Deerfield Beach native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s “Silent Service”

Photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jake Joy, Navy Office of Community Outreach

By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach

BANGOR, Wash. – A Deerfield Beach, Florida, native is serving aboard USS Nebraska, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Officer 2nd Class Christopher Huckaba serves as a culinary specialist and joined the Navy to seek a higher calling.

„After high school, I wanted to make my family proud and contribute to something bigger than myself,” said Huckaba.

Huckaba attended Deerfield Beach High School and graduated in 2015. Today, Huckaba uses skills and values similar to those found in Deerfield Beach.

“I learned to always be honest, to stay positive and know that there’s a bigger purpose in everything you do,” said Huckaba.

These lessons have helped Huckaba while serving aboard USS Nebraska.

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.

here 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, Huckaba 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 Huckaba 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 is deployed around the world, which means we can protect the nation,” said Huckaba. „The silent service means we can protect America, even though other people may not know where we are.”

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.

Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program, and for decades Naval Submarine Base Bangor has been home to Ohio Class 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.

Huckaba and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service. Huckaba is most proud of helping others attain rank.

„I like helping others because I know what they’re going through and can tell them it’s going to be okay,” said Huckaba.

As Huckaba and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions to support national defense, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means I’m contributing to something bigger than myself,” added Huckaba. „I’m proud to be part of the national defense team to help out in any way I can.”