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).