SANTA RITA, Guam – A 2014 Lake Marion High School graduate and Vance native is providing a critical maintenance capability to the U.S. Navy’s submarine force in the Pacific as part of a hybrid crew of sailors and civilian mariners working aboard the expeditionary submarine tender, USS Frank Cable.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Shaquan Cayo is an interior communications electrician aboard the Guam-based submarine tender, one of only two such ships in the U.S. Navy. The Frank Cable and its crew provide maintenance and resupply capabilities both in port and at sea.
A Navy interior communications electrician is responsible for interior communication on a ship, such as phones, audio-visual lines, indicators and alarms.
“I like the people I work with," Cayo said.
Cayo credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Vance.
“I was taught to give respect to get respect and you will go far,” Cayo said.
Guam is home to four Los Angeles-class attack submarines, Frank Cable’s primary clients, but the ship can also provide repair and logistic services to other Navy ships like cruisers and destroyers. The submarine tenders provide maintenance, temporary berthing services and logistical support to submarines and surface ships in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
With a crew of more than 600, Frank Cable is 649 feet long and weighs approximately 23,493 tons.
According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.
The integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners builds a strong fellowship while working alongside each other. The crews are highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“I like being here because there is good food on the boat, the morale is high and the togetherness of everyone is amazing,” Cayo said.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Cayo is most proud of being advanced to petty officer third class via the meritorious advancement program (MAP).
“There are things I thought I would never do,” Cayo said. “I thought I would be stuck in one spot but here I am, and I am proud of that.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Cayo and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the military means that I am able to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves,” Cayo said.