High School students taking the US Military History course did something few people ever get to do–they toured an active duty nuclear fast attack submarine.
In late April, the students, their teacher Kurt Semon, and Social Studies Department Chair John Antoski toured the US Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut. They were able to each lunch at the Navy Base Galley and tour the USS Newport News (SSN 750), which is a Los Angeles Class Fast Attack Submarine.
The boat’s knowledgeable Petty Officers gave the students a guided tour within the many tight spaces of the submarine among its actively working crew members.
“The students learned the importance of yelling ‘Up Ladder’ and ‘Down Ladder’ when entering and leaving the boat through the bow hatch,” said Semon. “They also learned they were not claustrophobic!”
The students received several lessons about US Submarine History, toured the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), and visited the US Submarine Force Museum.
“This was a capstone educational event supporting the course unit on US Submarine Force During the Cold War with projects based on the students’ research and reading of the book Blind Man’s Bluff,” added Semon.
For reference, Semon explained that sailors must volunteer for submarine duty and are regarded as some of the best sailors in the US Navy (USN). Submariners make up 7 percent of the US Navy and submarines make up 25 percent of all USN vessels.
“The US Navy could not have been more hospitable and attentive to the students’ learning,” added Semon. “The class rated this event as a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale, and they offer a heartfelt thank you to the crew of the USS Newport News, the Public Relations personnel and the Museum staff who made this all possible.”