KINGS BAY, Ga. – A Troy native is serving aboard USS Alaska, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.
Seaman Apprentice Alexander Johnson, a 2020 Troy Junior/Senior High School graduate, joined the Navy one year ago.
Today, Johnson serves as a yeoman whose responsibilities include administrative support for the command and personnel.
“I joined the Navy for the college benefits,” said Johnson. “I am looking forward to pursuing a degree in chemistry.”
According to Johnson, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Troy.
“I was a big athlete in high school, so I did a lot of teamwork stuff,” said Johnson. “Being in the Navy is all about being part of a team to get the mission done.”
Known as America’s “Silent Service,” 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 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.
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. As a member of the submarine force, Johnson is part of a rich 121-year 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.
Serving in the Navy means Johnson is part of a team 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.
“Strategic deterrence is our whole job,” said Johnson. “The Navy makes sure that when the enemies act up, we are there.”
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 underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy. A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
“We do two big things here in King’s Bay: we send SSBNs on Strategic Deterrence Patrols and we forward deploy our guided missile submarines overseas,” said Rear Adm. John Spencer, Commander, Submarine Group Ten. “This work is essential to uphold the number one mission of the Navy: strategic deterrence. And this is the only home port for both of these types of submarines on the East Coast.”
Strategic deterrence is the Nation’s ultimate insurance program, and for decades, Kings Bay has been home to Ohio Class SSBN ballistic-missile submarines. Beginning in 2028, the new Columbia Class ballistic-missile submarines will arrive and provide continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.
As Johnson and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“I’m very proud to serve in the Navy,” added Johnson. “My mom loves that I am serving; she is so proud of me. She is one of the Navy moms that is decked out in all the Navy gear. It makes me feel very supported.”