Sweet Home alum now serving on Navy ship

By Petty Officer 3rd Class

Andrew Langholf

Destroyer Squadron 15

A Sweet Home native and 2019 Sweet Home High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey in the East China Sea.

Fireman Hayden McDonald, of Sweet Home, is a damage controlman serving aboard the Halsey, homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Halsey is under way in the 7th Fleet conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific while assigned to the forward deployed Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.

Damage controlmen make up a part of the ship’s Repair Division that maintain damage control equipment from bow to stern. They perform hundreds of maintenance checks each week to ensure the ship is ready to combat any casualty.

“Having the opportunity to help or save people motivates me to do my job right,” McDonald said.

“Maintaining life-saving equipment onboard and training personnel on how to combat fires or flooding is rewarding to me.”

Damage controlmen maintain a constant state of readiness in both damage control training and maintaining critical equipment throughout the entire ship.

Keeping the ship in a constant state of mission-readiness to defend against casualties is paramount.

“I take pride in being the sailor who protects the ship from fires and flooding,” said McDonald. “Keeping the ship mission-ready keeps us in the fight.”

A U.S. Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with a vertical launching system, tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and Phalanx close-in weapons systems.

For more information on Halsey, visit https://www.facebook.com/DESRON15.