Carroll grad aboard Navy’s newest submarine

GROTON, Conn. – A Carroll High School graduate e is currently serving aboard the 15th and newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine in the Navy, USS Colorado (SSN 788), which is scheduled to be commissioned March 17.

“I joined the Navy to challenge myself and do things bigger and better than what I was doing at the time,” said Machinist Mate (Auxiliary) 3rd Class Nicholas Abbott, who serves aboard the Groton, Conn., based submarine.

As a machinist mate, Abbott is responsible for running, monitoring and supporting over 20 vital systems which keep the ship “alive and moving,” such as oxygen, hydraulics and water, which is essential for the day to day operations of the vessel. Abbott is also a damage control petty officer, which means he trains other Sailors to fight casualties like fires and flooding.

“I support my boat’s mission by ensuring that if something breaks, I am there to fix it and conducting maintenance to ensure things don’t break in the future,” said Abbott. “It’s also my role to aggressively obtain a high level of knowledge in my job field to make work easier for myself and others.”

Colorado is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of special operations forces, strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

“My favorite part about what I do is the work load, level of knowledge and intense work which comes with it,” said Abbott. “In the Navy, I am encouraged to learn more and excel.”

It’s 377 feet long and 34 feet wide and weighs nearly 7,800 tons, powered by a nuclear reactor to push the boat through water at speeds of more than 25 knots while submerged.

“My proudest accomplishment is, while being a junior Sailor, qualified ‘Senior Quals’, as well as being awarded a Navy Achievement Medal.”

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities.