GROTON, Connecticut – A native of the highlands serves in the US Navy aboard the USS Vermont, one of the most advanced nuclear submarines in the world.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nolan Benedict, who graduated from Eastbrook High School in 2012, joined the Navy two years ago.
âI was looking for a challenge,â Benedict said. “I wasn’t sure the Navy would be for me, but when they talked about nuclear reactors, I thought it would be a challenge.”
According to Benedict, the values âârequired to be successful in the military are similar to those found in the highlands.
âGrowing up in Indiana, I learned the importance of looking out for others,â Benedict said. “It helps to be on a sub because we have to look out for each other.”
Fast, manoeuvrable and technically advanced, submarines are among the Navy’s most versatile ships, capable of silently carrying out a variety of missions around the world.
There are three main types of submarines: fast attack submarines (SSN), guided missile submarines (SSBN), and guided missile submarines (SSGN).
Fast attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; hitting targets on land with cruise missiles; transport and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their main tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.
The Navy’s guided-missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for ballistic missiles launched by submarines. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols, and precise missile delivery. Their design allows submarines to operate for 15 years or more between major overhauls. On average, submarines spend 77 days at sea followed by 35 days in port for maintenance.
Missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special ops capabilities from a stealth and clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and with superior communication capabilities, SSGNs are able to directly support combat commander’s strikes and special operations forces needs. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as a complement of heavy torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.
Serving in the Navy means that Benedict is part of a world that takes on new significance in the United States‘ focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support for the national defense strategy.
With more than 90% of all trade by sea and 95% of the world’s international telephone and Internet traffic passing through fiber-optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to stress that the United States prosperity and security are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
“What our submarine forces accomplish every day is of vital importance to the defense of our country,” said Vice-Admiral Daryl Caudle, Commander of the Submarine Forces. âOur submarine force is an essential part of global maritime security and the country’s nuclear triad. Every day our submariners are on spearhead, forward deployed and ready – from the depths we strike! “
As a member of the US Navy, Benedict, along with other Sailors, know they are part of a tradition of service delivering unforgettable experiences through leadership development, global affairs and humanitarian assistance. . Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the world and for generations of seafarers to follow.
âIt’s a great community,â added Benedict. âServing aboard a submarine feels like we are all family. Being an electrician is a big responsibility because we have to know the whole ship. “
BenoÃ®t follows a family tradition of military service.
âMy grandfather, Albert Holloway, served in the Navy, as did my uncle, Gregg Holloway,â Benedict added. “I think it’s cool that even though I didn’t intend to follow in their footsteps, I’m here in the same service branch.”