Petty Officer 2nd Class Kirk Beems, an electronics technician from Loxahatchee, is serving aboard the USS Maine (SSBN 741) Blue Crew in the U.S. Navy protecting and defending America on the world’s oceans aboard one of the world’s most advanced submarines. The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for intercontinental ballistic missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles. The Ohio-class design allows the submarines to operate for 15 or more years between major overhauls. On average, the submarines spend 77 days at sea followed by 35 days in port for maintenance.