By CECA Ginger Knapp, NMCB 4
NMCB 4 Seabees pose for a photo following a tour of the USS San Francisco (SSN 711) when it came into port on board United States Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia. NMCB 4 is deployed to the Pacific area of responsibility in support of humanitarian assistance operations and to maintain relationships with regional governments through construction projects. Photo by CECA Ginger Knapp
After 77 days under the ocean’s surface, the USS San Francisco (SSN 711) came up for some fresh air and much-needed replenishments, Oct. 3, pulling into the port in the Lagoon of Diego Garcia for a brief stay before continuing on its mission around the globe.
“Dirt Sailors,” so-called due to their majority of time working construction projects on land, the Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4’s Detail Diego Garcia were eager to tour this Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine.
“The limited amount of space was remarkable,” said Builder 3rd Class Meagan Fulford, NMCB 4. “Every piece of equipment was so jam-packed and perfectly fit into its final location like a puzzle piece.”
Completely self-sufficient in every aspect, the USS San Francisco even creates its own oxygen while underway. Each member of the crew must prove to be an expert in firefighting and first aid while also maintaining efficiency in a specific job onboard the submarine. Torpedoman 2nd Class Jeremiah Hill, a former builder with NMCB 4, provided a tour that was second to none. Due to his past work as a Seabee, Hill was able to put into perspective the differences in lifestyles and careers between a Seabee in a Construction Battalion and Sailor onboard a submarine.
“It was truly a unique experience to step into the life of submariner, even if only for a few moments,” said Builder 1st Class Michael Munninger, NMCB 4. “The life they live is very difficult, and the sacrifices they have to make truly lead one to be thankful for the life they have.”
“It was great to see my old shipmates,” said Hill. “I [am] proud to show them all the new things I’ve learned,”
Following deployment, the USS San Francisco will return to her current home port of Naval Base Point Loma, Calif.