By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tom Gagnier, Navy Office of Community Outreach
BATH, Maine – A 2014 Mattie T. Blount High School graduate and Mobile, Alabama, native is serving as part of the Pre-Commissioning Unit for the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Petty Officer 2nd Class DeMarcus Rembert is a gas turbine systems technician (mechanical) assigned to DDG 116 in Bath, Maine.
As a gas turbine systems technician (mechanical) Rembert is responsible for the maintenance of gas turbine engines and generators.
“I like working with my hands and having a tight knit group of coworkers,” said Rembert.DDG 116 is currently undergoing tests and trials in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Navy from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works. Arleigh Burke class destroyers measure approximately 500 feet long and are powered by four gas turbines that allow the ship to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and ballistic missile defense, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions.
“Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his element leader, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown,” said Cmdr. Nathan W. Scherry, commanding officer, PCU Thomas Hudner. “On 07 May 2012, Secretary Mabus announced that DDG 116 will be named in Captain Hudner’s honor. Today, as the Navy’s finest 300 Sailors crew the 66th Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, they do so with a tremendous amount of honor, pride, and sense of duty. We are extremely honored to be able to carry Captain Hudner’s values and legacy forward so that they are never forgotten. We are proud to be able to carry out our missions in defense of our country’s freedom and values, and humbled to be part of the Hudner family.”
Rembert has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.
“I’ve always strived to be the best I can be, no matter what I might be doing,” said Rembert.
With a crew of over 300 sailors, each crew member’s job is important to the smooth operation of the ship. The jobs range from weapon handling to navigation.
Rembert has military ties with family members who serve and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My brother serves in the Navy as a personnel specialist,” said Rembert.
Rembert says his proudest accomplishment is getting his enlisted surface warfare specialist pin and making petty officer 2nd class.
“I got pinned the day I left my last ship, so it was a cool way to leave,” added Rembert. “We just had a change of command and I was the first to get pinned by the new commanding officer. Making second class was a surprise. I was shocked that my name was called when the results came out.”
Close living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest ships, Rembert and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“It’s a legacy and a part of history, the things we do in the Navy, when you think about it,” said Rembert. “You can’t say that anywhere else.”
The construction of the ship is over 98% complete. The ship is scheduled for commissioning in late 2018 in Boston, Mass. For more information about the commissioning, visit http://www.usshudnerddg116.org.