By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse Hawthorne, Navy Office of Community Outreach
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Many Americans enjoy do-it-yourself projects and some Americans make a living in construction. There’s a group of U.S. Navy sailors who apply the same creativity required for DIY endeavors along with the engineering discipline of construction, but with a unique twist. They work underwater. Around the world. In some of the most challenging conditions imaginable including hostile environments, extreme heat or cold, or in remote locations where the only support and supplies they have are the ones they brought with them.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Carney, a 2010 Lakota East High School graduate and native of Liberty Township, Ohio, is one of these sailors serving at Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1, which is responsible for underwater construction, inspection, repair and demolition operations supporting both peacetime and wartime missions.
As a Navy equipment operator, Carney is responsible for underwater construction specializing in welding and maintaining facilities.
Carney credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Liberty Township.
“I learned about working in a diverse crowd and being able to integrate into different situations,” said Carney.
A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“The sailors who serve as part of the Navy’s Underwater Construction Teams possess a very specialized skill set,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Johncock, UCT-1’s commanding officer. “The work they do is crucial to providing freedom of the seas in both peacetime and wartime. It’s an honor to lead these sailors and I continue to be inspired every day by their commitment to being the absolute best at what they do. The physical and technical abilities underwater construction technicians demonstrate make them some of the most highly trained sailors in the Navy.”
Carney is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Carney is most proud of becoming a Navy diver and a leading petty officer of a small unit within the command.
“Being able to lead a small unit around the world is incredibly rewarding,” said Carney.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Carney and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy is definitely something that keeps you humble,” said Carney. “You’re doing something that is bigger than yourself.”
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