QUITMAN – A Brooks County native is serving aboard U.S.S. Kentucky, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jarred Huffmaster serves as a machinist's mate and joined the Navy to set his family up for success, Navy officials said in a statement.
"In addition to serving my country, I wanted to provide for my family," Huffmaster said.
Huffmaster attended Brooks County High School and graduated in 2005. Today, Huffmaster uses skills and values similar to those found in Quitman.
“I learned how to adapt to different situations and how to get the job done with the resources we have,” Huffmaster said.
These lessons have helped Huffmaster while serving aboard U.S.S. Kentucky.
Known as America’s “Silent Service,” 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, Navy officials said.
There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines, ballistic-missile submarines and guided-missile submarines.
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 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.
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, Navy officials said.
As a member of the submarine force, Huffmaster is "part of a rich 121-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," they added.
Serving in the Navy means Huffmaster is part of a team 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.
“We're part of the strategic deterrence,” Huffmaster said. "Other people may not know we're out there but we're able to prevent other people from doing anything bad to America."
With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea and 95% 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.
Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program and for decades Naval Submarine Base Bangor has been home to Ohio Class ballistic-missile submarines. Beginning in 2028, the new Columbia Class ballistic-missile submarines will arrive and provide continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.
Huffmaster and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“Developing sailors helping them accomplish the mission is what I’m most proud of,” Huffmaster said. “Watching them grow from someone who first reports aboard into someone the command relies upon is very rewarding. When my time on the boat is done they'll be just fine without me and will be able to train other sailors as part of their career."
As Huffmaster and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions to support national defense, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy has shown me what can be accomplished and allowed me to hold a sense of pride in a job well done,” Huffmaster added. "Before I joined the military I think I took for granted those who served in uniform but now it's an honor to see what a small part I play in keeping our nation safe. It gives me a sense of pride in what I do."