submariner

Morristown native Chief Petty Officer Andrew Henry is assigned to Commander, Submarine Group 10.

A local man from Morristown is finding success in the U.S. Navy as a submariner.

Chief Petty Officer Andrew Henry, assigned to Commander, Submarine Group 10, who hails from Morristown, and is a 2008 graduate of Morristown Hamblen East High School, performs a job many would never imagine, living beneath the sea for months at a time.

Henry is an information systems technician stationed at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Georgia,, homeport to the Ohio-class ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines.

“I maintain and repair any and all computer systems aboard the boat,” Henry said.

Henry credits continued success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Morristown.

“I learned to be myself no matter where you end up,” Henry said.

The Navy’s ballistic-missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles if directed by the President.

The Ohio-class design allows the submarines to operate for 15 or more years between major overhauls. On average, the submarines spend 77 days at sea followed by 35 days in-port for maintenance.

Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform.

Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, SSGNs are capable of directly supporting combatant commander’s strike and Special Operations Forces requirements. The Navy’s four guided-missile submarines, each displace 18,750 tons submerged. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.

Because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing.

Submariners are some of the most highly-trained and skilled people in the Navy. Regardless of their specialty, everyone has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

“I like this command because I am able to be part of a senior command and see the bigger picture of the Navy,” Henry said.

Serving in the Navy means Henry is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Henry is most proud of becoming a chief petty officer.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Henry and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy, I know I am doing my part to protect my family and everyone in our country,” Henry said.