Kennewick native supports the “Silent Service” - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick native supports the “Silent Service”

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By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown

GROTON, CT - A 2017 Kahlotus graduate and Kennewick, Washington, native is serving in the U.S. Navy supporting nuclear-powered, fast-attack, submarines homeported in and visiting the Groton, Conn. area. 

Seaman Apprentice Anthony Lathim is an information systems technician.

A Navy information systems technician is responsible for operating and repairing computers aboard the submarine.

“The best part of being in the Navy is that I get to serve the American people,” said Lathim. "I know that my job has meaning and makes a difference."

“Growing up in Washington, I learned the importance of motivating myself” said Lathim. "There are a lot of things in the Navy that require independence. People are always willing to help, but you need to also help yourself."                                                      

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, 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.  

Naval Submarine Support Center, New London (NSSCNLON) provides administrative and support functions to approximately 20 submarines. The command provides support in the fields of: administration, medical, legal, chaplain, supply, combat systems, engineering, communications, and operations to improve readiness of submarines in the Groton area.

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.

“The U.S. Navy submarine force has one of the highest operational tempos in the U.S. Navy and Naval Submarine Support Center, New London plays a vital role in helping Groton-based submarines maintain their excellent readiness,” said CDR. Brian J. Nowak, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Support Center, New London. “The warfighters operating the submarines at the tip of the spear, and those who are building the Navy’s newest nuclear powered submarines can only do so because of the vast network of support they receive from the shore side.  The professional Sailors and civilians at Naval Submarine Support Center, New London serve a key role in that network.  I am honored that I get to serve every day with outstanding Sailors like Lathim.”  

According to Navy officials, because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. 

The submarine community is an all-volunteer force, which has some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy.

Becoming a submariner is an accomplishment in itself. Lathim is also looking forward to graduating from submarine school in July 2017.

“Being a submariner is like being part of a family,” said Lathim. "There's always someone willing to help."

Supporting the high operational tempo and unique challenges of the submarine force build strong fellowship and a strong sense of mission, according to Navy officials.

“Serving in the Navy is a chance to serve the American people,” added Lathim. "I feel like joining the Navy proves that I'm here to serve others. I signed a contract dedicating 6 years of my life to serve in the military."