PCU Hawaii Returns From Alpha Trials, Brags About Successful Field Day
I know I'm tilting at windmills here, but I'm getting more and more curmudgeony about submarines flying the "clean sweep" broom after two or three day underways in which they don't sink any enemy vessels. But I digress...
PCU Hawaii (SSN 776) just returned from a successful Alpha Sea Trial yesterday:
The USS Hawaii returned to Electric Boat on Saturday afternoon with a broom on its sail, a sign that the nation's newest nuclear-powered attack submarine successfully underwent the full range of tests planned for its initial sea trials in a “clean sweep.”These being non-"first of a class" trials, they aren't quite as arduous as what Virginia and Jimmy Carter had to go through. As such, they have even less of a claim on flying the broom than those crews did -- but they did anyway:
The Hawaii, the third Virginia-class submarine, left Thursday for its first voyage in open seas. A U.S. Navy crew of 122 tested the ship's systems and capabilities in a variety of ways during the two-day trials, including submerging it for the first time and conducting high-speed runs both on the surface and submerged.
An additional 75 riders from the U.S. government, Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Newport News participated, said Cmdr. David A. Solms, commanding officer of the Hawaii, when the ship returned Saturday.
Since I knew they didn't do anything as grand as what "Mush" Morton did when he flew the broom on USS Wahoo, I figured they must have been demonstrating how clean their boat was. But, all is not lost. While I was looking at the photo more closely, I found something that brought joy to this old submariner's heart -- evidence that the Sub Force is taking one of our most effective secret weapons more seriously, to the point where they're testing them on Alpha Trials. Look about a third of the way up from the top of the windshield to the CO's hand -- do you see it? I'm pretty sure it's a B1rD! (Probably the CGU-11 mod.) Now our enemies will know for sure we mean business!
Seriously, though, this is a big milestone for the officers and crew of the Hawaii, and it sounds like they did their jobs very well. BZ!
Update 2324 05 Dec: Here's another article about the sea trials. By now, if all went as planned, Hawaii should be back out for Bravo Trials.