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Fort Myers native public affairs officer in U.S. Navy’s ‘silent service’

October 20, 2017
By Lt. Eileen Suarez (Navy Office of Community Outreach) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

SANTA RITA, Guam - A 2006 Cypress Lake High School graduate and Fort Myers native is serving in the U.S. Navy's silent service submarine community on the island of Guam as part of the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron 15.

Lt. Lauren Spaziano is a public affairs officer serving aboard U.S. Naval Base Guam, supporting Virginia and Los Angeles class fast-attack submarines.

As a Navy public affairs officer, Spaziano ensures that the great things that the submarines are doing in Guam is highlighted in the media. She also builds upon relationships between the Navy and the people of Guam through community relations events.

Article Photos

Fort Myers native and Cypress Lake graduate Lt. Lauren Spaziano.

"My family, friends and the staff from my high school taught me to always put my best foot forward and to do my best in everything I do," said Spaziano. "My dad saw the advantages of being in the military and encouraged me to consider the Naval Academy and the naval service as a career. I have been in for seven years and it has been one of the best decisions of my life."

The Los Angeles-class submarines measure 360 feet long and weigh approximately 6,900 tons while the Virginia-class measures 377 feet long and weighs approximately 7,800 tons. These nuclear-powered propulsion system helps push the submarines through the water at nearly 30 mph.

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; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

"Lt. Spaziano, along with the rest of my staff, does an outstanding job ensuring our homeported units and all submarines operating forward in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility are prepared to answer the nation's call whenever necessary," said Capt. David Schappert, commander, Submarine Squadron 15. "We are first responders out here at the tip of the spear; and our Sailors are the best in the fleet."

"Everything we do in the public affairs shop we do it to the best of our ability. It is important to portray the Navy in a positive light and highlighting what the submarines do," said Spaziano. "Many people do not know where Guam is and that we have a Navy base here. The things that our Sailors do here is in incredible and I always take advantage to showcase their work."

According to Navy officials, submariners are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical, and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board. Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the sub works and how to respond in emergencies to become "qualified in submarines" and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

This is especially true for Sailors assigned to Submarine Squadron 15 because Guam Sailors are located at our nation's most strategically important forward-deployed submarine base, and the missions they conduct are at the tip of the spear of our forward readiness. These Sailors are the forward deployed, first line of defense in the Pacific.

"Most of my accomplishments are centered around the success of my Sailors," said Spaziano. "I am always proud to see the development throughout their careers and provide mentorship whenever I can."

Although it is difficult for most people to imagine living on a submarine, challenging submarine living conditions actually build strong fellowship among the crew. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.

"Being a division officer for a ship was one of the most rewarding things I got to do in the Navy because I got to directly impact Sailors and make a difference in their careers and in their lives," added Spaziano. "The Navy has taught me a lot about myself and has developed me into a great and confident leader."



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