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, May 18, 2006

Journalists Invade USS Florida

USS Florida (SSGN 728) just completed one of those dreaded "media underway" events that are such a pain in the ass. They left Wednesday and came back in on Thursday, taking 19 Florida reporters out to "get the word out" about the SSGN program. Using the theory that "any publicity is good publicity", hopefully the Navy gets enough out of the underway to justify the inconvenience to the crew. Let's see how they did...

First, we have a story from a reporter that tells how he prepared for the trip. Excerpt:

"I anticipate that real life aboard a modern nuclear-powered sub such as the USS Florida isn't as melodramatic as I've been led to believe. There probably aren't many rogue officers onboard who are determined to start World War III by launching missiles against Freedonia or some other flea-bite of a nation. No one really shouts "ramming speed" and charges an enemy vessel. The crew probably doesn't have to hold its collective breath to avoid detection by sonar."

Not too bad. Next, we have the first report by someone who went on the underway. It begins:

After a huge overhaul, the USS Florida is now the only submarine of its kind in the world." [emphasis mine]

One sentence, one mistake. We either have to assume that the crew (and accompanying PAOs) either didn't tell the reporters about USS Ohio (SSGN 726) or the reporter didn't understand what he was being told. Anyway, I'll track the other articles that are sure to come out to see if the rest of them reveal a complete inability to deal with facts surrounding submarines.

Staying at PD...

Update 2002 19 May: A writer from the Tallahassee Democrat has a genuinely funny account of the underway, plus a good collection of 19 pictures (including a really good one of the SCP/BCP, excerpted below).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working In OPNAV N77 when the conversions were approved, let me repeat that it was just luck that the conversion schedule ended up with FL and GA ending up on the East Coast (fuel, SIOP commitments, shipyard loading drove the decision). But great long-term PR with hometown stuff having GA and FL being homeported on the GA/FL border. But if the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) goes as originally envisioned, the boats won't be in the homeport often, though the crews will be half the time.

I'm still waiting for the report from the Tomahawk salvo test (very expensive, since Tomahawks are $300-500K each). And no, they don't have to fire all the tubes in sequence, that is like a video game and not a warfighting requirement.

5/19/2006 1:28 AM

Blogger Subsunk said...

Great story from Mark Hinson. Yeah, I know he makes some mistakes, but it was a friendly story.

And thanks for the link, Bubblehead. Now I know what happened to my DCA from USTAFISH. He is the CO of USS FLORIDA! And he sounds way more respectable than I ever did as his Engineer.

Remind me to tell you about the time Greg Ott and I stroked Main Coolant Cutout Valves into a poly bottle. ;)


5/20/2006 12:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so I'm a surface sailor, and I really don't undertand the control systems on a sub.
But, in the pic I see of the Florida, there is one guy stearing left and right, and another up and down. What I wonder is, why not one guy flying it like an airplane.
What I would also wonder, is that with accurate SINS and frequent GPS updates, why can't someone just dial in the desired depth and desired course and let the computer take care of the trim and all that is required to get there.
I actually have the same question for the surface fleet. They are manning ships like the Arleigh Burkes with something like 10 people on the bridge, not to mention CIC which is a backup to the bridge watch. With GPS, why do you need a helmsman and a engine telegraph person. Just put the sucker on auto pilot.
As an experienced sailboat racer I sadly have to admit that over the course of 30 minutes or more a GPS controlled helm is better than me or any other sailor I know. They never miss a beat. These systems also allow for track vs course steered so they can compensate for current and downwind which is much more like a powerboat can calculate velocity made good constantly.

5/20/2006 9:59 PM

Blogger half said...

You read Mark Hinson, good deal. He's a mensh and hilarious to boot. An excellent quail hunter BTW.

5/21/2006 5:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GPS would require we have masts up all the time, if you are wanting to be undetected you don't do that. Wait a second, God knows a target can't see a sub with all it's masts up anyway. Computers fail, thats why we operate the systems and they do not operate us. And no, the little trip we took will never be worth it.

5/21/2006 7:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going into the recommisioning, the words I've heard most are clean, paint and shut the fuck up and clean. EB and NNSY did a terrible job too. Alot of crap to clean up. Hope it works, we all sure as hell bought it.

5/21/2006 5:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor 728 sailor -
I was thinking more of using GPS only to check a SINS system. My older cousin was a SINS tech on the Andrew Jackson, and I suspect they have come a long way since.
My question was more about why are there so many people involved in driving a sub. I question the same for surface ships.
It seems like for all the high tech, the USN is rather slow to automate.

5/21/2006 5:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

does the word clean mean anything to you I from repaint the whole boat 100 times or s to waisting countless man hour on clean everyday just to be told keep up the good work "yeah right" we are just about there and we have a little bit more to go.... give me a break right before we picked up the media guess what was happening
more cleaning... only good thing about the florida is that her sailors will be experts on Janitorial work in the civlant....
Happy conner

5/26/2006 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ship, great crew...need I say more? subsunk, great to hear from you. Hard to believe it turned out the way it did!

5/30/2006 10:27 AM

Blogger sld said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/04/2006 11:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed those photos! But a dumb question. The last time I was on a Submarine (and it admittedly has been a while), you could not take pictures of the BCP or SCP. Duh! Depth gauges were verbotten. Yet the one photo shows another photographer taking such a pic. Is that kosher? Also there's a pic of the sonar shack showing the various monitors used. Never seen one of those before either.

Maybe since the end of the cold war we aren't that concerned about such capabilities as we were when I was in.


6/04/2006 11:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer a few questions in above posts and see if memory even works.
Yes there are two people controlling the direction of the boat. rudder and sail planes are together and the after planes ar on the other control. Alows one to control attitude and direction. The other depth.
As to why we are over-manned compared to civilian world. Because stuff happens quickly and computers really screw things up. Wouldn't want to lose a boat to a piece of silicon.

9/08/2009 3:52 PM

Blogger Leron said...

I was there. :) Probably the periscope assistant at the time.

5/26/2010 5:28 PM


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