Lawrence native serves as member of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force

Lawrence native serves as member of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel Navy Office of Community Outreach

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Petty Officer 3rd Class Luis Rivera, a native of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea aboard USS Annapolis, operating out of San Diego, California.

Rivera, a 2013 graduate of Lawrence High School, joined the Navy three years ago.

“I joined the Navy because I wanted to see the world outside of Lawrence, Massachusetts,” said Rivera.

Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Lawrence.

“Growing up I learned to appreciate any moments you get alone and relax,” said Rivera.

Today, Riveraserves as a sonar technician (submarine).

“My favorite part about being a sonar tech is the moments when your training finally kicks in and something that seemed impossible a few months ago becomes second nature,” said Rivera.

Known as America’s “Apex Predators!,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically-advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

Fast-attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. The Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today. It combines stealth and payload capability to meet Combatant Commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition.

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. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles.

The Columbia-class SSBN will be the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. – replacing the current Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.

Strategic deterrence is the Nation’s ultimate insurance program, according to Navy officials. As a member of the submarine force, Rivera is part of a rich history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

As a member of the Navy, Rivera is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy contributes to national defense by being a show of force,” said Rivera.

Rivera has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“The thing I’m most proud of is being somebody who people ask for help or give tasking to with the expectation that it will be done properly,” said Rivera.

As Rivera and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy to me means being dependable in the most impossible situations,” added Rivera.


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