Bridge Box Follies[Crossposted at Unconsidered Trifles] A submariner grows to love and hate certain pieces of equipment on board--not true? High on my list of fond machines/systems was the EMBT system, for obvious reasons.
But I hated the bridge box. Hated it. Mind you, I think that this hatred admittedly stemmed from a feeling of vulnerability that actually points to just how important this piece of gear was--it was an absolutely lifeline between little 'ole me up on the bridge and the rest of the boat. Why then did the blessed thing never work, for crying out loud!? You'd think the Navy....ah, forget it.
Perhaps my hatred also stems from the fact that there was quite a long period where I was frequently assigned to be the first OOD to man the bridge upon surfacing and returning to Norfolk. So, me and the old bridgebox spent a lot of time together, you might say--with me often carrying that thing up through the trunk and to the bridge. I have many fond memories of me sweating my butt off while crouched in the escape trunk, in the dark, waiting to pop the hatch and man the bridge--and all this while hugging the bridgebox. Why not, you ask, have your lookout lug that thing up there? Ah, well there you get at my fear and loathing of that blessed machine--a machine that once attacked our XO! Saw it with my own eyes while standing in Control. Out of nowhere that thing fell from the bridge trunk right on top of his head. Leapt right out of an unqualified JO's grasp, it did! No, I wanted to carry that thing up myself so that as soon as we established "No close contacts!" I could rig it and be in business while my lookout fiddled with all the clamshells and the windshield.
...oh, don't get me started on that %#@*^& windshield!!!!!!
Anyway, all of this is prelude to my point or rather question:
Would somebody take a look at this pic of the USS Key West (SSN 722) and tell me what that box is at the CO's and OOD's feet? Is it the bridge box--that doesn't quite look right to me, but if not, what is it? And (my real question) what the hell is it doing up there like that? UNCLAS responses only, of course.
Educate an old submariner who's boat knowledge is being whittled away by grad school and the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Thanks. (Story and Pic courtesy of The Sub Report)