NORFOLK, Va. – A 2013 Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy graduate and Carson, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Furusa is a damage controlman aboard the warship, based in Norfolk, Virginia. USS Mason is named after Secretary of the Navy John Young Mason and Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient Ensign Newton Henry Mason.
A Navy damage controlman is responsible for fighting fires, preventing flooding, preventing toxic gases, and fixing structural damage on the ship.
“I enjoy training junior sailors and having the job of preventing casualties on the ship,” Furusa said.
Furusa credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Carson.
“I've learned to have a positive mentality and to take lead and in charge of situations both professionally and personally,” Furusa said.
U.S. Navy sailors, like Furusa, are stationed both stateside and on the high seas aboard surface ships around the world. USS Mason is one of more than 60 ships on the east coast of the United States as part of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
U.S. Navy ships are deployed globally, and their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is vital to project power, secure common areas, deter aggression and assure allies when and where desired.
Due to its extensive combat capability, the Mason is able to fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and other weapons as part of sustained combat operations against targets on and below the sea, in addition to hitting targets hundreds of miles over the land.
The ship is equipped with the Aegis Combat System, which integrates the ship’s electronic sensors and weapons systems to defend against anti-ship missile threats. The ship’s air search and fire control radar provides continuous search and tracking of hundreds targets simultaneously.
The crew of more than 300 sailors build a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The sailors are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions as part of a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“I'm proud to be on a ship with a great reputation,” Furusa said. “Being on a small ship, I get to learn everything about my job that pertains to damage control.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Furusa is most proud of making the rank of petty officer second class.
“It shows the amount of time and effort that I put in and it’s great to be recognized for all my hard work,” Furusa said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Furusa and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means a great deal to me because after I joined the Navy, I was able to be a nationalized citizen and it's a great sense of pride and honor to serve my country that has given me this opportunity,” Furusa added.
This story originally appeared on Navy Outreach.