SANTA RITA, Guam - A 2007 Fernley High School graduate and Fernley 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 2nd Class Sherilyn Shafer serves in Guam as part of the forward deployed naval force in the Pacific.
She is a calibration tech on the ship responsible for making sure the tools people use are working properly.
“The best part about my job is the chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world,” said Shafer.
“Guam sailors are located at our nation’s most strategically important 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 constantly 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 makes 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 enables the Submarine Force to excel in the undersea domain.”
“The best thing about serving on this ship is the unique environment that we are in having two different crews,” said Shafer.
The integrated crew of wailors and civilian mariners build a strong fellowship while working alongside each other, Shafer explained. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“Serving in the Navy has not only helped me lay a foundation for my future, but it provides safety and security for my family today,” Shafer added.