Tate Graduate Serves As Member Of Navy’s Submarine Program

November 2, 2021

A Tate graduate is currently stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, homeport to all East Coast ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines.

Seaman Paul Ashton, a 2018 Tate High School graduate, joined the Navy almost a year ago.

“Growing up in a big Navy area and hearing my friends, parents and siblings talk about the Navy made me think it would be a great fit for me,” said Ashton.

Today, Ashton serves as a missile technician, whose responsibilities include maintaining and guarding nuclear missiles.

According to Ashton, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Pensacola.

“I was a Pensacola Beach lifeguard,” said Ashton. “From that, I learned teamwork. Boy Scouts taught me leadership.”

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 (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, Ashton 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 Ashton 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 contributes to national security by ensuring trade routes are open,” said Ashton. “We also keep people at home protected by ensuring other countries don’t come into ours.”

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.

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 Ashton 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 means protecting the people back from home from stuff that they don’t even realize,” added Ashton.

By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda Rae Moreno for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Tate Graduate Serves As Member Of Navy’s Submarine Program”

  1. Anne on November 2nd, 2021 4:17 pm

    US Navy’s “Silent Service” under the seas.
    Had friend whose husband served on some of the first atomic powered subs. His stories were both hairraising and filled with PRIDE to be part of the USA’s First Line of Defense.
    Proud of you and pray for your and the shipmates safety…..

  2. Susan Barnes on November 2nd, 2021 1:30 pm

    My son did that for 11 yrs very proud for this young man God bless you son

  3. Rita Jenne-Ryan on November 2nd, 2021 11:20 am

    Congratulations young man! Whether you stay in the Navy as a career or not you will have many great experiences. You will learn life lessons & opportunities for a great future.

  4. mick on November 2nd, 2021 3:02 am

    You do us all proud young man, you set the example for others, Wish you all the best in your career. God Bless….

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