Fairborn native continues 123-year tradition


PEARL HARBOR — Submariners make up only 10 percent of the U.S. Navy’s personnel, but they play a critical role in carrying out one of the Defense Department’s most important missions: Strategic deterrence.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Zayne Pacifico, a Fairborn native, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea to help ensure Americans’ safety.

Pacifico joined the Navy four years ago and today serves as an information technician aboard USS North Carolina.

“I joined the Navy to give myself the experience I would need to go into the career field I want to be in,” said Pacifico.

Growing up in Fairborn, Pacifico attended Fairborn High School and graduated in 2019.

Skills and values similar to those found in Fairborn are similar to those required to succeed in the military.

“I grew up in a town with a lot of diversity,” said Pacifico. “It has helped me be open to experiencing and appreciating different cultures and backgrounds.”

These lessons have helped Pacifico while serving in the Navy.

Known as America’s “Apex Predators!,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically-advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN), and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

Fast-attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. The Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today. It combines stealth and payload capability to meet Combatant Commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition.

The Navy’s ballistic-missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols, and the precise delivery of missiles. The Columbia-class SSBN will be the largest, most capable, and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. — replacing the current Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN can carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.

“Our mission remains timeless — to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: Fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program, according to Navy officials. As a member of the submarine force, Pacifico is part of a rich history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in defense of America and its allies.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we are the first line of defense when it comes to maritime dominance,” said Pacifico. “Our training and technology outweigh those of any other country.”

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

Pacifico and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy is getting my ‘dolphins,’ which is my submarine warfare qualification we can earn while on deployment,” said Pacifico.

As Pacifico and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy gives me the opportunity to see the world along with defending my country,” added Pacifico.

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