By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christine Montgomery, Navy Office of
NORFOLK, Va. – A Jacksonville, Florida, native is serving aboard USS Helena, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Lynch joined the Navy five years ago. Today, Lynch serves as a culinary specialist.
“I joined the Navy because I was looking to do something bigger than myself,” said Lynch.
Growing up in Jacksonville, Lynch attended Englewood High School and graduated in 2016. Today, Lynch relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Jacksonville to succeed in the military.
“I learned the importance of respect from my hometown,” said Lynch.
These lessons have helped Lynch while serving in the Navy.
Known as America’s “Apex Predators!,” 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 Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today. It combines stealth and payload capability to meet Combatant Commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition.
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. The Columbia-class SSBN will be the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. - replacing the current Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.
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.
Strategic deterrence is the Nation’s ultimate insurance program, according to Navy officials. As a member of the submarine force, Lynch is part of a rich 122-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 Lynch 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.
“The Navy provides a deterrence,” said Lynch. "Aboard submarines we have a special mission because people don't know where we are. We also offer a presence around the world."
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.
Lynch and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I just earned my current rank of second-class petty officer,” said Lynch. "This means a lot, because I have a kid on the way. But, even more than the additional pay, it's been a personal goal of mine to advance."
As Lynch and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“It's great to be a part of something that matters,” added Lynch. "Five years ago, I had no idea that I would've made it this far. To have my dad say, 'I wish I would've done what you did.' That was a good thing to hear.”