abreau, from New York, assigned to Ford’s deck department as second division leading petty officer, explained why he believes McMahon is destined for success in the Navy.
    “Because of her willingness to learn and adapt, I can see her leading her own deck division one day as a leading petty officer or leading chief petty officer,” said Abreau. “She has an up-beat attitude, resiliency to get the job done and is an energetic Sailor.”
    McMahon said some of her most memorable moments since checking onboard in November 2020 have come while standing her deck watches.
    “I like standing watch as aft-lookout, watching the jets come up above us in order to land on the flight deck. Its definitely a rush. It looks like the jets are coming right for you,” she said.
    Even though she has only been onboard for a short time, McMahon explained that she is excited for what the future holds.
    “I definitely see myself doing more hands-on stuff, trying to help my shipmates out as much as possible,” said McMahon. “I am looking forward to working on my enlisted surface warfare specialist and aviation warfare specialist qualifications. I am also working hard on making rank to third class. I think the Ford will be a great ship.”
    During explosive event two and three of FSST, McMahon will once again be manning her repair locker, preparing to respond to any casualty that may arise.
    “I was more excited about the first shot than anything. I was excited to go home and tell my family that an explosive charge was set off next to our ship and that this hasn’t been done in 35 years,” McMahon said. “Going in to the next two shots, I am still excited but a little bit more nervous as the shots get closer. I think we will be ready to respond to any possible casualties.”
    The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to confirm that our warships can continue to meet demanding mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle.
    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit



    Date Taken: 07.01.2021
    Date Posted: 07.01.2021 10:31
    Story ID: 400197
    Location: LEWISTOWN, PA, US 
    Hometown: LEWISTOWN, PA, US

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