Princeton Junction native serves on nuclear sub

Lt. Rory Loughran has been stationed on the USS San Juan.

Lt. Rory Loughran, a Princeton Junction native, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines, USS San Juan.

The submarine recently returned home after a deployment where they served as ambassadors during port visits to Faslane, Scotland and Rota, Spain.

“This was my second deployment,” Lt. Loughran said. “During this deployment we were successful in supporting the operational commander, and I was incredibly proud of the way our crew performed. We also participated in multilateral exercises helping with international relations.”

Loughran works as an assistant weapons officer serving aboard the Groton-based submarine. A Navy assistant weapons officer is in charge of all maintenance, administration and operation of sonar, fire control and torpedo systems. He also mentors and leads approximately 50 enlisted sailors.

Loughran graduated from Princeton University in 2013 with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“Every single person on the submarine is important, and we need everyone to perform at their peak function for the team to succeed,” Lt. Loughran said. “Growing up I learned the importance of humility. There are a lot of really smart people aboard the submarine, and we need to work together to accomplish our mission.”

Jobs are highly varied aboard the submarine. Approximately 130 sailors make up the submarine’s crew, doing everything from handling weapons to maintaining nuclear reactors.

Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

According to Navy officials, because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. Submariners are some of the most highly-trained and skilled people in the Navy. Regardless of their specialty, everyone has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

Becoming a submariner is an accomplishment in itself. Loughran said he is also proud of the submarine earning the Battle Efficiency Award in 2016, which is awarded to the best boat on the waterfront.

“I have a long tradition of service to our country in my family,” added Loughran. “My mom’s dad earned the silver star for his service during World War II. My dad’s father was a rear admiral and a diesel submariner. My father and his brothers all served in the military. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities in my life, and it’s humbling to carry on that tradition.”

Durie receives Award of Merit from Boy Scouts

Nancy Durie of West Windsor was presented with the District Award of Merit by the Mercer Area District of the Boy Scouts.

Durie has been active in scouting since 2006 when her eldest son joined Cub Scouts. She served as den leader for Pack 48 and was selected as committee chair, eventually becoming the scouting chartered organization representative for the Peace of Peace Lutheran Church in West Windsor.

As her children grew she graduated to Troop 40 in West Windsor, becoming a committee member and serving in various positions.

Outside of scouting Durie is a volunteer teacher at Prince of Peach Lutheran Church and is involved in the Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church nursery school and was a committee member of the Moms Club of West Windsor.