SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Some servicemen who often spend months at a time at sea tested their land legs on Tuesday for a special visit. They are touring the city for which their submarine is named. As Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us, one of those stops came at a school which gave the submariners a rousing welcome.
From an enthusiastic rendition of “We’ve Got the Beat” by the West Scranton High School Marching Band and Cheerleaders to a patriotic performance of “God Bless the USA” by kindergarten students, John F. Kennedy Elementary School showed appreciation to five members of the USS Scranton. USS Scranton Naval Commander Aaron Peterson said, “We’re here principally to remind the people of Scranton that they do have a submarine, a billion dollar submarine named after them.”
The nuclear-powered, class attack submarine has traveled all over the world for nearly three decades. It’s hunted down and destroyed enemy ships. The Electric City visit gives the sub’s commander and four of his crew a chance to share their recent experiences but only to an extent. CDR Peterson said, “We operated in the western Pacific and we pulled into Yokosuka, Japan which is right by Tokyo and then we pulled into Guam.” John F. Kennedy Elementary School 4th grader Joseph Banull said, “They did a lot for our country. And they served for us.”
This presentation was a whole lot more than about patriotism. It’s also about how STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — benefit the crew of the USS Scranton and can benefit the students they met. The submariners fielded questions like how deep can the sub submerge. The answer? More than 800 feet. USS Scranton Chief of Boat, Master Chief Nick Green asked the students, “What happens with pressure?” The answer is it increases the deeper the sub dives in the ocean. To demonstrate that point, CDR Peterson held a styrofoam cup that caved to half its normal size while in the deep depths of the water. 4th Grader Olivia Kaub said, “It was cool because it shows how it gets smaller and smaller.” She also learned the sound shrimp make in the ocean. “They sound like popcorn,” which CDR Peterson said can be loud and annoying.
All in all it was a fun way to fill these young heads with STEM knowledge. Master Chief Green said, “It’s going to serve you for the better later on when you’re an adult.” The visit also helps maintain a unique relationship between the men of the USS Scranton and The Electric City. CDR Peterson said, “Keep the connections between our namesake city and our ship close.”
Crew members of the USS Scranton are completing a two-day tour of The Electric City before returning to their base in San Diego.
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