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Erwin native serves as 'workhorse of the fleet'

Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:30 PM

NORFOLK – A 2012 Unicoi County High School graduate and Erwin, Tennessee, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Assault Craft Unit TWO (ACU 2), one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious warfare units.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Dylan Hoyle is an engineman with the group operating out of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

A Navy engineman is responsible for maintenance and repair of engines.

“I like that my job allows me to work with my hands,” said Hoyle. "It's always been a part of my background and the thing I like doing."

Hoyle credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in his hometown of Erwin.

“My hometown taught me the importance of enjoying the little things,” said Hoyle. "Even in the biggest mess there is, there is always something good about it."

ACU 2 is one of the components of Naval Beach Group TWO (NBG 2).

Commissioned in 1948, just after World War II, NBG 2 trains and equips military forces for deployment overseas. Sailors with NBG 2 serve a vital role in the Navy our nation needs by ensuring that amphibious operations remain ready to defend and protect America at all times.

ACU 2 operates landing craft, which are specialized to transport personnel and equipment from surface ships to shore. The LCU is a displacement craft capable of carrying a payload of more than 170 tons. The LCU can be used to transport weapons systems, cargo and personnel of Marine assault units. The current LCU fleet has been in naval service since the late 1960s. Gun mounts on the craft can support .50 Cal machine guns, M240 machine guns, and 40mm grenade launchers.

The exercises and real-world operations that ACU 2 sailors participate in include evacuation of American citizens from a hostile territory, delivery of food and medical supplies after a natural disaster, and many other tasks that involve movement from ships off-shore to the beach, according to Navy officials.

“The best part about serving here is getting to work on small boats,” said Hoyle.

Jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the command running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from operating boats to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.

"The Sailors, Chiefs, and Officers of Assault Craft Unit 2 work in conjunction with other Naval Beach Group elements to grant our Amphibious Ships heavy lift and over-the-horizon, extended-duration ship-to-shore movement with the Landing Craft Utility and Maritime Pre-positioning Force boats,” said Cmdr. Thomas Mays, commanding officer, Assault Craft Unit 2. “We are proud to do our part in the Navy-Marine Corps team to project power or provide sustained assistance as needed around the world."

Though there are many ways for a sailor to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Hoyle is most proud of making 2nd class petty officer.

“Making rank made me want to continue to serve in the Navy,” said Hoyle. "It was breaking the mold."

While serving in the Navy may present many challenges, Hoyle said he has found many great rewards.

“The Navy has taught me there is more to life than what is there,” said Hoyle. "A lot of people get into a habit of being complacent and the Navy has taught me there is more to learn every single day.”

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