SANTA RITA, Guam — A 2012 Middle College at N.C. A&T graduate and McLeansville 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 Donnie Totten is a personnel specialist aboard the Guam-based submarine tender, one of only two such ships in the U.S. Navy. The Frank Cable and its crew provides maintenance and resupply capabilities both in port and at sea.
A Navy personnel specialist is responsible for working in human resources, administrative work and processing paperwork.
Totten credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in McLeansville.
“I was taught to appreciate everything no matter how small, big, cheap or expensive,” said Totten.
Guam is also 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 about 23,493 tons.
“I’m a part of a great team here in Guam,” Totten said.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Totten is most proud of being able to travel the world.
“I get to see new places and experience new cultures,” said Totten. “I’ve served in Italy and traveled around Europe. I’ve enjoyed traveling Asia while I’ve been in Guam.”
Totten and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“Serving to me means setting an example for my siblings and protecting them,” added Totten.