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Jonesboro native Petty Officer 2nd Class Guybriel Hawk.

KINGS BAY — A Jonesboro native is serving aboard USS Florida, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Guybriel Hawk, a 2014 Riverwood International Charter School graduate, joined the Navy five years ago.

“I decided I was ready for a change in my career path, and the Navy offered unique opportunities to continue pursuing my college degree,” said Hawk.

Today, Hawk serves as an electrician’s mate whose responsibilities include troubleshooting the electric breakers and circuits aboard nuclear-powered ships.

According to Hawk, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Jonesboro.

“Growing up my family taught me the value of resiliency,” said Hawk. “In the submarine force that is a very good thing to have. Things change all the time, so being able to adapt and adjust is beneficial.”

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, ballistic-missile submarines and guided-missile submarines.

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, Hawk 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 Hawk 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.

“I think that just the idea of the U.S. Navy helps people feel safer,” said Hawk. “Whether we are actually doing things or not, knowing what we are capable of makes people feel safer. Just by existing, other countries know that if they mess with us, we will strike back.”

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% 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 Hawk 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 for me means seeing something through to completion, whether I decide to stay in until I retire or just until the end of this contract,” added Hawk. “I am going to see it through no matter how rough it gets.”

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