Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I've been watching the Connecticut presentation to the BRAC commissioners this morning on C-SPAN2 -- there's about a half hour left of their testimony. It looks like they started with a lot of emotional appeals, went into a commercial for Electric Boat by EB President John Casey (who I like a lot, but didn't look too effective in this case) and then brought in retired Captain John Marcowitz -- he's not the most dynamic speaker, but he was able to provide the "nuts and bolts" numbers that the commissioners will be able to use to possibly overturn the recommendation to close SUBASE.
At the "climax" of his presentation, he pointed out how Norfolk, Kings Bay, and Norfolk were "protected" by the DoD on the East Coast, and all unprotected bases ended up on the closure list. He showed that by adding in the points that SUBASE should have gotten in the scoring matrix, Groton actually had a higher military value score than Kings Bay. Overall, he at least raised a question in the commissioner's minds about whether DoD "designed the scorecard" to make the data justify their pre-determined decision to close Groton. Capt. Marcowitz made one small mistake, saying "all submariners" come through Groton for training. This is a fairly common misconception, but in fact enlisted nukes don't go through Sub School prior to their initial boat assignment; therefore, it's actually possible for an enlisted nuke to complete a whole career without ever going to SUBASE NLON. Doesn't happen too much, but it's possible.

Staying at PD...

Update 1006 06 July: I take back what I said about Capt. Marcowitz not being dynamic; while his scripted presentation wasn't the most exciting, he was very good speaking extemporaneously in response to questions from the commissioners. It was weird, also, seeing retired VADM Konetzni ("Big Al, the Sailor's Pal") in civilian clothes. The BRAC commission chairman, former VA Secretary Anthony Principi, asked VADM Konetzni a softball-type question about whether it was prudent, in a post-9/11 world, to consolidate our assets. This could have been in response to Capt. Marcowitz' suggestion that it would be better to move the Norfolk SSNs to Groton, but I sensed that the question was more designed to make Groton have a chance to look good. Overall, I'd say the submariners in the Connecticut delegation did a really good job, and the fact that the follow-on questions were directed mostly at them indicates that they were the ones the committee most wanted to hear from.

Update 1203 06 July: Here's a report from the Stamford Advocate about the hearing.


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