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.)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Now He's Just Making Stuff Up

Noted as a sphincter-brimmed writer for Soldiers For The Truth, Lt. Raymond Perry USN (Ret.) is apparently that website's "expert" on submarine matters. I've previously discussed the accuracy of his writing, and I've had a good time doing so. It's apparent that he doesn't read my comments, though, because he continues to put out ridiculous commentary that has no real basis in reality.

His most recent article starts out pretty well, mostly because he seems to have lifted it straight from Bob Hamilton's article in The New London Day on the possibility that the USS Philadelphia and M/V Yaso Aysen were involved in a "crossing" vs. "overtaking" scenario in their recent collision. [I had discussed this a few days earlier, and some of my thoughts seem to be echoed in the article as well -- good for you, Lt. Perry (Ret)!]

Later on, though, he gets into the part of the article where he has to provide his own thoughts, and here's where it starts to go downhill:

"Cdr Oxholm and his Officer of the Deck were obligated by the Submarine Force Ethos to turn away 10,000 yards earlier, regardless of the Rules of the Road. He did not and has paid the price.
"Commanding Officers have a document called Standing Orders that interpret law and regulation and give personal direction to Officer's of the Deck. It is surprising how few COs will say simple and direct things like "Don't have a collision" in Standing Orders. In my observation, the best COs always had simple things up front in their orders, like: "what ever else you are doing don't have a collision."
"Officers of the Deck solve many problems and cope with many things during their watch. Sometimes they may allow the wrong thing to be at the top of their "to do list." Such direct and simple guidance by their CO goes a long way to make sure the priorities of the Officer of the Deck are kept right."

Well, I can't say that he's an asshat here -- that would imply that his head was up his ass, and that can't be, because he had to have some room to put his hand up there so he could pull that number out of it. Submarines have to maneuver when they get within 10,000 yards of a surface contact? Where the hell did he come up with that? Now, without getting too much into the classified nature of the COs Standing Orders, I can say that they do mention a couple of range numbers, none of which are that high, and the highest number is the range at which you should inform the CO; the number for maneuvering is much lower. If a sub had to maneuver off the track of any ship that got within 10Kyds, they'd never be able to make it back into port.

Regarding the CO's Standing Orders: I've discussed them before in the context of the San Francisco grounding, and I agree that they aren't the most perfect document. I've also mentioned that they're a Sub Force-generated document, and the CO doesn't really have much latitude in personalizing them. That being said, Lt. (Ret) Perry's complaint that they don't "...say simple and direct things like 'Don't have a collision'... " is pretty much the most retarded thing I've ever read. I really don't think that the OOD (who was a Department Head) came down from the bridge after the collision and thougt, "Man, if only the CO's Standing Orders had reminded me not to have a collision, I would have been OK". I can just imagine the Standing Orders (Ret) Lt. Perry would like to see:
1) Remember to breathe
2) Gravity tends to cause objects to fall
3) Ships stay afloat because of buoyancy
4) You haven't forgotten to breathe, have you?

If I had seen a statement like "Don't have a collision" in a set of standing orders, I would have laughed my ass off, and figured that the person writing them was a skimmer or something. Wait, Perry, Lt. (Ret) was a skimmer himself... ah, I get it now.

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that (Ret) Perry, Lt., is turning into some sort of a humor writer, and I think that it's great that Soldiers For The Truth is able to provide such chuckles during a time of war. Thanks for making us laugh... it's more important now than ever.

Staying at PD...


Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

Good Lord, it is a good thing they don't make it immediately obvious how to comment on the article other than emailing the retard, errr no, author, yeah author, because I have been in a fisking type of mood lately ... in case you hadn't noticed.

10/03/2005 2:00 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Yeesh, we're ALL feeling froggy. Must be the day before we pull in...

10/03/2005 9:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the moveable stern light on the rudder?

10/04/2005 7:53 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

That actually wasn't too bad a point, but I think it really comes out in the wash. Normally on the surface, heading on a constant course, the helmsman will be jiggling the rudder back and forth maybe 10 degrees. Most the time it'll be fairly close to zero, though. A bigger issue with the stern light is the fact that the "screen" isn't very effective, so it's normally visible for much more than the standard 135 degree arc. I'd think that a diligent seaman on a merchant would pay more attention to a stern light that keeps disappearig intermittently (due to the rudder motion), so that might seem to work in a sub's favor in a collision avoidance sense. I should give Perry (Ret) Lt. mad props, though, for coming up with that possibility.

10/04/2005 8:01 AM

Blogger Mark Tempest said...

From Lt (ret) Perry's comments, I guess the topic of collision avoidance wasn't part of his submarine OOD underway training?

I know we "target" types are slow, but we generally tried to convince our OODs in training of the wisdom of the naval saying that "a collision at sea can ruin your whole day" and thus could leave it out of standing and/or night orders. You know, it was sorta "assumed." Of course, people who need to be reminded daily to avoid collisions probably should not be driving ships or boats for a living.

Perhaps LT (ret) Perry belonged to a different US Navy. Maybe one in which his watch standing "checklist" had as item #1: "Avoid collision." Probably gave him a good feeling to check that off after each watch. Just like "Avoid running aground" and "Avoid unintentional sinking" and "Avoid aircraft crashes" and...

10/04/2005 12:07 PM

Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

Whoa there CAPT, don't pin us with LT(ret) Perry. He was a skimmer! ;-)

10/04/2005 3:51 PM

Blogger CDR Salamander said...

Best order I ever received from a Commodore as he was heading back after a quick visit and hello; "Don't f^ck it up."

To this day, that was one of the best, most clear orders I have ever received. That guy is now a RADM, and a lot of people do not like him because he is a hard-ass who doesn't suffer fools and is very demanding; but I defend that man tooth and nail. Never got in my business unless it needed it.

Oh, next time you go after your buddy there, give us a "Standby DUSBIN" or something.....

10/05/2005 11:56 AM


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