Before we boarded the ship, we were allowed the opportunity to walk over the dry dock and view the USS Nevada going through refit in the dock (meaning it is out of the water). When you see a Trident in the water, you only see about 15% of the submarine, seeing it this way everyone saw what a truly impressive warship completely looks like. Our tour guides then led us back to the boat where we began our journey into understanding the world of a submariner. For security reasons, the engineering spaces are off limits for all visitors so our tour included the Operations and Missile Compartments. Creature comforts and personal spaces are certainly a rare commodity for these sailors during their patrols. 9 man bunkrooms, which can only be described as small phone booths turned on their sides and stacked in 3’s to form most of a room, represent their single private area. About 100 men share 2 heads (bathrooms that include 2 showers, 3 sinks and 3 toilets per room).
The long missile compartment reminds them daily of their deterrent job and chosen duty.
The ship’s mission is always in their heads by the presence of the torpedo room and their immediate ability to defend themselves. The navigation center, sonar and radio rooms are designed to feed the CO, XO, and their Officers with all the necessary information to operate the ship safely and securely.
Technology updates and training keep these crews ready to take on all challenges and we were honored and touched by the dedication and professionalism of not just our guides but each sailor that stood by his workstation to take the time and explain to the average civilian how they contribute to the incredible machine that is the Pennsylvania.- Patrick Miller