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Sandy Hook Sailor Serves In Operation Enduring Freedom



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Sandy Hook Sailor Serves In Operation Enduring Freedom

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. — In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, sailors like Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher T. Perry are supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on board submarines.

PO Perry, the 24-year-old son of Richard Perry of Sandy Hook, is a machinist’s mate serving on the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770), which is home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Equipped with technically advanced systems, the 362-foot, 6,900-ton Tucson can travel at speeds in excess of 25 knots to support a battle group, operate independently, protect allied ships or destroy enemy vessels and land-based targets. To achieve its combat missions, the submarine is equipped with a sophisticated combat system that incorporates MK 48 torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles.

Because it is nuclear powered, Tucson can remain submerged for long periods. Additionally, it can produce its own water and oxygen. Its endurance is limited only by how much food can be carried.

“I operate and maintain the nuclear power plant, which provides the ship with drinking water, air-conditioning, electricity, and propulsion,” said PO Perry, a 1995 graduate of Newtown High School.

In the performance of his duties, Chris Perry often spends many months away from friends, family, and his home. In addition to these demands, he has had to adapt and cope physically and mentally to submarine service.

“You have to learn to live with your shipmates and not get annoyed at their idiosyncrasies. I have made many good friends underway,” said PO Perry, a four-year Navy veteran. Deploying in the interest of US objectives, while rewarding for POPerry, is not an easy thing to do aboard a submarine. But, those who volunteer for submarine duty understand the need to deploy overseas.

“As the silent service, we are there and the opposition doesn’t even know it,” PO Perry said.

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