Crew member of the U.S.S. Indiana, a Virginia-class fast attack nuclear powered submarine, (from left) Lt.J.G. Jonathan Sessions, Lt. Lucas Stone, Information Technician Second Class Schyler Hurley, Torpedo Specialist Christian Londono and Culinary Specialist Alonso Galdamez spoke to a group of students at Noblesville High School Thursday.
Or at least five of its servicemen have as crewmen of the U.S.S. Indiana, a Virginia-class fast-attack nuclear powered submarine, came to speak to students Thursday.
Lt. J.G. Jonathan Sessions, Lt. Lucas Stone, Information Technician Second Class Schyler Hurley, Torpedo Specialist Christian Londono and Culinary Specialist Alonso Galdamez visited the high school as part of Navy Week.
Navy week, one of the Navy's signature outreach programs, was created to educate Americans about Naval service, particularly those cities and citizens that might not see the Navy at work frequently.
Indianapolis is one of fifteen cities in the U.S. chosen to host Navy week this year.
The submariners told students about submarines and naval service, shared anecdotes about their lives on submarines, and focused on the role that science, technology, engineering and mathematics play in their careers.
The group has been using Navy Week to explore indiana and learn more about their ship's namesake.
"Our mission this week is to find out what it means to be a Hoosier," Stone said. "We don't want to just represent America, we want to represent our namesake, the state of Indiana."
The Indiana is still undergoing testing and is expected to hit the ocean in 2018 for its commissioning. The commissioning will include a three-day sea trial where the sub is packed with crew members and experts and taken out for its first official test run, a "dress rehearsal" of sorts before the ship is allowed to go live.
The U.S.S. Indiana is more than 300 feet long and 30 feet wide, and it's made up of three different floors. But don't let the massive size fool you, with 115-140 people and tons of equipment and technology, these servicemen are undoubtedly living in cramped quarters.
"The size is either going to bother you a lot or you get used to it when you get there," said Stone. "The navy screens people really well to make sure you can take it. No one with claustrophobia or anything like that."
Although the amount of time each submarine stays underwater varies, a typical rotation is 60 days underwater. Though Galdamez has gone up to 90.
For security reasons, the group couldn't give specifics on many parts of their jobs. Logistical questions about the subs, the places they travel and the work they do was all off-limits. Though Stone did give a small tidbit about the submariner's duties.
"Anywhere you hear there is tension on the world -- we're there," he said. "We go where the need is."
To tie the session to STEM, the group spoke of the technical skills required for submariner work. Engineering and technological expertise, along with plain old resourcefulness is crucial when you're living in a pressurized tube, powered by nuclear energy, more than 500 feet below sea level.
"The submarine force has to be smarter, they have to be the most resourceful, have the best training," said Stone. "Submarines are the ultimate team sport. We don't have the space for extra people. Everyone has to know how to do their jobs, how to do others jobs and how to take care of the ship. Just like on a football team, if ten people move and one person stands there you lose."
Noblesville resident can catch more Navy Week events at the Indiana state fair this weekend, where servicemen will be demonstrating their diving skills and performing in a Navy Rock Band.