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Plainfield East Grad Serving On Nuclear-Powered Sub

PEARL HARBOR - A 2013 Plainfield East High School graduate and Chicago native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard one of the world's most advanced nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, USS Santa Fe.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joe Lewicki is a machinist's mate serving aboard the Pearl Harbor-based submarine, one of 40 Los Angeles-class submarines making it the backbone of the submarine force.

The Navy machinist's mate is responsible for operating and maintaining the submarine's non-nuclear hydraulics, air, refrigeration, atmosphere control, plumbing and diesel mechanical systems.

"It's a lot of machinery to take care of, we're constantly busy," said Lewicki. "We all make the necessary sacrifices to get the job done."

LEWICKI_160405-N-YM440-011.jpg

With a crew of 130, this submarine is 360 feet long and weighs approximately 6,900 tons. A nuclear-powered propulsion system helps push the submarine through the water at more than 25 mph.

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.

"Submarine sailors never cease to amaze me with their ability to complete complex missions in the world's most challenging environments," said Rear Adm. Fritz Roegge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Continued U.S. undersea superiority is not possible without their dedication, expertise and professionalism."

According to Navy officials, 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. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board. Regardless of their specialty, everyone also 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.

"We're a 'Battle-E' decorated sub," Lewicki said. "The best boat in the squadron. Kind of sums up the dedication and discipline the leadership has instilled here."

Challenging submarine living conditions actually build strong fellowship among the elite crew, Navy officials explained. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

"I take pride in doing my part to protect this country," Lewicki added. "That's the main motivation I have in serving."

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See also: Navy Honors Plainfield East Grad For Saving Drowning Man.

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Previously:
* Chicago Navy Commander's Continuing Promise.

* Meet Chicago Sailor Joshua Johnson.

* Meet Chicago Quartermaster Seaman Maribel Torres.

* Meet Chicago Navy Commander Chad Hennings.

* Meet Chicago Navy Seaman Desmond Cooke.

* Meet Chicago Airman Dominique Williams.

* Whitney Young Grad To Serve Aboard USS Essex.

* Proviso West Grad To Serve Aboard USS Paul Hamilton.

* Hyde Park High School Grad Serving On Nuclear-Powered Sub.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on April 21, 2016


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