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Sommer serves on the USS Wyoming submarine

KINGS BAY, GA. – Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Sommer is serving in the U.S. Navy’s crew aboard one of the world’s most advanced ballistic missile submarines, the USS Wyoming.

A Huntsville native, Sommer graduated from S.R. Butler High School in 1996. He works as a machinist’s mate (auxiliary) on the submarine that is based in Kings Bay, Ga. and is one of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.

As a machinist’s mate, Sommer is the facility manager for Commander Submarine Group. His job requires him to coordinate, organize and monitor work performed in command spaces.

“I love the ability to express creativity and identify system failures that may occur,” Sommer said.

According to Navy officials, submarine sailors are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical, and each crew member must be able to operate, maintain and repair every system or piece of equipment on board.

The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as undetectable launch platforms for intercontinental ballistic missiles. The vessels are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and precise delivery of missiles. The Ohio-class design allows the submarines to operate for 15 or more years between major overhauls.

“We demand the highest standards from our sailors — both professionally and personally,” Rear Admiral Randy Crites said. Crites is Commander of Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay. “These sailors are absolutely crucial to ensuring our ships and submarines are operating at their best — always mission ready.”

Sommer enjoys the experience of diversity in the people that he meets. “I enjoy the different customs and different overviews. These types of experiences make you a better leader amongst my fellow sailors,” Sommer said.

Sommer and his fellow sailors realize that they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. “The Navy has given me the opportunity to learn and achieve a mass amount of knowledge, which I will take with me for a lifetime,” Sommer said.

The Media Outreach Department with the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tenn. produces these profiles. Rick Burke prepared material for Douglas Sommer. For more information, visit outreach.navy.mil, Facebook/Navy Outreach, Twitter @NavyOutreach or Instagram @US_Navy_Outreach.

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