Stealthy. Precise. Lethal. Submarines are vital to national defense. Capable of operating for months from the deep, these submersibles are seldom seen once they dive, resurfacing only for supplies.

Breaking the Surface for Some Replenishment

America's submarines have come a long way since the first hand-cranked wooden rigs. Today's state-of-the-art vessels are able to support hundreds of sailors working and living together under the sea for months at a time. Submariners and their ships depend on each other — and underway replenishments.

Submarine USS Henry M. Jackson with two seahawks flying above.

On Target, On Time

In a demonstration proving America's expeditionary logistics is second to none, the ballistic missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson, operating off Hawaii, took on deliveries from a drone, Seahawk helicopter, an Osprey and a C-17 Globemaster.

The event tested the tactics, techniques and procedures of U.S. Strategic Command's expeditionary logistics to enhance the readiness of our strategic forces. While submarines are completely self-sustainable for an indefinite amount of time, periodic replenishments of food, parts and medical supplies are necessary and can be conducted more efficiently using modern delivery methods like these.

Who's On Board No Windows? No Cell Phone? No Problem!

Meet a few of the submariners aboard the USS Maine and the USS Henry M. Jackson, the oldest ship of its class which also conducted its 100th strategic deterrent patrol in August 2020, a historic feat.

Faces of the Deep

"I don't think being on a submarine is for everybody. I think you have to be somebody that can be comfortable with no sun and no outside communication. Submariners are different from everyone else in the Navy. There is also a different kind of camaraderie down here."

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Khamani Conklin Torpedoman's Mate, USS Maine

"I've been here since we were in the shipyard dry dock with everything disassembled and being repaired. So being part of the crew that's taking [USS Maine] out, bringing her back to sea and executing a test launch is a really special experience. It's a really incredible crew and I don't think I could've lucked out with a better submarine."

Navy Lt. j.g. Lindsey Curtis Communications Officer, USS Maine

"The USS Henry M. Jackson is the oldest boat of its class. She has a lot of history and the most sea time, so it's pretty cool to be a part of that."

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Curtis Barnes Electronics Technician Navigation, USS Henry M. Jackson

"I have been driving a submarine since I was 19. How many people in the world can say that? Not many!"

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Morgan Atwell Electronics Technician Navigation, USS Henry M. Jackson

"My favorite thing about working on a submarine is that I get to crawl inside a 130,000 pound missile. It's an exciting job!"

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bret Orozco Missile Technician, USS Henry M. Jackson

See for Yourself - Dive In!

First, take a virtual tour of a ballistic missile submarine, then, watch your balance and grab a bite at the exclusive underwater restaurant that rivals any four-star restaurant.

It's the chance of a lifetime that many will never have and sailors aboard the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine want to be your host!

If it can be made from scratch, it will be. The dedication and passion culinary specialists aboard the USS South Dakota bring to the table feeds a crew of about 135 submariners, three times a day, every day.

More About The Restaurant

Surviving the deep

Serving on a submarine crew takes courage, stamina and deep expertise — literally. Get familiar with some of the sights and sounds submariners encounter during the vital missions they execute, and with the training they undergo to become ready for their jobs.

Dive! Dive!

The USS Pennsylvania set the record for longest patrol by a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine with a patrol of 140 days in 2014.

So that's what it sounds like?

Fire Away!

Ride along with the USS Maine's Gold crew and watch a test fire of the Trident II D5 missile. The Maine officially returned to strategic service in early 2020 — the first patrol in more than three years after undergoing upgrades.

Escape From Below

To hack it as a member of the Navy's so-called "silent service," submariners go to school. Among the lessons taught at the Navy Submarine School at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., is just how to survive a worst-case scenario.

Read More

Deep Defense

U.S. submarines are capable of and conduct a vast array of missions including anti-surface and antisubmarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine reconnaissance, land attacks, polar operations, Special Forces support and defending other fleet ships.

Triple Threat

Three types of submarines currently defend the nation from the deep:

Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines

Sailors stand on and near the conning tower of a submarine near shore.

Guided Missile Submarines

Several sailors stand on top of a submarine floating near shore.

Attack Submarines

A submarine pushes through the water partially submerged.

Since the Revolutionary War, the U.S. has used submersibles in national defense, but the nuclear-powered sub, launched in 1954, was a game changer.

You Might Also Like