A 2015 Thomas Stone High School graduate and Waldorf native in the U.S. Navy serves in support of the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Gregory Goralski is a Navy aviation machinist’s mate serving with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 3, a versatile command capable of operating E6-B Mercury aircraft under USSTRATCOM operational control providing a survivable and endurable airborne communications link to the nation’s strategic forces.
Goralski is responsible for launching the E6-B Navy aircraft assigned to the command.
Goralski credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Waldorf.
“I learned a good work ethic and to get along with everybody which has served me well in the Navy,” said Goralski.
The mission stems from the original 1961 Cold War order known as “Take Charge and Move Out!” Adapted as TACAMO and now the command’s nickname, today, the men and women of TACAMO continue to provide a survivable communication link between national decision makers and the nation’s nuclear weapons.
The commander-in-chief issues orders to members of the military who operate nuclear weapons aboard submarines, aircraft or in land-based missile silos. Sailors aboard TACAMO E-6 Mercury aircraft provide the one-of-a-kind and most-survivable communication needed for this critical mission.
“I like the camaraderie of both my superiors and my fellow sailors,” said Goralski. “I like the location because we are halfway between the city and countryside which affords me an opportunity to enjoy my time off.”
The Navy’s presence aboard an Air Force base in the middle of America may seem like an odd location given its distance from any ocean; however, the central location allows for the deployment of aircraft to both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico on a moment’s notice.
This quick response is key to the success of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear deterrence mission.
“It is the satisfaction of being able to help maintain world peace through deterrence,” said Goralski.
Sailors serving from America’s heartland take pride in the vital mission they support as well as the nuclear deterrence they help provide.
“The Navy has afforded me many opportunities I would never have had otherwise,” Goralski said. “In addition, the Navy has helped me further my education.”
The writer is a lieutenant commander with the 11th Navy Office of Community Outreach.