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.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

SSGN Program Off To Bad Start, Tradition-wise

USS Ohio (SSGN 726) just returned from sea trials after her conversion, and it doesn't look good. I'm sure the ship and crew did fine, but -- I know you won't believe this -- they flew the damn broom from the sail. For completing conversion sea trials!?! Next, I'm sure they'll ask for a MUC for putting up with so much pain and heartache in the shipyard.

I've sub-blogged before about my distaste for this practice. Flying a broom from the sail traditionally means that you've "swept the seas clean" of enemies, i.e. you sank every target you prosecuted. I'm pretty sure Ohio didn't sink any Al Qaeda freighters on her sea trials, so she didn't really earn this particular right, IMHO.

I guess you can take the boat out of the SSBN category, but you can't take the boomer out of the crew...


Blogger WillyShake said...

LOL. C'mon shipmate, it's Christmas--where's your Holiday good cheer and generous spirit?!

LOL. ...I agree; how silly of them.

12/22/2005 5:40 AM

Blogger MT1(SS) said...

As the token 'Boomer Fag' around here, I guess I should weigh in a thought or two. Yes, I agree that it's entirely rediculous to use that tradition simply for sea-trials or, on my last boat, a successful ORSE (but not for TRE, NTPI, SMI, DNSI or any other "I's"... which is another rant for another time).

I'm sure some FA guys would look at this and make remarks as to the boomer fleet's "wanting to be like daddy" and what-not, hehe. But you know what... surface ships do it, too (lower right image presents photographic verification).

We'll all probably have to accept the fact that "Clean Sweep" has lost its meaning in the post-Cold War military.

12/22/2005 6:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


"What Would Fluckey Do?"

12/22/2005 8:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an STS on a Trident in the 80's. Leaving the new construction shipyard on an un-named Ohio class we shot test torpedoes for our weapons acceptance testing. We missed every target we fired a solo shot at while submerged. Those misses were because the firing party either ignored Sonar contact information or actually steered the weapon away from the target on accident. They did manage to hit one out of two on submerged salvo shots. To make up for it - on periscope approaches, after 'hitting' the targetthe first time, they turned the weapon around for a second and even third shot until it ran out of fuel. By employing this math - they had an equal amount of 'hits' to number of torpedoes fired. Shamelessly proud of their pseudo-accomplishment through fuzzy math, the CO ordered a broom strapped to the sail on our way back into P-Can. All they could find was a push-broom - which only added to the ridiculousness. I was so ashamed I couldn't leave the boat until all the boats that had seen us return had left. I spent the rest of my sub career vaily trying to get to an attack submarine where I hear they used sonar for more than a scapegoat.

12/22/2005 9:16 AM

Anonymous rebootinit said...

On my 3 fast boats, we've used it to signify mission accomplished, and no counter-detection. For a trident coming out of conversion? Hehehe.....sorry, those boys are just gonna learn now what sea time really is....
I remember when Kamehameha came out of conversion and reported to Pearl. The look on their faces when they finally realized that there was not another crew to relieve them was fantaculous!!!
We'll see how much sea time the crews do now, I strongly suspect that their retention will be dropping shortly, LOL.

12/23/2005 1:06 AM

Blogger drunknsubmrnr said...

Is flying the broom the same thing as flying the Jolly Roger?

12/23/2005 8:44 AM

Blogger half said...

Naw, it's a Dutch thing. It signifies the deck has been scrubbed down fore & aft with Olde Dutch Anglo Cleanser

12/24/2005 5:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This tradition should be upheld, but only for successful war patrols.

The Navy should shun such practice.

12/24/2005 6:49 AM

Blogger Rob said...

We flew one on Cheyenne when we came home from our 02-03 WestPac...only because we shot T-Hawks in the Iraq invasion (and we did a "clean sweep" of the few boats to successfully empty all VLS and the torpedo room of missiles, no failures).

I figured we deserved that one. (We all had brooms on our chair backs at Sub Ball the day after we got home, too...)

But for TRE/ORSE/sea trials...plain silly, I think.

12/25/2005 1:40 AM

Anonymous MadManMoon said...

I'd agree that this is a flagrant overuse of the clean sweep symbolism. However, I disagree that it shouldn't be used for sea trials -- if a new construction submarine returns from Alpha and/or Bravo trials with all tests completed SAT, then I would think it's well-deserved. Post-overhaul or -conversion? Nah.

Just my $0.02...

1/03/2006 2:26 PM

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