By MC3 Jamal McNeill, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A 2011 Bloomingdale graduate and Plant City native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard one of the world’s most advanced ballistic missile submarines, USS Maryland (SSBN 738).

Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Anthony is a sonar technician (submarines) serving aboard the Kings Bay-based boat, one of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. A Navy sonar technician (submarines) is responsible for the safety of the ship.

“Being a sonar tech creates new and different challenges that allow me to learn and grow,” said Anthony.

Measuring 560 ft. long, 42 ft. wide and weighing more than 16,500 tons, a nuclear-powered propulsion system helps push the ship through the water at more than 20 knots.

The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for intercontinental ballistic missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles if directed by the president. The Ohio-class 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.

Anthony is part of the boat’s blue crew, one of the two rotating crews, which allow the ship to be deployed on missions more often without taxing one crew too much. A typical crew on this submarine is approximately 150 officers and enlisted sailors.

Because of the stressful environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. Submariners are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board.  Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

“I haven’t been here long but the crew is very inclusive and welcoming,” Anthony said.

The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.

“The Navy has taught me the value of truth,” Anthony added. “It’s also taught me how taking responsibility makes me better.”

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