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Sunday, October 24, 2021

On a Small Island with a Big Mission, Orlando Native Supports the Navy’s “Silent Service” Half a World Away in Guam

by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Erica R. Gardner, Navy Office of Community Outreach  |  SANTA RITA, Guam – A 2008 Colonial High School graduate and Orlando, Florida, native is providing a critical maintenance capability to the U.S. Navy’s submarine force in the Pacific as part of a hybrid crew of sailors and civilian mariners working aboard the expeditionary submarine tender, USS Frank Cable.

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Chief Petty Officer Select Alberto Bruzon is a Navy counselor aboard the Guam-based submarine tender, one of only two such ships in the U.S. Navy. The Frank Cable and its crew provides maintenance and resupply capabilities both in port and at sea.A Navy counselor is responsible for interpreting Navy policy and mentoring sailors through their careers to achieve their maximum success and advising a plan specific to their career.

“Helping sailors is what I like most about my job,” said Bruzon. “There is always something new.”

Bruzon credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Orlando.

“I was taught resiliency and determination,” Bruzon said. “You have to be strong no matter what life throws at you.”

Guam is also home to four Los Angeles-class attack submarines, Frank Cable’s primary clients, but the ship can also provide repair and logistic services to other Navy ships like cruisers and destroyers. The submarine tenders provide maintenance, temporary berthing services and logistical support to submarines and surface ships in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.

With a crew of more than 600, Frank Cable is 649 feet long and weighs approximately 23,493 tons.

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According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.

The integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners builds a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.

“Dealing with the different communities of surface and submarines, divers and nukes all in one place,” Bruzon said. “This is a gold mine when it comes to career counseling.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Bruzon is most proud of being selected for chief petty officer.

“I have sacrificed a lot to get here,” Bruzon said.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Bruzon and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” said Bruzon. “It allows me to provide service to this country that has provided so much to me. I was born in Cuba, I am an immigrant, and there is no greater feeling for me to serve for this country.”

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