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Alexandria Native Serves as a Member of U.S. Navy’s “Silent Service”

“There were a lot of military members in my hometown,” said Snoots. "They mentored me and encouraged me to join the military too.”

Sam Snoots at sea with the "Silent Service" of the U.S. Navy. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class  Amanda Rae Moreno)
Sam Snoots at sea with the “Silent Service” of the U.S. Navy. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class
Amanda Rae Moreno)

By Stephanie Fox, Navy Office of Community Outreach

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Petty Officer 2nd Class Sam Snoots, a 2018 Hayfield High School graduate, joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Snoots serves as a machinist’s mate.

“I joined the Navy in order to serve my country and make a better future for myself,” said Snoots.

According to Snoots, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Alexandria.

“There were a lot of military members in my hometown,” said Snoots. “They mentored me and encouraged me to join the military too.”

The Silent Service

Fast, maneuverable and technically advanced, submarines are some of the most versatile ships in the Navy, capable of silently conducting a variety of missions around the world.

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; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

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. Their 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. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.

Serving in the Navy means Snoots 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.

“National security is important because it gives Americans the freedom to enjoy the rights and liberties that we all sometimes might take for granted,” said Snoots.

Cyber Security

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

“What our undersea forces accomplish every day is vitally important to our nation’s defense,” said Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander, Submarine Forces. “Our Submarine Force is a critical part of global maritime security and the nation’s nuclear triad. Every day, our submariners are at the tip of the spear, forward deployed and ready – from the depths, we strike!”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Snoots, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“To me, serving in the Navy means doing whatever I am capable of to serve my country,” added Snoots. “It’s an honor.”

MORE: Alexandria Native an Ocean Away

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