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US Navy sailor found dead at naval base in Japan

Sailors man the rails as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrives at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, Dec. 4, 2017. (Janweb Lagazo/U.S. Navy)
November 22, 2021

A U.S. Navy sailor assigned to USS Ronald Reagan was found dead on Friday at the ship’s Yokosuka, Japan home port, reports first revealed Monday.

Seaman Brandon Forbes, 20, was identified as the sailor found dead. Forbes was reported absent without authorization in the days earlier and had failed to report for duty, spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Dawn Stankus told Stars and Stripes.

Stankus also said that someone had reported via phone the location of Forbes’ body to Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The service is actively involved in investigating Forbes’ death, though did not find evidence of foul play so far. It’s not yet clear where Forbes’ body was found, however.

Forbes was a machinist’s mate fireman and worked on USS Ronald Reagan’s nuclear reactor area.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Machinist’s Mate Fireman Brandon Forbes,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer 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.”

USS Ronald Reagan completed a five-month deployment last month and returned to its homeport, where it is undergoing routine maintenance. It was the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.

The Reagan Carrier Strike Group was involved in evacuating thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan refugees from Afghanistan during Operation Allies Refuge alongside Task Force 58.

“This year’s deployment was historic and unprecedented for the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier,” said Goldhammer. “Our crew’s unrelenting dedication, seamless teamwork, and unmatched ability to overcome challenges enabled Ronald Reagan’s ability to provide support for Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Allies Refuge during the final days of the war in Afghanistan.”

Also on Friday, USS Ronald Reagan pinned 33 new chief petty officers into their ranks during a ceremony.