Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Palin
From the US Navy:
North Brookfield native serves aboard USS Mississippi
By Mass Communications Specialist James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – Richard Palin, a North Brookfield native, is part of a select crew, protecting and defending America aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Mississippi.
Petty Officer 1st Class Palin is an electricians mate aboard Mississippi, one of the Virginia-class submarines based at the Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
“I like that I have a great crew that get along and I enjoy mentoring,” said Palin.
Mississippi, commissioned in Pascagoula, Mississippi in 2012, is longer than a football field at 377 feet and can sail under the waves at more than 30 mph.
Mississippi, 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 Navy’s attack submarines are at the forefront of the nation’s warfighting capabilities,” said Cmdr. Tory Swanson, commanding officer, USS Mississippi. “Our primary missions include hunting enemy submarines and surface ships, launching cruise missiles at enemy targets far inland, and covertly delivering special operations forces to the fight.”
Because of the demanding nature of service aboard submarines, sailors like Palin 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 control and generation of electricity for the ship. I repair the majority of electrical components on the ship,” said Palin.
In peacetime, our stealth allows us to observe the activities of potential adversaries,” said Swanson. “Nuclear power and the ability to make our own water and oxygen give our submarines unmatched endurance, allowing us to deploy anywhere in the world’s oceans, unseen, and remain there as long as necessary.
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.
“While Mississippi has some of the most advanced technology in the world, submarining remains a people business at the heart,” said Swanson. “Well-trained, well-disciplined professional Sailors are what bring the ship to life. When we go to sea, each of us entrusts our lives to the actions of every other crewmember. This requires an extraordinary amount of trust in each other. Those who wear the gold and silver dolphins signifying ‘qualified in submarines’ have demonstrated that they embody these high standards of personal integrity, accountability and responsibility. Working with people like this is why I became a submariner in the first place.”
The rigorous nature of submarine service is challenging, but Palin enjoys it and believes it makes the crew tighter.
“The Navy gives me the opportunity to provide for my self and my family as well as college for my kids,” said Palin. “I like that I get to see various parts of the world and train future sailors.”
Being an attack submarine sailor has meant spending a lot of time away from his friends and family, but Palin believes in the work he is doing.
“I enjoy the fact that we are able to go out and support the Navy’s missions for our country,” said Palin.
“Why Being There Matters”
On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.
Thank you very much for your support of the men and women in U.S. Navy, deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.