• November 13, 2019

GOOD NEWS: Gardendale native serves Silent Service - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: Gardendale native serves Silent Service

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2019 2:29 pm

SANTA RITA, GUAM — A 2006 Permian High School graduate and Gardendale, native is serving with the U.S. Navy assigned to a forward deployed submarine squadron overseeing some of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Petty Officer 1st Class William Bryant is a sonar technician (submarine) with Submarine Squadron 15 in Guam.

As a Navy sonar technician (submarine), Bryant is an electrical and fiber optic test specialist responsible for conducting electrical and fiber optic testing to develop new maintenance standards and procedures to enhance the submarine force’s capability in war fighting and safety of ship environments.

Bryant credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Gardendale.

“The best lesson I learned growing up in a small town is the consequences of a bad decision,” Bryant said. “How we overcome those bad decisions is what defines our true character.”

Jobs are highly varied aboard the submarine. Approximately 130 sailors make up the submarine’s crew, doing everything from handling weapons to maintaining nuclear reactors. 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; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

“As the only forward deployed submarine squadron, we are the quick reaction force for the Navy. We can respond quickly to any crisis,” said Capt. Tim Poe, Commodore, Submarine Squadron 15. “It’s spectacular the work our Sailors do. We ask a lot of them and they always meet the challenge.”

According to Navy officials, because of the demanding 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. Regardless of their specialty, everyone 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.

“The most rewarding aspect about serving in Guam is having the opportunity to work with the crews of just about every submarine stationed in the Pacific Ocean,” Bryant said.

According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Bryant is most proud of helping his ship on deployment.

“My ship had an equipment casualty that limited our underwater communications,” Bryant said. “It was my job to figure out which electrical component failed and replace it. I was able to identify the problem and find a solution which I’m very proud of. Being self-driven, motivated, and lifelong learner allows me to solve complex problems in high stress scenarios.”

Serving in the Navy means Bryant is part of a world 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.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Bryant and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy is about constant self-improvement, exceptional teamwork and extreme ownership,” Bryant said.

This article can be viewed on line at tinyurl.com/y6noc7dw.

Odessa, TX

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