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.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

USS Newport News Makes Bahrain

The USS Newport News (SSN 750) made port in Bahrain after her collision with the Japanese tanker M/V Mogamigawa. The linked article confirms that the damage to the sub is confined to her bow. Word on the street is that there's less damage than might have been expected, which is good news. Of course, if the stories are correct, and the Newport News got sucked up into the tanker's screws, one might expect that the 12 hatches on top of the forward MBTs may have taken some damage, and working around their payload may increase the complexity of the repair job.

In response to the recent accidents onboard the Newport News and USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Submarine Force commanders have ordered a week long force-wide Safety Stand Down (some background and additional information are here). Vigilis has general thoughts on the purposes of such actions here, and PigBoatSailor makes some really good points about this particular stand down at our group submarine blog Ultraquiet No More. (I tend to agree that it seems to be a reflexive CYA reaction at this point, but maybe they'll make it really worthwhile.)

Update 1031 12 Jan: It turns out the "Safety Stand Down" is just designed as an admin drill. From this Navy Times article:
All submarine skippers worldwide — including those on ballistic missile submarines — will spend the next week conducting thorough reviews of past operations and future plans, according to a Jan. 11 news release from Naval Submarine Forces. They've also been ordered to "evaluate areas of risk and risk management."
The reviews will be sent up the chain of command, and submarine squadron and group commanders will review the data "to improve routine efficiency."
The Submarine Force will also use the findings to "better prepare commanding officers with tools and techniques that foster good judgment, technical and mariner skills," according to the release.
“It’s clear that a common thread through recent problems has been errors conducting normal routine operations,” said Vice Adm. Chuck Munns, Submarine Forces commander .
Normal operations will continue until the reviews, due Jan. 19, are complete. But crews will also need to take time to conduct reviews and evaluations, according to Lt. Cmdr. Chris Loundermon, spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet Naval Submarine Force.
Emphasis mine. From the looks of the announcement, it looks like they're setting up to blame the CO's ORM Review process for the accidents on the MSP and Newport News. Basically, everyone will have to cram in a "politically correct" review into their normal work- and drill-days. Hopefully, the Force won't decide to punish any CO and crew who takes this seriously and actually does report improvements they could have made in the past.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know nothing other than what I have found on the internet about subs (boats) but I do have a Grandson, of whom I am so proud,on the Newport News during this very difficult time. All those who want to criticize should realize that it hurts those of us who have gone through a very trying week.

1/12/2007 9:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the above" wrote the following - "All those who want to criticize should realize that it hurts those of us who have gone through a very trying week"

i think that prior to correctly dealing with ones (hurt) feelings, one has to first deal with reality, facts, policy, cause-effect, etc.

per OPLAN 1019 - ... The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway separating the Arabian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea, is only about 40 miles wide, and is 34 miles wide at its narrowest point. By far the world's most important oil chokepoint, the Strait consists of 2-mile wide channels for inbound and outbound tanker traffic, as well as a 2-mile wide buffer zone ...

~ theDdoubleSstandard

1/12/2007 9:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say, Joel: is there some way you can block the above low-brow's IP address...or simply delete his posts? Being a 'tard is one thing, but he's now crossing the line of picking on submarine family members. I say blow sanitaries on him.

1/12/2007 12:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i must say that the above comment is a solution; although somewhat childish

if someone says something "disagreeable", you can respond by censorship, as was suggested, or respond with rationale counter-response

the former is the easiest

the latter would be consistent with the true Naval traditions

~ theDdoubleSstandard

1/12/2007 12:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't lecture us on Naval traditions, D.S.

The Navy stands by its families when they're doesn't kick them around like you have.

1/12/2007 1:30 PM

Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

And we censor plenty, take it from a former communications officer. Some things are better left said at a later date.

1/12/2007 1:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ATTN: pigboatsailor etal

i doubt if any reader of American history would conclude that censoring dissenting opinions is "American"

that said, i admit the First Amendment does not apply to a private weblog like the Stupid Shall be Punished

but, i hope that this highly cherised principle does

"...Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. Long ago those who wrote our First Amendment charted a different course..."

"... In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors..."

"...“Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears...”

"I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear, (or affirm), that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States ..."

i'll let someone else do the homework of referencing the above quotes, except for the following ---

"i hope that pigboatsailor et al believe that naval tradition is consistent with the Constitution"

~ theDdoubleSstandard

1/12/2007 7:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throughout my 20 years, I noticed that C.O's were extremely hesitant to tell the boss "We can't do it"

It's simply unacceptable...however, there are small windows of time when the senior brass becomes open to feedback and the lower echelon is invited to comment on the risks and difficulties they have as commanding officers.....

Hence, the real purpose of the standdown.

It's permission for the operational commanders to speak freely to the brass and upper chain of's an acknowledgement by senior brass that they want feedback and help.

In the mean time, the crews run the standdown drill and review OBA donning procedures etc etc etc

1/12/2007 9:38 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

As a general rule, I try not to delete comments unless they're completely unhelpful or obscene.

1/13/2007 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that smart-assing an obviously hurting family member is 'helpful' in your book, Joel?

Look at the top of your own blog. What does it say up there?

1/13/2007 11:57 AM

Anonymous Chief_Torpedoman said...

~ theDdoubleSstandard
"You posted that ... one has to first deal with reality.."

Well in reality, those of us who pride outselves on being professional try not to purposely stomp on hurting family of crewmembers. You could have presaged your post with some words of understanding for this proud grandfather.

Your posts seem to indicate that you want to criticize national/navy policy or the CO's decisions. Fine, that is your right, but none of us know why the NN chose to go through the SOH at that time and certainly the crew had nothing to do with the decision. Please save your criticisms for the ones who set policy, not the one's who pray for the safety their loved ones.

1/13/2007 2:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we forget: The Captain is responsbile for anything and everything.

The Greenville incident should have been near the front of everyone's Lessons Learned.

No matter what the target aspect, there was plenty of time to figure out what was going on prior to being too close as well a time to pick a slot that was comfortable in a known choke point.

A student pilot wouldn't go anywhere near the stern of a heavy jet just because of wake turbulence. Just why would a supposedly experienced seaman go anywhere close to the stern of a supertanker?

I'm sorry Captain but you are now the OIC of traffic sign maintence at Diego Garcia.

1/14/2007 5:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a spouse of the Newports News, I just want to say that unless you have ever been on a sub or driven one you have no right to blame or critize what happened. There are many factors that go into what happened that many of you have no idea and no one person is responsible for it all.

Unfortunately the CO, is ultimately incharge of all 126 mens' lives. CO Weingart is a wonderful and very respected CO aboard the Newport News and will sadly be missed.

1/30/2007 4:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to all who have posted here, I have to say that the problems that the submarine force has been having in the past 5 years, i.e. (The USS San Francisco, the Nevada, the Greenville, and now, the Newport News.) is due to the poor training standards (the "revolution in training") the Navy is trying to push on its sailors... AND mostly the immature and VERY young and very UNQUALIFIED people they have been promoting. Also, having been around submariners for 20 years and working in a training center for several, I see the so called "Navy Core Values and Standards" that are employed. "Integrity" (Honor Courage and Committment)amongst many sub-sailors is not on the high list of priorities. The submarine force is a very competetive, dog eat dog community. It's every man for himself. Though, there are a "few good men" in the bubblehead community, they are few and far between and they are the ones who should be in charge. Needless to say, I am not at all surprised or shocked about submarines running into things...i.e., "mountains", fishing boats and oil tankers and my personal favorite, fishing nets.
If you want to blame ANYONE, you should be looking to those who are in the much higher ranks who are making the decisions to train our sailors very poorly. Too much Omdi Domdi going on in the quals and not enough making people accountable in their own jobs! THAT includes CO's.

1/30/2007 10:48 AM

Anonymous bath mateUS. said...

nice posting..............


12/31/2009 3:29 AM


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