Carl Junction Native Supports the Navy’s “Silent Service” Half a World Away in Guam
By Lt. Cmdr. Marie Tillery, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown
SANTA RITA, Guam – A 2003 Carl Junction High School graduate and Carl Junction, Missouri, native is providing a critical maintenance capability to the U.S. Navy’s submarine force in the Pacific as part of a hybrid crew of sailors and civilian mariners working aboard the expeditionary submarine tender, USS Frank Cable.
Ensign Karrick Thresher, responsible for nuclear power maintenance and radiological controls, is serving aboard the Guam-based submarine tender, one of only two such ships in the U.S. Navy. The Frank Cable and its crew provides maintenance and resupply capabilities both in port and at sea.
“I deal with everything that involves radiation and contamination. I ensure it’s safe,” Thresher said. “I’m also directly involved with the maintenance, construction and decommissioning of carriers and submarines.”
Thresher said that his favorite part of his job is teaching and mentoring junior sailors.
Thresher credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Carl Junction.
“I grew up in a small town, so I learned how to solve big picture issues with a unique perspective and limited resources,” Thresher said.
Guam is also home to four Los Angeles-class attack submarines, Frank Cable’s primary clients, but the ship can also provide repair and logistic services to other Navy ships like cruisers and destroyers. The submarine tenders provide maintenance, temporary berthing services and logistical support to submarines and surface ships in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
With a crew of more than 600, Frank Cable is 649 feet long and weighs approximately 23,493 tons.
According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 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. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.
The integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners builds a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“I enjoy the interaction between the crews and being able to get these submarines back out to the front so they can accomplish their mission,” Thresher said.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Thresher is most proud of his advancement to chief and his commissioning as an officer.
“They were both career milestones,” Thresher said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Thresher 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.
“I’m serving not only out of my own resposibility to this country but I also feel that I’m serving for those who don’t have an oporrtunity for whatever reason,” Thresher said. “My service also honors those who came before me.”