A sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan has died in Japan.
The body of Machinist’s Mate Fireman Brandon Forbes, 20, of Maple Heights, Ohio, was discovered Friday, according to Lt. Cmdr. Dawn Stankus, a spokesperson for the carrier. He had been absent without authorization for days, she said. A phone call was made to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Friday morning, and Forbes’ body was found on Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
His death is still under investigation, although there has been no evidence of foul play, and NCIS remains actively involved in the case, Stankus said.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Machinist’s Mate Fireman Brandon Forbes,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, the Reagan’s commanding officer, in a statement. “He was an energetic young man who was dedicated to his duties and his shipmates onboard Ronald Reagan. The circumstances surrounding this unfortunate loss of life remain under investigation at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brandon’s family as we all grapple with this tragedy.”
Forbes, who had no dependents, served in the ship’s reactor department and had been onboard the carrier for less than a year, Stankus said. This was his first assignment in the Navy.
“On Nov. 22, Capt. Goldhammer addressed the crew during an all hands call in the ship’s hangar bay and expressed his condolences,” Stankus said in the email. “He emphasized that each member of our team is important to us and the loss of our Sailor affects our entire crew deeply. At the all hands call, the ship’s chaplain offered a prayer for Forbes, family, friends and shipmates. The ship’s senior medical officer encouraged Sailors to seek grief counseling through on ship or on base services.”