A 2011 Clayton High School graduate is training in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard nuclear-powered submarines.
Seaman Nicholas Falco is enrolled in the Basic Enlisted Submarine School, which teaches the basic theories behind the construction and operation of nuclear-powered submarines, including ships systems, organization and safety. Currently. the Navy uses the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine as the model for the curriculum, but the concepts taught are applicable to all classes of submarines.
“This school has given me all kinds of knowledge that I will be using when I get on the boat,” Falco said. “It teaches us every day how to prepare ourselves mentally for life on a sub.”
Attack submarines, like those stationed in the Groton area, 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.
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“The submarine force is one of the most elite communities in the U.S. Navy,” said Capt. Aaron M. Thieme, commanding officer of the Naval Submarine School. “The most talented sailors in the U.S. Navy learn to be the world’s best submariners at the Naval Submarine School.”
According to Navy officials, because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation.
The submarine community is an all-volunteer force, which has some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy.
“Mainly, I am looking forward to the experience of serving on a sub, because it is something so unique,” Falco said. “Not many people can say that they have been on a submarine, so I am excited to be a part of that community.”
Preparing for the high operational tempo and unique challenges of the submarine force builds strong fellowship and a strong sense of mission among the students of the submarine school, the Navy says.
“Being in the Navy means I can serve my country and do everything I can to protect everything I hold dear,” Falco added. “I am trying to make a difference in the world. Instead of complaining about what’s wrong in the world, I am serving to try and make a difference.”