Thursday, June 23, 2005

testing submarine systems pierside

i remember when we were at mare island in the 70's, they used to test the boomer missile systems by firing a cement filled barrel stuck inside a couple of tires. BOOM, and the damned thing would fly for what seemed hundreds of feet. it was always something to see, and the piers were always lined with yardbirds out watching the testing. i wonder what they use for the new T-hulls. i can just see it now, a big ohio class boat launching garbage cans into the middle of the drink, greenpeace protesters out in their dinghies "trying to stop the madness", complaining the noise is doing irreparable harm to the scarce and fragile seagulls flying in the area. gag.

another thing i remember them doing, because you couldn't help but notice it, was they would take a boat's sonar active during test phase. along side the pier. PING. you could feel it through the hull even if you were at the other end of the shipyard. i know they won't let the navy test like that any more. hell, they can barely test at sea without causing a furor. what the hell are we supposed to do? ask the bad guys to bang a hammer against their hull in a steady and unique rhythm so we don't have to fire up the "harmful" sonar to find their ass?

anyone else stationed at mare island during the 70's and very early 80's? i had a snake ranch on the side of the hill facing the island across the channel. mare island was home to a bunch of combat systems schools, and had a huge rotating array search and attack radar up on the hill behind schools command. they'd fire that sucker up, and you could time the sweep by how often a minute your radio or television went bzzzzzt. i recorded hours and hours of music and live radio from KMEL "the Live 105" fm radio station to listen to out at sea, and like as not, the tape would play fine for a bit then BZZZZZZZZT and back to playing. it was great, because it reminded me of home.


At 7:26 AM, Blogger Kelly 69-2 said...

I was at MINSY in '69 at nuke school and at crypto school in '85. The place was like a ghost town in '85 compared to '69.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Vigilis said...

bothenook, I "participated" in many pierside cruises on your boat, occupying many weekends. We had a special name for these time-consuming evolutions that tore us away from typical male pursuits. Want to acquaint your readers with that term?


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