by Capt. David Russell, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO, CA – Lt. J.G. Warner McGhee, a Roanoke native is serving aboard the USS Hampton, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines. The 2016 Patrick Henry High School graduate joined the Navy two years ago.
“I wanted a challenge and the submarine community is the perfect place to be,” said McGhee. “It is a complex job that will constantly challenge my abilities and also give me the skills I will need in the civilian world later in life.”
Today, McGhee serves as an engineer officer of the watch and is responsible for leading a division of sailors and a watch team to run a nuclear power plant while underway. He relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Roanoke to succeed in the military.
“My parents taught me to strive earnestly every day, to live with purpose, and to always work my hardest,” said McGhee.
Known as America’s “apex predators,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines can conduct rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, to further 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 hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships, according to Navy officials. They also strike targets ashore with cruise missiles, carry and deliver Navy SEALs, engage in mine warfare and conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today! It combines stealth and payload capability to meet combatant commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition. 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. Serving in the Navy means McGhee is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities, and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy protects the freedom of the seas for the U.S. and the rest of the world,” said McGhee. “We also help to protect smaller countries from economic and political bullying.”
More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and Internet traffic. Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.