The Navy has identified the sailor assigned to the guided-missile cruiser Leyte Gulf who died last week aboard the ship during deployment.
Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Nicholas Woods, 26, died Aug. 18, although the official cause of death is unclear. Woods, originally from Virginia, enlisted in the Navy in 2020. He joined the Leyte Gulf in August 2021 after wrapping up training with Surface Combat Systems Training Command.
“The loss of a friend or loved one is always tragic, and even more so when they are young, dedicated to service, and sailing into harm’s way,” said Capt. Michael Weeldreyer, commanding officer of the Leyte Gulf, in a Navy news release. “Sonar Technician Surface 3rd Class Nicholas Woods was one of those young people.
“My deepest condolences and prayers are with his family and friends,” Weeldreyer said. “He was an important part of the Leyte Gulf family, and we will ensure that the family and our Sailors have all available resources and support as they navigate this difficult time.”
The cruiser deployed with the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group this month, and was in the Atlantic Ocean at the time of Woods’ death. The carrier strike group concluded Fleet Battle Problem 22-2, an exercise to test integrated air and missile defense systems in “a complex, maritime homeland defense scenario,” on Aug. 18, according to the service.