Leesville native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s Silent Service

Published 10:42 am Friday, October 22, 2021

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jalen Senones serves as a machinist's mate and joined the Navy for the opportunities it provides.

A Leesville, Louisiana, native is serving aboard USS Pennsylvania, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jalen Senones serves as a machinist's mate and joined the Navy for the opportunities it provides.

“I joined the Navy to gain stability in my life at the time,” said Senones.

Senones attended Rosepine High School and graduated in 2015. Today, Senones uses skills and values similar to those found in Leesville.

“I learned how to embrace diversity,” said Senones.

These lessons have helped Senones while serving aboard USS Pennsylvania.

Known as America’s “Silent Service,” 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 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.

Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes. As a member of the submarine force, Senones is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.

Serving in the Navy means Senones is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy contributes strategic deterrence which in turn stops conflicts,” said Senones.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program, and for decades Naval Submarine Base Bangor has been home to Ohio Class ballistic-missile submarines. Beginning in 2028, the new Columbia Class ballistic-missile submarines will arrive and provide continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

Senones and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I'm most proud of graduating from the pipeline which includes nuclear power school,” said Senones.

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

“Serving in the Navy brings stability and bonds with people in my division and people in the whole boat,” added Senones. “You get close to the people you work with.”

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: Leesville native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s Silent Service