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.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

USS Honolulu Leaves Pearl For The Last Time

This morning, if all went according to plan, USS Honolulu (SSN 718) left Pearl Harbor for the last time. At the end of her regular WestPac, she'll return directly to Bremerton to start deactivation.

For a while after the San Francisco grounding, I heard talk that they would refuel Honolulu to keep the Sub Force's numbers up. For some reason, they decided not to -- since she was commissioned in 1985, she would nominally still have about 12 years of life left after a refuelling overhaul.

The good thing about doing a "last deployment" is that, unless the core is very close to end-of-life, you can tear around without having to worry about fuel depletion curves. Pretty much "Ahead 1/3, Ahead Flank" the whole time if you want to -- kinda the way we used to do it before we started worrying about how much it cost to refuel the boats...

Anyway, anytime I mention the Honolulu, it's a good time to bring out their famous polar bear picture:

Update 2357 17 April: Here's a picture of Honolulu during the ceremony. As a commenter mentioned, they didn't actually get underway; it turns out they won't actually be leaving on deployment until next month. (My guess is they scheduled the ceremony so Senator Inouye could be there during the Senate's Easter recess. Since Sen. Inouye has earned the Medal of Honor, the Pentagon is more than happy to change schedules for his convenience -- as well they should.)
In other news, it looks like they've finally announced that PCU Hawaii will be going to Pearl after she gets commissioned next year, as was rumored a while ago.


Blogger G-Man said...

Great "polar bear" picture. I love all ahead flank. Got to drive it that way over to Europe on a priority mission. I love the shaking, at least the "Baton Rouge" shook. Especially fun doing this as a helmsman. "All ahead flank, cavitate". 3 rings of the buzzer. At least thats the way we did it on the "Baton Rouge".

4/16/2006 6:48 AM

Blogger Subsunk said...

Man, am I old. 718 to the scrap heap? Jesus, I'm old.

I used to wake up when I was a squadron rider and think for a minute. Which ship am I on today???

If it was corkscrewing a bit at flank, I knew it was a 637. If it was smooth but lots of humming from the 400 Hz, it was a 594. And if it was roaring like a radio tuned to white noise next to my head at a flank bell, it was a 688.

I miss the Tautog corkscrew. The reunion is on Memorial Day weekend and so is my 30 yr high school reunion. I will be at both, 200 miles apart, all weekend long. And loving it.

Signed, The Taut Dog,

4/16/2006 8:35 AM

Anonymous Rusty700 said...

Don't worry all she will live on, well the front end of her anyway. The reason they are decomming her is so they can give her front end to the San Fran. San Fran did a refuel just two years ago so they figure this is more cost efficient. Rumors still flying though about whether they might change their minds. Who knows.

4/16/2006 11:27 PM

Anonymous kamster said...

Just thought I'd let you know that she didn't leave on Saturday, only had an "Aloha" ceremony. Pretty much a pre-decommissioning ceremony with all the brass in attendance. Heard the same "rumor" as rusty700, we'll wait an see. As a former crewmember from '88-'92, it was nice to go and see the front end of the boat again, can't get back to the old spaces again, shucks.

4/17/2006 9:33 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Thanks for the heads up, Kamster; I posted an update indicating same.

4/18/2006 12:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...the 718. I was new construction 719 and I think the only thing saving it, and other 688s, is VLS. Though with the new SSGN conversions their days may be numbered too! Sad...too young to go/

4/22/2006 1:19 PM

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt, the guy is completely right.

10/23/2011 3:29 PM


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