Home Community In the Land of the Chamorros, Douglasville Native Serves with the U.S....

In the Land of the Chamorros, Douglasville Native Serves with the U.S. Navy’s “Silent Service” Half a World Away in Guam

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Heidi Cheek

A 2017 New Manchester High School graduate and Douglasville, Georgia, native is serving with the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines, USS Key West.

Seaman Jalon Causey is an electronics technician (nuclear) aboard the Guam-based submarine, one of four Los Angeles-class submarines forward-deployed on the island.

A Navy electronics technician (nuclear) is responsible for operating and managing electronics systems on the boat.

Causey credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Douglasville.

“Growing up I played sports, so I learned a lot about teamwork,” Causey said. “I also learned a lot about having a good work ethic and that hard work pays off.”

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.

“I enjoy serving here and being right where the action happens,” Causey said. “We’re ready to deploy in a moment’s notice to support national security.”

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, Causey is most proud of getting his submarine warfare pin.

“It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and pride,” Causey said.

Serving in the Navy means Causey 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, Causey 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 gives me a sense of importance knowing we are doing so much for the safety of the people back home,” Causey said.