Lifestyle

Published on May 28th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Columbia, S.C. native serves aboard USS North Carolina

Pictured Petty Officer 3rd Class William Shiver

By MC1 James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – A 2007 Vlytherwood High School graduate and Columbia, S.C. native is part of a select crew, protecting and defending America aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarine USS North Carolina.

Petty Officer 3rd Class William Shiver is a sonar technician aboard North Carolina, one of the Virginia-class submarines based at the Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

“I love that I am trusted with responsibilities that most people my age wouldn’t dream of,” said Shiver.

North Carolina, commissioned in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2008, is longer than a football field at 377 feet and can sail under the waves at more than 30 mph.

North Carolina, like all attack submarines in the Navy’s fleet, can carry out an array of missions on the world’s oceans in defense of America.

“The North Carolina can deploy to anywhere in the world,” explained Cmdr. Gary Montalvo, commanding officer of North Carolina. “They can execute a multitude of missions from intelligence gathering, surveillance, tracking and hunting enemy submarines, and can even launch cruise missile to engage inland targets hundreds of miles away.”

Because of the demanding nature of service aboard submarines, sailors like Shiver are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation that can last several months. The crews have to be highly motivated, and adapt quickly to changing conditions.

“I am responsible for the safety of the ship. We don’t have windows so I have to help guide the boat and prevent collisions,” said Shiver.

“The training process to earn the right to wear the gold and silver dolphins, and join the team, requires highly intelligent individuals who are driven and motivated,” said Montalvo. “Each crew member must develop an intimate working knowledge of each system onboard the submarine.”

The training is demanding, as the crew needs to be ready to respond to any kind of situation that may arise while at sea and endure long periods of time submerged deep below the surface of the ocean.

“We rely heavily on every one of our shipmates to operate our equipment correctly and save the man next to him in the event of a casualty,” said Montavlo. “The Tarheel Boat, the nickname for the North Carolina, is a formidable asset in the defense of our great nation.”

The rigorous nature of submarine service is challenging, but Shiver enjoys it and believes it makes the crew tighter.

“Through the Navy I have made friendships that have developed and that will last a lifetime,” said Shiver. “I enjoy the fact that I am an integral part of driving the ship.”

Being an attack submarine sailor has meant spending a lot of time away from his friends and family, but Shiver believes in the work he is doing.

“It is hard work getting the boat ready for sea, so when we are out there doing our job it is very rewarding,” said Shiver.

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