Let's Talk About NAUs
Whenever I want to talk about something where I can't remember if the concept is classified, I Google the term and see what comes up. If it shows up, in context, on a couple of .mil sites, I figure I'm good to go, at least as far as generalities are concerned. Sometimes, though, I hit a grey area.
One of those areas has been NAUs. When I typed in what the term stood for, I only got one .mil hit, and it didn't really say anthing about it. As a result, I've been unable to discuss the concept during threads with skimmers that really could have used it.
That's why I'm happy to have read CDR Scott Waddle's autobiography, "The Right Thing". You may remember that CDR Waddle was the CO on USS Greeneville (SSN 772) when she collided with the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru. Long-time readers may note that I've never been that supportive of CDR Waddle. Today, though, I'm happy that he wrote his book, which was vetted by the Navy for any classified material. Here's what he says on p. 86 of the hardcover version, discussing his boat's participation in an October 1999 exercise:
The exercises were part of the Stennis group's preparations for deployment, so the Greeneville carried a special "noise augmentation unit" to simulate the noises typically created by enemy diesel submarines plying the Arabian Gulf".There are the words -- a "Noise Augmentation Unit". On can infer from that statement that submarines apparently carry them for exercises, and they make more noise than the submarines do. So, whenever some skimmer says something like "we always kick the submarine's butt in exercises" here's the reason -- our submarines are putting out a lot more noise than we normally do -- it's the only way exercises would have any training value for the ASW forces. If we didn't, the only contact you'd get is a green flare. (By the way, CDR Waddle was correct in saying the Greeneville "carried" the NAU, because it actually wasn't operating. I was on the Stennis as the Battle Group Sub Ops guy, and we kept telling him that his NAU wasn't working, but Waddle wouldn't believe it. We eventually just stopped playing with the Greeneville, because it was a waste of time.)