Hattiesburg native provides support to COVID-19 vaccination effort

Hattiesburg native provides support to COVID-19 vaccination effort
Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody West (Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody West, a Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native, joined sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 in departing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to assist with the state-run, federally-supported COVID-19 vaccination efforts on the East Coast.

This took place on Feb. 19, 2021.

In all, 48 MDSU personnel will provide support to the vaccination teams in New York. West is a 2016 Forrest County Agricultural High School graduate and currently serves as a Navy diver.

“When needed, I work under ships, on piers, searching and salvaging important items,” said West. “I get to dive SCUBA, and surface supplied diving systems and treat people with diving and non-diving casualties in a recompression chamber. I am also able to complete highly technical & dangerous underwater tasks and to find anything that is lost at sea.”

West joined the Navy because of the history of family service.

“I joined the Navy to carry on my family’s tradition of being in the military,” said West.

Today, West is serving fellow Americans on solid ground by assisting with the COVID-19 efforts.

“This is truly a whole-of-government effort as we are working hand-in-hand with federal, state and local agencies to administer COVID vaccinations,” said Cmdr. Trevor Ritland, commanding officer of MDSU 2. “My team is ready to fulfill the critical role in providing vaccinations for every American who wishes to receive one.”

In support of the whole-of-government effort, the Navy is providing a 139-person team, including the 48 sailors from MDSU 2, to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the national vaccination effort at a Community Vaccination Center in New York.

The teams are made up of approximately 65-percent Navy health care professionals and approximately 35-percent support staff.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, West, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing the Navy the nation needs.

“My goal for work is to be the best team member I can be,” added West.

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