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.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Emotional" Submariners

Over at The New London Day, we find a good article that summarizes the state of things as the BRAC commission finishes up their work ahead of the 08 Sept deadline for sending the list to the President. (The commission may vote on which bases to remove from the list as early as tomorrow.) Representative Simmons, who IMHO hasn't done the best job he could have in defending the base (he's been going a little overboard with the alarmist rhetoric on occasion), called out the new VCNO for some remarks during ADM Willard's recent testimony to the commission:

"In a three-page letter to the chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, Simmons, R-2nd District, called the comment by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert F. Willard “astounding and insulting...”
“...The submarine service is made up of people with incredible technical capability, who operate in a hostile environment where cold calculation is a matter of life and death,” Simmons wrote. “To call their opinions ‘emotional' is a slap in the face.
“These are men who have risen to the top of their profession because of their ability, not their emotion, and now that they are retired they are no longer bound to follow the chain of command — they no longer have to say what the Pentagon wants them to say. They can speak honestly and openly, and that's just what they have done.”
In his comments last week, Willard urged the commission to consider the context of the statements being filed in favor of the base. He said many of the retired top Navy brass who wrote in support of keeping the base open were “linked emotionally to New London,” adding that many of them “regard it as home.”

While it's true that all submarine officers have lived in Groton at one time or another, I think that the wide spectrum of submariners defending Groton is evidence that something other than "emotionalism" is involved. While there are a few submariners who would be happy to see Groton go by the wayside, I think most would regret the loss of infrastructure and dislocation a closure would cause. (And we need to be honest: Groton in the summer is better than Kings Bay during the August heat.)

Going deep...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to agree with the August comment (don't forget the gnats), but most people I know will take Kings Bay over Groton in January or February.

8/23/2005 10:12 AM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

BH, whens the last time you were in the Kings Bay, Jacksonville area? I know for a fact, the difference between ten years ago and today is vast, in terms of local infrastructure. You can easily live in Florida (with no state income tax)and commute to K-bay. And the gas at the ST. Marys exit is the lowest from Florida to Maryland, a trip I take quite often.

8/23/2005 11:30 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Believe it or not, Kings Bay was the one submarine port I never pulled into or visited (well, I guess other than Guam), so I only know it by reputation. Spent two years in Charleston, though, so I know the general area.

8/23/2005 12:45 PM

Blogger Skippy-san said...

Actually, when you think about it Willard's comment is thoughtless....(why am I not suprised?). Imagine the hew and cry if Pensacola was on the Brac list. Then he would see a "real"emotional outcry from both active and retired aviators.

Then again aviators knew enough to build "the cradle of Naval Aviation" in a location with good golf courses.

There is nothing wrong IMHO with folks getting fired up over closing New London.

8/23/2005 4:29 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

No doubt ADM Willard's BRAC posture has been in the best interest of our country and the highest traditions of the Navy, as he sees it.

Resorting to the E-word to describe those honestly disagreeing with him, including a former POTUS, however, is a slam at all submariners' manhood. This guy needs more than Simmons' eloquent rebuttal, he needs corrective action by a superior officer. If President Carter, were only 10 years younger, I am positive he would have gladly undertaken that little task himself.

10/08/2005 3:44 AM


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