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.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Internet-Sourced Update On USS San Juan "SUBMISS" Incident

There hasn't been much official put out since the initial reports of last week's incident involving USS San Juan (SSN 751). Unofficially, though, there have been some rumors. Rontini, who normally gets pretty good intel, had this to say about the incident (from an "anonymous" source):
...San Juan was playing Red "opposition force" against the Carrier Battle group, and had launched 4 yellow flares simulating a 4-unit salvo against the carrier - carrier said it saw 3 yellows and a red. San Juan thought the resultant fuss - PDCs et. al. were just Blue's flailing around after being "had" - doesn't sound as if the boat's in trouble with DevRon 12 or SubLant...
Normally, it's easy for us submariners to just go with a "blame the skimmers" mentality, but in this case it looks like everyone might have acted in accordance with procedures and with only the best intentions. Hopefully that will count for something when it comes time for Big Navy to assign "blame".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds similar to the story I heard from my buddy at DevRon, except it was 3 separate destroyers that saw the red flare and there was only one flare. No one knows where the flare came from, maybe some drunk fisherman. Then someone said they thought they saw some strobe lights. All of these events on there own and no one would have made a second thought. I am sure that there will a few different stories about what happened. Though one thing that does make many of us feel better is that the system works. Even if it is demonstrated in such a comical fashion. Squadron deputy and Commo were on board at the time too.

3/19/2007 6:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some food for thought. Very often carrier flight ops look like flares (red when they are not in afterburner and yellow when they are) guess what-planes have strobe lights too. certainly wouldnt be the first time that mistake was made.

3/19/2007 2:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What furthered the problem was a miscommunication in the chat room of when the sub was to be up for the next comms window.

3/21/2007 5:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts from a former US Submariner...
The sailors onboard the San Juan may have confused a red flare canister for a yellow. It may have been fired by mistake. Or, the canisters themselves could have been mislabelled. It's also not hard to believe that the San Juan was continuing to play the war game, thinking the surface ships were trying to "trick" them into revealing their location during the exercise.

3/22/2007 5:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All they have to do is to inventory the Pyro's. That will tell them which ones were fired. The only thing with that is if they were labeld wrong. Then that would not be the boats fault. Hopefully this skipper won't get burned for it like they all do when something stupid happens.

3/22/2007 12:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rode the boats for 24 years and this is my cut on it...All in all it ended up being a good excerise for getting resources out and looking just as mentioned "testing the system". Doesn't matter in the long run. What matters is that it was thankfully a false alarm. The boat's CO might get dressed down but hey that is what the "Gray Hair" pay is all about.

3/27/2007 10:48 AM


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