TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – A 2012 Crandall High School graduate and Crandall, Texas, native in the U.S. Navy supports the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Misty Anne Hitt is a Navy culinary specialist serving with Strategic Communications Wing One, a versatile command capable of consisting of three Navy squadrons and a Wing staff that employs over 1,700 active-duty sailors and 100 contractors to provide maintenance, security, operations, administration, training, and logistic support for the E-6B Mercury aircraft fleet.

Hitt is in charge of the galley and food preparation for the command.

Hitt credits her success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Crandall.

“Being from a small town I learned that whenever you need help, don't be afraid to ask,” said Hitt. “If you go out of your way for somebody else it usually brightens their day.”

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.

“It’s a very small base community and everyone seems to know everybody,” said Hitt.

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.

“I'm taking care of the sailors in my command who are protecting America day in and day out,” said Hitt.

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

“It is important to me to know that we are helping keep America safe.,” said Hitt.