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La Mesa native serves at Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center

By Alvin Plexico
Navy Office of Comm unity Outreach

PANAMA CITY, Fla.- Seaman Dylan Norris, a native of La Mesa, California, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, the largest diving facility in the world.

Norris graduated from Valhalla High School in 2016.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in La Mesa.

“I learned in La Mesa to find something that makes you happy and gives you joy,” said Norris.

Norris joined the Navy five months ago.

“My father was in the Navy and my great-grandfather also served in the Navy,” said Norris. “My father was a Navy diver, so seeing how much he enjoyed what he did influenced my decision to join.”

More than 1,200 students from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard train at Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center each year. These students include candidates for submarine SCUBA, U.S. Navy deep sea divers, Seabee underwater construction divers, joint service diving officers and explosive ordnance disposal officers.

Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center houses 23 certified diver life support systems, which include two diving simulation facilities capable of pressing divers to a depth of 300 feet, an aquatics training facility with the second largest pool in the U.S., a submarine lock-out trunk that holds nearly one million gallons of water and two 133-foot Yard Diving Tenders for open ocean diving support.

“Having a cadre of students who are eager to learn and extremely hardworking, ensures the future of our Navy Diver and Explosive Ordnance Disposal communities,” said Cmdr. Troy Lawson, commanding officer, Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center.

Serving in the Navy means Norris is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy keeps maritime trade and travel safe, and allows for a quick reaction if something were to happen,” said Norris.

With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

Norris has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I’m proud that I made it to dive school,” said Norris.

As Norris and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means I get to serve my country and do what a lot of people cannot do,” said Norris.

Norris is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I’d like to thank my mom and dad, Andi Frost and Eddie Culver,” added Norris. “They made me who I am and are the reason I’m here.”

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