Wednesday, September 27, 2006

how high's the water, Harry?

seastory time once again at the corner. clicka de leenque The older I get, the better I was

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Day On The Future Of Submarines

The New London Day has a series of articles on the future of the Submarine Force in the Sunday paper -- read it today, though, because you'll have to register to see them tomorrow. The articles include a case for Force growth, an overview of current threats, a discussion of EB's role, a call for submariners to be "louder", and one saying that subs are worth the money it costs to build them. The one I found most interesting on first reading was this one discussing the future Force numbers for various construction scenarios, including this excerpt:
The Navy projects that the SSN force will drop below 48 boats, a level the Navy has identified as necessary, in 2020 and remain below that number through 2033, a period of 14 years. In 2028 and 2029, when the force is projected to bottom out at 40 boats, it will be lacking one boat out of every six that the Navy has stated are required. The bottom will occur just as the Navy's four converted Trident cruise missile submarines (SSGNs) are scheduled to leave service, so the SSGNs will not be available to compensate for the reduced number of SSNs when the force bottoms out, and in the years after that.
I'll look over the articles again when I'm more awake and see what other interesting tidbits they might have; of course, you're invited to bring up any salient points in the comments.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Military friends vs. other friends

A friend on my boat sent this to me (edited a bit to remove the egregious vulgarities):

Military friends vs other friends

OTHER FRIENDS: Never ask for food

MILITARY FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food.

OTHER FRIENDS: Call your parents "Mr. and Mrs."

MILITARY FRIENDS: Call your parents drunk as hell and

tell them about the fat girl you tried to pick up

OTHER FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what

you did was wrong.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Would be sitting next to you saying,

"Damn...we f***ed up...but that was fun...but

I'm not calling the CO this time!!!!"

OTHER FRIENDS: Cry with you.

MILITARY FRIENDS: laugh at you and tell you to "man up, Nancy boy!"

OTHER FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then

give it back.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Keep your stuff untill they PCS.

OTHER FRIENDS: know a few things about you.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct

quotes from you.

OTHER FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what

the crowd is doing.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowd's ass that

left you.

OTHER FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!"

OTHER FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they

think you've had enough.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over

the place and say, "You better drink the rest

of that, you know we don't waste...that's alcohol


OTHER FRIENDS: Will say "I can't handle Tequila


MILITARY FRIENDS: Will say "okay just one more" 2

minutes later "okay just one more".

OTHER FRIENDS: Will talk s*it to the person who talks

s*it about you.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will knock them on their ass!!

OTHER FRIENDS: Will support you when you try to quit


MILITARY FRIENDS: Will blow smoke in your face and
offer you cigarettes until you cave, then call you a wuss for relapsing.

Now come on, don't tell me this doesn't sound familiar (like "typical boat life")...


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

COBLINKS, A Work of Submarine Linking Passion

For most of us, our creative instincts and work ethics are driven by monetary compensation. There is nothing wrong with that, bills have to be paid, and a good provider must have a way to support his family. To stay on top of whatever career or business you have chosen, you must produce the best possible product. However, sometimes the best of somethings are not born of the pursuit of money and recognition, but perhaps just the pure passion for it. You find it in hobbyists such as model and RC builders, or painters and craftsman. Having a hobby such as these examples can be counter productive to those who produce for compensation. As a matter of fact some hobbies can cause the loss of a great deal of time and money. For those who have a passion for which they pursue, it is of great value to the person that has created it and sometimes also of great worth to those who observe the final creation.

Richard Standard has a Passion. He is busy setting the standard for Submarine Links on the Internet. Some of you might of served with Richard before. He served on several boats in his U.S. Navy career. The USS Flasher SSN 613, USS Kamehameha SSBN 642 Blue, and the USS Grampus SS 523. He is the webmaster of COBLINKS. It is his hobby and creation. One that benefits all of us. It is tedious work, creating and maintaining a website, but he takes it another step further, meticulously researching and linking all things submarine on the web. “Verified at least twice” he says on his website, he has recently completed TDISH (This Day in Submarine History) a supplement to COBLINKS. 10,000 links and growing, COBLINKS is a work of passion and satisfaction for Richard. For us, a depository of submarine websites and information.

COBLINKS daily hit count and visitors may not be that high. To most webmasters that is a measure of success, but for Richard’s site that measure would be a mistake. A better example would be that of owning an encyclopedia set before the Internet. How often did we use the encyclopedia? Probably not much, but it was there with all its knowledge when we needed it. A powerful tool when put to use. Like an encyclopedia, daily use is not the measure of COBLINKS value or other websites like it.

I am in awe of the creations of hobbyists and those with a passion. I marvel at a modelers attention to detail. A painters ability to put his minds eye to canvas. Certainly the creations of our fellow submariners on the web fit somewhere in that category. There is a lot of submarine websites on the internet. All done with a degree of creative passion and detail. Submarine websites come in all subjects and perspectives. There is a website for just about every boat in the last 60 years. This presents an opportunity for us to relive the past, to spark memories, and to view the journeys and accomplishments of those that have gone before us. There are also Submarine Bloggers who use their expertise to give the submarine community a voice on the web and there are Internet gathering places for submariners to share common ground.

I consider myself well traveled in submarine websites, but I still continue to run into new and exciting material. When down time presents itself, and a good book or TV will not suffice, may I suggest COBLINKS as your starting point for all things submarines on the internet. Discover what Richard and others have created for us to enjoy.

Cross-posted from

Eric Ryle

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fast Attacks on "The Path To 911"

Well, if you avoided PART I of the spectacle last night to sleep or watch football, you missed the two U.S. submarines with their Tomahawks parked in the Arabian Sea. Under orders from President Clinton, these awaited coordinates to Bin Laden's position.

A 3-second video of two submerged SSNs flashed on the screen as a narrator spoke:

"Each time their missiles spun up, the orders were cancelled by [CIA Director] Tenet, because he doubted the intelligence source and feared collateral damage."

Critics of ABC's production argue that is an inaccurate dramatization, which ABC does not deny.

So, were there really two submarines on station at the same time under Clinton's orders? Sounds like 100% overkill to me. Fact or fiction?

Groton, CT, 11 Sept 2001

To get a small view of what happened five years ago at the sub bases, feel free to check out my recollections.  They are long enough that I felt bad posting them all here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Seventy Fives- Boats SS-75 to SSN-775

As I was reading the Sub Report article on the commissioning of the USS Texas, SSN 775, I got to wondering about what all the boats were like that had 75 as part of their hull number. I couldn’t remember anything about the 675 but 575, Sea Wolf, sure came in loud and clear. A google search was initiated and it revealed that Wikipedia gave a great synopsis on most of these 8 submarines.

Going back in time, showing Comm - Decomm dates and 1st Skipper::

  1. Texas .......SSN 775 ......Sep 2006 - *** ****....CAPT John J Litherland

  2. Bluefish ...SSN 675 .....Jan 1971 - May 1996....CDR Richard A. Peterson

  3. Seawolf ..SSN 575..... Mar 1957 - Mar 1987....CDR R.B. Laning

  4. Argonaut ...SS 475 .....Jan 1945 - Dec 1968 ....LCDR John S. Schmidt

  5. Macabi .......SS 375 .....Mar 1945 - Aug 1960 ....CDR Anthony H. Dropp

  6. Runner ......SS 275 ......Jul 1942 - Jul 1943 ........CDR Frank W. Fenno

  7. Tarpon .......SS 175 .....Mar 1936 -Nov 1945 .........LT Leo L. Pace

  8. O-14 ........... SS 75 ........Oct 1918 - Jun 1924 .........LT R. E. Schuirmann
Click on the name for more…….

OK readers its time for the quiz.
  1. Which one of these had a hull number with 75 assigned twice?

  2. The only boat refitted with a different reactor plant design?

  3. How many wound up in a foreign Navy? (Texas is not foreign, just different.)

  4. The submarine's name that was derived from an almost ENG to one of these?

  5. Which ones were never scrapped?

  6. The earliest (of this list) to snorkel? ( extra credit -- The 1st boat to snorkel?)

  7. What was the relationship of FDR's wife to the sponsor of SS 175?

  8. Name (and Salute) the one on "Eternal Patrol"?

  9. What is the exponent best representing the pay differential between the Skipper's of O14 and Texas?

  10. Why is there no history listed in Wikipedia for Bluefish?
Post your answers for grading by 9/17/06. (Awards being considered)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Update:Technical failure to blame for submarine fire - commander

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - A fire on board a nuclear submarine from Russia's Northern Fleet, which killed two sailors and injured one Wednesday night, was a result of a technical failure, the navy commander said Thursday.
The fire caused an automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor on board the K-414 Daniil Moskovsky, a Victor III class nuclear-powered submarine, and was quickly extinguished.

"Most probably it was a short circuit [in the electrical compartment]," Russian Navy Commander Vladimir Masorin said.

Masorin said two sailors involved in extinguishing the fire died because they did not put on gas masks immediately. The other sailor was affected by carbon monoxide after his gas mask ran out of oxygen, but his life is out of danger already. (Click here for more.....)

Deadly Fire On Russian Victor-III

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

There are several reports out this morning about two Russian submariners being killed aboard the Victor-III boat Daniil Moskovsky (St. Daniel of Moscow), hull number K-414. Reports say the fire that killed the Sailors was in the "electrical equipment" section of the engine room. From one of the articles:
"Our initial information is that the fire broke out in a power distribution panel in compartment No.6," said a spokesman for Russia's Northern Fleet.
"The crew did everything within their power to put out the fire. Two people suffered smoke inhalation from the thick smoke. They were evacuated from the submarine but it was not possible to save their lives."
This article says that the boat has already been towed back to Vidyayevo, which strikes me as pretty fast. Some other articles say the boat was anchored when the fire occurred. I think I'll wait for all the misleading initial reports to get sorted out before I try to figure out if the Russians are lying or not about this.

Of course, Reuters automatically came out with a list of other submarine accidents to compare this one against.

Staying at PD...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tall Ship Greets Texas

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

This morning's Houston Chronicle reports that the Texas (SSN 775), our nation's newest submarine, will be commissioned in Galveston this Saturday.

The submarine was led into Galveston's harbor Monday by the tall ship Elissa, as shown above.
"Galveston and history meet again," said Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, who joined dozens of others aboard the 1877 sailing ship Elissa to rendezvous with the Texas as it came over the horizon offshore of this island city. "It was such a wonderful contrast, to see all the sails up on the Elissa and a brand new Navy submarine coming up on our stern."

The three-masted, 202-foot Elissa led the 377-foot submarine into Galveston's harbor.

USS Texas Capt. John Litherland clearly was moved at being met by the iron sailing ship in which his seafaring predecessors had braved all the dangers the sea could throw at them.

"The greeting was wonderful," Litherland said. "Elissa looked beautiful out there. I've never had a chance to sail in the company of a tall ship before, so it was a dream come true for me. She popped the sails a couple of miles in front of us and it was a glorious sight."
The Elissa, aside from being a beautiful ship, lends her name to one of my favorite beers, the India Pale Ale produced by the well-regarded, local Saint Arnold Brewing Company, who donate part of the proceeds from its sale to the preservation of the ship.

You can read more about the tall ship Elissa here and about the PCU Texas here and here.

-- CAV