JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Modern attack submarines are the most technologically advanced and capable undersea warfighters in the world. Operating these highly complex submarines require sailors from the U.S. Navy’s submarine community, also known as the ‘Silent Service.’
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tristen Togores, a 2014 Baldwin Park High School graduate and native of Baldwin Park, California, works as a Navy electronics technician serving aboard USS Cheyenne, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
As a Navy electronics technician, Togores is responsible for ensuring communications remain up and running on the ship.
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.
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.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Togores is most proud of earning a position as a sonar technician aboard the submarine.
“I was put in the sonar division to help the manning for two deployments,” said Togores. “I am the most capable and knowledgeable broadband operator who transitioned to sonar.”
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Togores is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“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.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 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.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Togores, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Togores is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My father was in the Air Force and encouraged me to consider the military because of the benefits,” said Togores. “I saw the military as an opportunity to see the world and learn skills to set me up for the future.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Togores 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 means playing my small part to keep the country safe,” added Togores. “We continue to serve out of selflessness because it is the right thing to do.”
This story originally ran on Navy Outreach