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Military

By Frank Whitman

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McCool Students Visit Buffalo, City of Corpus Christi
(January 20, 2011)

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PITI, Guam (NNS - 1/18/2011) -- USS Buffalo (SSN 715) and USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) hosted about 75 eighth-grade students from Cmdr. William S. McCool Elementary/Middle School while berthed at Polaris Point on Guam Jan. 12.

The students were able to tour the Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarines and see firsthand the work areas and living spaces of the Sailors that make up the submarines' crews.
"As a teacher, my goal is to inspire them to consider different fields and careers," said Cecilio Gonzales, the McCool history teacher who had arranged the field trip. "Seeing as how we are a [Department of Defense Education Activity] school and how a lot of the students' parents are in the Navy, it would be nice if we could help them to at least consider a career in the Navy."

Cmdr. Richard Seif, commanding officer of Buffalo, said he was happy to open Buffalo to the students.
PITI, Guam (Jan. 12, 2011) -- Eighth grade students and teachers from Cmdr. William S. McCool Elementary/Middle School pose with Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) after a tour. The students visited Buffalo during a class field trip to Polaris Point, U.S. Naval Base Guam. U.S. Navy photo by Frank Whitman
PITI, Guam (Jan. 12, 2011) -- Eighth grade students and teachers from Cmdr. William S. McCool Elementary/Middle School pose with Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) after a tour. The students visited Buffalo during a class field trip to Polaris Point, U.S. Naval Base Guam. U.S. Navy photo by Frank Whitman
"The way I look at it, I've got almost 80 future submariners here," said Seif. "It's my great honor to show these future submariners what Buffalo's all about. The crew's also happy to have them here and show them what they do."

Although the students were treated to freshly, baked chocolate chip cookies in the submarine's galley, they were most interested in the submarine's operational areas.

"I like the torpedo room," said Ethan Russ, a McCool student. "That's an essential part of the role that the submarines have in the Navy."

Ethan and his twin brother, Aaron Russ, had been on submarines before. They agreed that the field trip was also a good opportunity for their classmates. Aaron said that he thought his classmates would be most interested in "either the torpedo room or the control room, because that's where the action is."

The tour was the first time that Stephanie Vitkovitsky had been on a submarine.

"I really liked the scope," said Vitkovitsky. "I didn't expect to be able to move and adjust it so easily."

It was also the first submarine visit for Jenna Suchyta.

"The torpedo room was cool," said Suchyta. "I didn't expect it to be so big. In the movies, they're always so much smaller."

To make the tours manageable, the class was broken into groups of six or seven and assigned to a crew member who acted as a tour guide.

"It's fun to show them exactly what we do," said Torpedoman 1st Class (SS) Douglas Martin, with Buffalo and one of the day's tour guides. "We want them to know that we're just guys doing a job."
By Frank Whitman
U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Public Affairs
Copyright 2011

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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