Navy photo
The ballistic missile submarine Louisiana travels in Hood Canal, Washington, as it returns to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a strategic deterrent patrol.

Pahranagat Valley graduate Shota Ray is a member of the U.S. Navy, stationed out of Bangor, Washington.

His father, Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Ray, of Alamo, said Shota is deployed as a Petty Officer Second Class aboard the USS Louisiana, a ballistic missile submarine. The sub has two crews that trade off on missions, the blue crew and the gold crew. Shota is assigned to the gold crew and has been with the Louisiana for just over a year, serving as a nuclear electronics technician.

“He basically runs the reactor on the nuclear submarine,” Ray said.

Following graduation from Pahranagat Valley, Shota attended Brigham Young University for about 18 months, then decided to enlist in the Navy.

He was sent to power school in Charleston, South Carolina, for two years, then volunteered for the submarine corps and was assigned to the Navy Base in Bangor, Wash.

“They work a lot, eat and sleep, and not even that much sleep at times,” Ray said.

Shota initially enlisted for two years and then reenlisted for another six years. He has five and a half years remaining on his current reenlistment.

Ray noted that Shota is not certain as to whether or not to make the Navy his career. “He tells me when it’s time to reenlist, he’ll decide then.”

As a nuclear reactor electronic technician, Shota could be assigned to aircraft carriers, but has not served on one as yet.

The Louisiana is the 18th and last of the Navy’s Ohio class of nuclear-powered fleet of ballistic missile submarines. She carries Trident missiles, has been commissioned since 1997, and is the fourth Navy- commissioned ship to bear the name of the state of Louisiana. The first was built in 1812 and played a vital role in the defense of Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, in the War of 1812.