A 2010 West Brunswick High School graduate and Brunswick County native is part of a select crew, protecting and defending America aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarine, U.S.S. Mississippi.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Pack is an electrician’s mate aboard Mississippi, one of the Virginia-class submarines based at the Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
U.S.S. Mississippi, commissioned in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 2012, is longer than a football field at 377 feet and can sail under the waves at more than 30 mph. Mississippi, like all attack submarines in the Navy’s fleet, can carry out an array of missions on the world’s oceans in defense of America.
“The Navy’s attack submarines are at the forefront of the nation’s warfighting capabilities,” said Cmdr. Tory Swanson, commanding officer of U.S.S. Mississippi. “Our primary missions include hunting enemy submarines and surface ships, launching cruise missiles at enemy targets far inland, and covertly delivering special operations forces to the fight.”
Because of the demanding nature of service aboard submarines, sailors like Pack are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation that can last several months. The crews have to be highly motivated, and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
“I am responsible for maintaining electrical equipment and the electrical distribution throughout the submarine,” said Pack.
“In peacetime, our stealth allows us to observe the activities of potential adversaries,” said Swanson. “Nuclear power and the ability to make our own water and oxygen give our submarines unmatched endurance, allowing us to deploy anywhere in the world’s oceans, unseen, and remain there as long as necessary.”
The training is demanding, as the crew needs to be ready to respond to any kind of situation that may arise while at sea and endure long periods of time submerged deep below the surface of the ocean.
The rigorous nature of submarine service is challenging, but Pack enjoys it and believes it makes the crew tighter.
“I love the sense of accomplishment I get from serving my country. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the country that I love,” Pack said. “The best part of my job is the people. They are all intelligent and competent people, which makes work fun.”
Being an attack submarine sailor has meant spending a lot of time away from his friends and family, but Pack believes in the work he is doing.
“There is a sense of accomplishment and pride when the boat is underway,” Pack said.
Click here to read the full article from the U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach and Public Affairs.