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West Florence graduate, Florence native serves aboard PCU Delaware

January 16, 2019
Navy Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class James Conder

NORFOLK, Va. - Navy Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class James Conder, a West Florence High School graduate and Florence native, is currently serving aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Delaware (SSN 791) stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.

As an electronics technician, Conder is responsible for assisting in the operation and maintenance of the boat’s nuclear power plant.

“My favorite part of my job is the leadership opportunities that positively affects the lives of other sailors,” Conder said.

Conder joined the Navy to gain structure as he matured into adulthood, a task in which he has flourished.

“I enjoy staying up to date on cutting edge science, technological advancements and politics,” Conder said, while describing his interests in life. “My long-term goal is to provide an affluent and stable living situation for a happy family.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Conder’s proudest accomplishment is being selected as PCU Delaware’s Sailor of the Year for 2018.

The SOY program was established in 1972 to recognize one outstanding Sailor to represent the many superior petty officers serving Navy-wide.

Conder has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition. His grandfather served in the Army during WWII and his father, who was also a submariner, did a job very similar to what Conder does today.

The Delaware is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of special operation forces, strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare. It’s 377 feet long and 34 feet wide and weighs nearly 7,800 tons, powered by a nuclear reactor to push the boat through the water at speeds of more than 25 knots while submerged.

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities.

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