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Leesburg Native Serves with Versatile U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron

Posted on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 1:28 am

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist William Lovelady, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Dabney, a native of Leesburg, Florida, joined the Navy because of a family connection.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown
“Both my uncles and my grandfather served,” said Dabney.

Now, 11 years later, Dabney serves with the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, working with one of the Navy’s true workhorse aircraft at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego.

Dabney, a 2003 graduate of Leesburg High School, is an aviation electrician’s mate with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, a versatile squadron that’s capable of completing a number of important missions for the Navy with the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter.

“I take care of the aircraft by working on every part of the aircraft,” said Dabney.  “We tie it all together.”

Dabney credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Leesburg.

“It was a small town that promoted camaraderie and community working together and that’s what the Navy is,” said Dabney.

HSc 14 provides all-weather, combat-ready aircraft and crew to conduct anti-surface warfare, personnel recovery, special warfare support, search and rescue, and logistics for aircraft carrier air wings and navy shore installations. HSC 14 flies the MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter, a state-of-the-art design that provides the Navy with true versatility, able to complete a number of mission requirements, according to Navy officials.

The MH-60S with its glass cockpit incorporates active matrix LCD displays, used to facilitate pilot and co-pilot vertical and horizontal situation presentations. Another major design of the MH-60S is a “common cockpit,” which is shared with the MH-60R. This allows pilots to shift from one aircraft to another with minimal re-training.

Serving in the Navy means Dabney is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

America is a maritime nation, and 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.

“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, Dabney is most proud of making second class and maintaining a clean record.

“So many people get in the Navy and get out after four years,” said Dabney.  “I’m making it a career.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Dabney and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy is a chance for me to give back,” said Dabney.  “I’ve been an American citizen all 34 years of my life and it’s a chance for me to show what that means and to help keep the country moving forward.”