Friday, June 29, 2007

Passing Of A True Hero -- Gene Fluckey

I just received an E-mail from one of Admiral Gene Fluckey's grandchildren, passing on a message from one of RADM Fluckey's shipmates aboard USS Barb (SS 220):

Dear Barb Shipmates and Friends

It is my very sad duty to advise that our beloved skipper, Admiral
Eugene B. Fluckey, went on Eternal Patrol at 11:45PM EDT 28 June 2007.
He was in the Hospice Unit at Anne Arundel Hospital, Annapolis MD.
He will be cremated and inurned in the Columbarium at the Naval Academy.
A service will be held at the Naval Academy Chapel with inurnment
following, at a later date,estimated at least four weeks.
All will be advised when arrangements are complete.

He is at Peace.
Here's what I wrote about him last year, when it was clear his health was starting to fail. I haven't seen anything in the news to confirm this yet (other than this post from Rontini, which is pretty good confirmation), but the nature of the E-mail (and the fact that the writer of said E-mail is listed in Thunder Below as one of Admiral Fluckey's shipmates) convinced me that I should share this sad yet ultimately uplifting news with Gene's submarine brothers. I know in my heart that he truly is now at peace. Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've been quiet a while...

...and it's not because I'm rigged for silent running. I'm moving and starting a new job soon. I'll still be 'round on the blogosphere (more when I get settled in out in New Mexico), but for now I've been busy as a flashlight-wielding Chief during field day (well, probably busier :)

But don't take my absence as, well, disappearance. As the current governor of California once said "I'll be back..."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul Inactivated

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) was inactivated today in a ceremony in Norfolk. Eleven Twelve of the boat's 12 13 COs were there:

It's always a bittersweet moment when a boat ends her active service. For those of us, like me, who know that ships have "souls" (made up of all the blood, sweat, and tears of the men who have served on her) it's nice to know that a boat that has served honorably and well can get some well-deserved rest.

Update 2156 24 June: Corrected to update the number of COs present; I had fallen for the classic blunder of believing the Navy NewsStand text that said 11 of 12 former COs were there, and assumed those were in addition to the current one.

Also, the MSP Family Support Group has a photo website that includes pictures the families took of the inactivation ceremony; here's one of them:

The other family photos of the inactivation ceremony are here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"What Happens On EastPac Is Supposed To Stay On EastPac!"

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Based on this story in Navy Times, I imagine that's what a Taiwanese Vice Admiral (and former commander of their Sub Force) is saying today after one of his liberty excursions made the paper back home:

Vice Admiral Shen Po-chih, deputy commander of the navy, denied yesterday he did anything wrong while he was on a visit to Hawaii in 2002.
In a statement, the Navy Command said Admiral Shen, charged with visiting a strip-tease show instead of the USS Santa Fe, does not mind being investigated.
The Liberty Times published an expose yesterday, quoting a retired navy commander as testifying Shen, the then deputy fleet commander, refused to visit the U.S. nuclear submarine in Hawaii in order just to watch the strip-tease show.
The retiree was with Admiral Shen on Hawaii from December 17 through 22...
...According to the Liberty Times, six naval officers, including Shen, were invited to visit the U.S. Pacific Fleet after President George W. Bush approved in 2001 a major arms sale to Taiwan in 2001.
Lee said the navy has taken a serious note toward the case. But he added it is necessary to find out whether the strip-tease show was "an ordinary floor show, which is quite normal in the West or anything erotic."
Midwatch Cowboy has more. I can just imagine the staff guy who was in charge of making sure the visiting dignitaries kept to their schedule calling the CO of the Santa Fe: "Uh, Captain, the Taiwanese aren't going to be coming down to the boat today -- they got sidetracked."

While I don't know if this really happened or not, and I surely don't want to condone Taiwanese Admirals wasting their TAD money on morally questionable activities when they're on the government dime -- don't you secretly feel kinda proud that there's a submariner out there who still knows how to put the "oo" in "Boondoggle"?