Heights native serves with the U.S. Navy half a world away

Photo courtesy of the Navy Office of Community Outreach Dearborn Heights native Justin Beasinger works as a U.S. Navy fireman in the engineering department aboard the USS Germantown operating out of Sasebo, Japan

Photo courtesy of the Navy Office of Community Outreach
Dearborn Heights native Justin Beasinger works as a U.S. Navy fireman in the engineering department aboard the USS Germantown operating out of Sasebo, Japan

By SPEC. ROBERT ZAHN
Navy Office of Community Outreach

SASEBO, Japan – A Dearborn Heights native and 2016 Annapolis High School graduate is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Germantown.

Fireman Justin Beasinger works in the engineering department aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy fireman works in the engineering department and is responsible operating, maintaining, and repairing internal-combustion engines, main propulsion machinery, refrigeration, air conditioning, gas turbine engines, and assigned auxiliary equipment on Navy ships; and stands safety watches on auxiliary boilers and other assigned equipment.

“I played sports in high school, so I learned the team aspect, the camaraderie, discipline and humility from coaches and teammates,” Beasinger said. “I’ll definitely use what they taught me and will guide me for the rest of my life.”

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests, he said. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and one-third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, Navy officials said.

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

Beasinger has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfathers were both in the military and they were my role models,” Beasinger said. “They inspired me to join the Navy.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Beasinger 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 has made me feel like I’m doing my part,” Beasiner said. “I feel like I am serving my country. Also, I’m able to take care of my family and that’s the main thing.”

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50 to 70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

(Robert Zahn is a Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class in the Navy Office of Community Outreach.)