My Trip To Bangor
SubBasket and I flew to the Seattle area this week to see an old friend of ours take command of USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Gold). It was a really nice ceremony, and it was good being around submariners again -- in real life, that is, and not just over the 'net. Since I'm originally from Nebraska, I picked up quite a bit of stuff from the ship's store at the reception; while there, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow sub-blogger Nereus, who's back up and posting now that he's done with his PCS move to Bangor.
After the reception, we got to tour USS Maine (SSBN 741) over at the Submarine Base. This was especially nice for me since the Maine's current CO did his JO tour with me on USS Topeka. I make fun of boomers quite a bit on this blog, but the fact is that, if you have the space, the Ohio-class boats are the best-designed submarines in the world as far as being able to get repairs done quickly. They're quite impressive machines, and my friends are lucky to have command of such fine ships and crews.
Since my peers have been moving up to command over the last year or so, I've had a chance to think about whether or not I'm happy that I didn't stay in for command. I decided that, for me, moving on to civilian life when I did was the right option. Still, I found myself filled with admiration for the men who stayed in and achieved their goal of command. While I knew this new crop of COs when they were much less experienced, I still feel the same sense of awe in being around them that I did talking to COs when I was much younger. These men truly are among the best the nation has produced, and we're lucky they're willing to spend months away from their families to do the important work of defending our country.
That being said, it still took a direct order from the Maine's CO to stop me from telling his crew about that time in Tasmania that we...