Area seaman serving aboard new Navy sub

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, June 3, 2012

The USS Mississippi was commissioned Saturday in Pascagoula, and Mississippi native Devin Williams is one of its 145 crew members.

     Williams is a culinary specialist seaman who hails from Liberty, where he graduated from Amite High School in 2010. He joined the Navy shortly thereafter.

     “I love it. I’m enjoying my time here,” he said regarding his time in the Navy. “I like the traveling and the crew. You get to meet a lot of people.”

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     The 19-year-old said he was excited about the commissioning and he said he was ready to see his family, including his 2-year-old daughter.

     “It’s an honor,” he said. “I’m proud to be on a sub named after my home state.”

     The USS Mississippi is the fifth U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the Magnolia State. It’s also the ninth Virginia-class attack submarine to be commissioned.

     The 377-foot submarine arrived last month in Pascagoula. The submarine was christened at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., on Dec. 3, and has been through sea trials.

     Williams said he has been aboard the Mississippi for about six months, and he spends his time cooking for the crew.

     “It’s different from anything I’ve ever been on, because of how close the crew is and how [tightly spaced] it is,” he said.

     Williams plans to continue his U.S. Navy career and said he plans to attend diving school in the near future.

     “It’s something that I can do to help with my career,” he said. “It’s also fun.”

     Other Mississippians aboard the sub are Sonar Technician Submarine First Class Joshua Bordelon, from Pascagoula, and Electronics Technician First Class Chadwick Spradling, from Byhalia.

     The Associated Press contributed to this report.