Townsquare Media and the Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation are teaming up to salute our local heroes with our Warrior of the Week program.

Congratulations to Sean Furey, our Warrior of the Week for the week of October 29th, 2018.

By Ricky Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Gary Ward

NORFOLK, Va. – A 2004 Toms River High School East graduate and Normandy Beach, New Jersey, native is serving at Expeditionary Combat Camera, as a member of the Navy’s last Combat Camera Unit in Norfolk, Virginia.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Furey served as a mass communication specialist. Furey was part of a unique Navy team that operated from the air, land and sea to create multimedia products that recorded military events for operational commanders in support of combat, information, humanitarian, special force, intelligence, reconnaissance, engineering, legal, and public affairs missions.

Furey’s most memorable combat camera mission was participating in Eager Lion Exercise 2016 in Aqaba, Jordan.

“I flew out with a bunch of sailors with different jobs and we got to work with the Jordanian counterparts,” Furey added. “I also got to do a lot of diving with our explosive ordnance teams and had the opportunity to document civil affair missions. Additionally, I gave out school supplies to local schools for children in need.”

Navy combat photography began its roots during World War I when the Navy organized its first photographic division to capture aerial reconnaissance photographs. During World War II, the Navy added Combat Photographic Units and sent them to the Pacific and European theaters of war to document major campaigns including Normandy and Iwo Jima.

After the onset of the Korean War, the Navy established the Pacific Fleet Combat Camera unit, and subsequently established the Atlantic Fleet Motion Picture Unit, which would become Atlantic Fleet Combat Camera Group in 1966 and deployed teams to document the war in Vietnam.

The unit became Expeditionary Combat Camera in 2010 and continued documenting all branches of the military during major U.S. conflicts, operations and exercises.

Furey credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Normandy Beach.

“I grew up surfing which gave me a basis to be a good swimmer,” Furey said. “This helped me dive and take pictures underwater.”Furey has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather was a Navy quartermaster second class during WWII,” Furey said. “He was on one of the ships during the convey of the biggest submarine attacks against Germany. I also have a great-uncle who served as a pilot in WWII.”

Members of Combat Camera perform unique and highly specialized missions with visual information documentation capabilities supporting all phases of a military operation. Personnel maintain qualifications enabling them to operate with air crew, special operations forces and military divers. Combat Camera teams have the technological capability to rapidly transmit imagery during fast-moving operations around the globe.

Expeditionary Combat Camera held a disestablishment ceremony Sept. 21 on Naval Station Norfolk. The ceremony honored the history, heritage and legacy of the command. Navy's combat camera units officially disestablish on Oct. 1, 2018, ending 67 years of service to the Navy and Department of Defense.

“All of those who have served at combat camera, have conveyed everything they’ve had to give; creative vision, a drive to excel, and a willingness to sacrifice,” said ECC’s final officer in charge Lt. Michael Larson, during the Norfolk ceremony. “Many have done the best work of their careers here, and that imagery has made a legacy that will live on, and inspires us to carry on.”

Furey represents thousands of U.S. Navy combat photographers who have recorded historical events from the land, air and sea spanning from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom.

As a member of the Navy’s last combat camera unit, Furey and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“It's a pretty big honor to not only say that I am part of the last crew but I have the privilege of showing my contribution to the Navy through pictures, photo and video,” Furey said. “Some people can only tell stories about their time in the Navy, but I have something tangible to show people.”

By Ricky Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Gary Ward

Congratulations to Sean Furey, our Warrior of the Week.

Do you know a deserving past or present military member? Nominate them now. Every Military Monday, we’ll share one of the nominations and honor that person as our Warrior of the Week.

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