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TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.

A 2014 Bayside High School graduate and Virginia Beach, Virginia, native in the U.S. Navy supports the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Grantham is a Navy aircrewman mechanic 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.

Grantham serves as a mechanic responsible for maintaining the aircraft and keeping it functioning as well as making sure the aircraft can communicate with other vessels in the fleet..

Grantham credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Virginia Beach.

“Being respectful and using manners has taught me how to get along with people,” said Grantham.

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.

“The oommand is very family oriented,” said Grantham.

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 nuclear deterrence mission.

“It means being able to keep America safe,” said Grantham.

Sailors serving from America’s heartland take pride in the vital mission they support as well as the nuclear deterrence they help provide.

“It provides an opportunity to take care of my family and to protect my fellow Americans,” said Grantham.

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