Aquilla native serving in U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’

Mass Communication Specialist 1st class Amanda Rae Moreno, Navy office of Community Outreach

November 24, 2021


An Aquilla, Texas, native is stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, homeport to all East Coast ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines.


Seaman Connor McCurdy, a 2020 Aquilla Independent School District graduate, joined the Navy this year.


“Serving in the Navy is an old family tradition,” said McCurdy. “My last name has meaning with the Navy, and I have always wanted to be in the military.”


Today, McCurdy serves as a missile technician, whose responsibilities include maintenance, safety and protection of nuclear weapons.


According to McCurdy, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Aquilla.


“I learned about having a good work ethic, teamwork skills and waking up early while growing up in Aquilla,” said McCurdy.


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, McCurdy 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 McCurdy 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.


“The Navy contributes to national security by keeping enemies off the mainland of America and keeping trade routes open,” said McCurdy.


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 McCurdy 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.


“Serving in the Navy gives me a feeling of pride and honor,” added McCurdy. “It gives me the chance to be a great leader in the most diverse military. It means that I have something to look forward to every day and do better than what I did the day before.”


The Navy Office of Community Outreach travels the globe to collect sailors’ stories and distribute them to their hometown media.

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