By Lt. Cmdr. Gus T. Hein, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SANTA RITA, Guam – A 2003 Richard King High School graduate and Mount Pleasant, Texas native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of an integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners working aboard the expeditionary submarine tender, USS Emory S. Land.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Wommack serves in Guam as part of a forward deployed naval force in the Pacific.
He is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and operation of the small boats on board the ship. He also leads 15 sailors as the lead petty officer of the deck division.
“I enjoy challenging sailors to be the best they can be every day they wear the uniform,” said Wommack.
“We locate Guam sailors at our nation’s most strategic forward-deployed submarine base, and the missions they conduct at the tip of the spear are incredible,” said Capt. David Schappert, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15. “They are always challenged and continually rise to meet and exceed expectations. Guam is the place to be for submariners, and we have the ‘Go Guam!’ initiative to showcase all the great things we do out here.”
With a crew of 41 officers and 650 enlisted, submarine tenders are 649 feet long and weigh approximately 23,347 tons. A steam-powered propulsion system helps push submarine tenders through the water at nearly 21 mph.
“The sailors aboard Emory S. Land continue to exceed all expectations while supporting submarines and surface ships in the 5th and 7th Fleet area of operations,” said Capt. Mark Prokopius, commanding officer of USS Emory S. Land. “Their hard work and professionalism make me proud of each and every one of them.”
Sailors aboard submarine tenders support deployed submarines as well as surface combatant ships.
“These sailors continue to impress me with the level of effort and expertise they put into successfully completing their mission Day-in and Day-out,” Rear Adm. Frederick Roegge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, said. “Their actions and dedication to service enable the Submarine Force to excel in the undersea domain.”
“We have a great crew with high morale and high tempo work schedule,” said Wommack. “Most importantly, the food is great!”
The mixed crew of sailors and civilian mariners builds an active fellowship while working alongside each other, Wommack explained. The teams are highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“I enjoy all aspects of Navy life like tradition, hard work, and travel,” Wommack added.