By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green
A 2006 George S. Middleton High School, Naval Academy 2010 graduate and Brandon native is serving aboard the homeport for U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s ballistic missile nuclear submarines.
Lt. Jean-Carlos Hernandez, an assistant operations officer, is responsible for assisting in the development and execution schedule for five ballistic missile submarines.
“I like that my job allows me to meet and mentor people from all different backgrounds,” said Hernandez.
The mission at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is to provide support to the fleet, fighter and family, according to Navy officials. It is the state-of-the-art home to the Atlantic Fleet’s Trident submarines and serves as an integral part of the nation’s strategic deterrence program.
The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as undetectable launch platforms for ballistic missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles, and they are the only survivable leg of the nation’s strategic nuclear forces, which also include land-based missiles and aircraft. The Ohio-class design allows the submarines to operate for 15 or more years between major overhauls.
Hernandez and other sailors know they are part of a legacy supporting the Navy’s most advanced submarines.
“We demand the highest standards from our sailors – both professionally and personally,” said Rear Adm. Randy Crites, commander, Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay. “Their chain of command, family and our great nation take immense pride in their devotion and service. These sailors are absolutely crucial to ensuring our ships and submarines are operating at their best – always mission ready, providing our nation.”
“The best part of this job is you get to do a little bit of everything,” said Hernandez. “Each day is different and presents its own challenges.”
Serving in the Navy, Hernandez is learning about leadership and managing multiple responsibilities.
“Serving in the Navy is humbling,” said Hernandez. “You have to put 100 percent effort into your small part, which fits into the bigger picture that completes the mission.”