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.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Mideast Submerged Internet Cable Breaks, The USS Jimmy Carter, And The Submarine Blogger

I've been following the story of the submarine cable breaks off the coasts of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula for the last week or so, and wondering when some conspiracy theorists would start claiming that U.S. submarines had something to do with them. Dave at The Galloping Beaver, who's written intelligently before about submarines, jumped the shark in bringing up the alleged special abilities of my old boat USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) in wondering if she might have been responsible for the breaks (earning a link from uber-tinfoil site WRH, which in itself is enough for realists to figure out that Dave is on the wrong track).

Here's where it gets tricky for a submarine blogger, especially one who's served on the boat in question. Even if one were to assume that Carter has any of the capabilities discussed (which I certainly don't), classification issues make it difficult to bring all your weapons to bear, so to speak, if one would like to refute the misconceptions presented in a post like that. Sure, you could bring up time/distance issues to prove that one boat couldn't have been in all these places on the dates involved. Also, assuming you knew that the Carter was pierside in Bangor recently enough that she couldn't possibly be in that part of the world, you could mention that. Anything else is problematic.

Anyway, I'll try to put something together that shows why it's very unlikely that American submarines were involved in the cable breaks over the next few days. Until then, please use caution in the comments.

Update 1046 09 Feb 2008: Well, this comment thread certainly went off topic -- not that I mind, because I enjoy the free flow of information exchange between all submariners. For those interested, my promised "analysis" of the cable issue is here.

51 Comments:

Blogger Tablebread said...

It's issues like this that make me glad that I blog about baking and not about the 'boat days'. It's a tough subject to dance around.

2/06/2008 12:25 AM

 
Blogger LT Nixon said...

Gotta love those conspiracy theories! Glad I was once part of a community that gets targeted with them. It's humbling, truly. Any publicity is good publicity, IMHO.

2/06/2008 1:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's useless. No argument will convice the nut jobs once they've conceived the conspiracy plot. Even time and distance can be warped by bizarre military capabilities derived from alien technology at Area 51. Because they live in fantasy, logic can always be circumvented, and to give them a logical argument early is to simply define the necessary twists of their fantasy scenario. We would be better off working on a plan to get to the moon before any legitimate persons figure out that it didn't actually happen.

I wasn't here.

2/06/2008 7:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry if it was not the USS Jimmy Carter then it was the other more secret sub. The one built to fight aliens and Godzilla.

2/06/2008 8:12 AM

 
Anonymous "uber tinfoil" guy said...

Amazing that someone from the LDS community could make defamatory statements about conspiracy theorists...talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Regarding conspiracies, "Just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are still not out to get you."

2/06/2008 8:40 AM

 
Blogger Pig Boat said...

"uber tinfoil" - Nice Ad hominem! That'll definitely get people to take you seriously. Moron.

Of course, the consipracy theorists ae getting even more ammo now - another cable just went down:

5th cable down

2/06/2008 9:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be careful what you do on the Internet; Jimmy is watching.

I wasn't here again.

2/06/2008 11:52 AM

 
Anonymous Nukebackaft said...

IMO it'd be more productive to look at who manufactured the cables, then if it was the SAME company start from there... wild theories about USS JC busting cables to the Mideast is just some anti-American fantasy.

2/06/2008 11:54 AM

 
Anonymous -Croft said...

Whats wrong with cutting cables? Its better than going 3 knots to nowhere.
I am disappointed to say, that besides that ever present need for "strategic
Deterrence" In my 4 years in the submarine business i have done absolutely jack shit. Nothing, nada. I wish I had some memories like those
sub guys during WW2 or the cold war. Then I could say proudly that I served in the Navy and actually made a difference. My hat is off to those guys out side the wire in the sandbox. Seriously guys, think about it. What is it that we in the
Sub service actually do? Or accomplish? Nothing. I wish I was out there "cutting cables"
Don't take this the wrong way. Its just I feel as if I have accomplished nothing in comparison to the guys "over there" even though I wouldn't wish that duty upon anyone. Submarine Warriors my ass...please. When is the last time anyone shot a torpedo at you...I used to cringe when ever our skipper called us that. Think about it. If we ever got into actual submarine warfare. Like we train for...and train for...and train for ...and complain about training for...at least half of the skippers out there would lose the faith their crews had in them, in a matter of months.

2/06/2008 12:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

croft - volunteer for IA. You'll be wishing you were back on the boat soon enough.

2/06/2008 1:26 PM

 
Blogger LT Nixon said...

I'll take IA any day of the week over going back on a boat. But that's just my humble opinion.

2/06/2008 1:34 PM

 
Anonymous Dan said...

Croft, I am going to assume you are a trident sailor by the "3 knots to nowhere" comment. If you don't like it so much, ask to split tour to a fast boat. Maybe they will have something you like.

2/06/2008 1:57 PM

 
Anonymous pig boat sailor said...

-croft, that's what you get for being a boomer fairy.

I can say without a doubt that I accomplished something while I was on board a boat. Maybe not what Grandpa did in WWII, but I contributed.

2/06/2008 2:03 PM

 
Anonymous -Croft said...

Are you kidding me? Volunteer for IA.
I wouldn't wish that on anyone let alone myself. I love driving my SUV like the next guy but there is no way
I am risking my nuts getting blown off for oil. I have been to Walter Reed and it is not pretty. You don't see the young torn up bodies on TV. The result of that kind of warfare is not for the faint of heart. I'd prefer to implode, at least then it's instant. However, my hats off to those who do serve in that capacity. Its just not for me. I feel sick at the sight of blood.

2/06/2008 2:04 PM

 
Anonymous -Croft said...

Dan:
Look dude. I wish from the bottom of my "fairy" heart that I was sent to a
Fast Boat from the get-go. I mean I feel as if my dolphins come with an
* astrict by them. --WARNING- These dolphins belong to a boomer fag. I remember that after my second patrol I was sent to a school that had fast attack sailors in it. Let me tell you, I felt so ashamed next to them I could not even look them in the eyes. The way they eyed my Patrol pin with that knowing look. Oh, it was terrible. I never wore it again... but i feel like a poser
every time I tell some one that i am a submariner. I feel like a fraud, like there are real men out there who are REAL submariners. Who serve on real submarines. Now don't go and get upset you fellow boomer sailors out there. I know you feel the same way too. Its hard to express... I know. Shit. My COB, and Skipper both had never been on a Trident before they got to my boat. I remember overhearing my COB say that he did not even have faith that we could even operate a submarine after 4 months off. That truly scared him and it scared me too. That was the COB saying that! I thought we were all going to die my first underway. BTW do you know what is worse that being a boomer fag? Being a boomer fag with a GOLD boomer fag pen. I mean seriously I think that I would just go and kill myself if i "earned" that award. Thats like going around base saying "I love the C&%$" and "I am a hardcore part-time sailor"

I know that some of you are going to call me a hypocrite and say well why don't you go to a fast attack. Well...I would have but I got a kick ass contractor job and chose to get out instead. To this day not earning my dolphins onboard a fast attack submarine remains my biggest disappointment...

What do you think Bubblehead?

2/06/2008 2:45 PM

 
Anonymous former ACINT SPY said...

Google "USS Jimmy Carter" apparently a former COMSUBPAC was interviewed and gave way to much information. But it makes for an interesting read.

To Laura Croft the boomers do a very difficult and dangerous job. It's too bad you didn't figure it out. Any time you wanted off the boat you could have walked off and told the CO you were un-volunteering. But then you would end up on a surface ship (GAG).

Even though I was an ACINT Rider who usually rode the fast boats. I rode one boomer as an ACINT Rider. They never even detected us--HUH!

Last and not least is that the USG has no reason to cut cables. It's just counter-productive. and the last thing in the world we would do.

Maybe it was a radical raghead group, or weather, or old cables, or ----

Maybe Margaret Thacher ordered the Brits to do this. After all didn't they invade Sweden (tic).

2/06/2008 4:37 PM

 
Anonymous Dan said...

Croft,
so should I take my dolphins and throw them in the garbage because I am not a REAL submariner because I wasnt on a REAL submarine? I proudly earned my fish on a boomer. Maybe you were just refering to yourself being a poser, which sounds like a personal problem. Its probably good that you got out. Have a good one.


Sorry for carrying the blog off topic.

2/06/2008 4:58 PM

 
Anonymous -Mike Croft said...

Danny boy
You've got a gold boomer pin don't you! I'm so proud of you! I bet all of your neighbors think you are so brave too. Just warms my heart thinking about it. 20 patrols...WOW
Must have been tough...just thinking about it

2/06/2008 5:31 PM

 
Anonymous Dan said...

hahaha. Truth be told, I only did 3 patrols, then a 2 year overhaul. Sorry, no gold boomer pin. I finished up my 10 yrs in with a tour on the jimmy carter.

2/06/2008 5:42 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

BH, I am not buying it, but a rather well-written conspiracist had determined by Monday that " ... the total numbers of cut cables remain in question, but likely number as many as eight, and maybe nine or more". here.

Oh well, BH, if your bubble counts as a cover, Molten Eagle has you covered (otherwise, perhaps not).

2/06/2008 9:22 PM

 
Blogger Chap said...

The best counter to the conspiracy theorists is "If we did anything, why would you have known about it?"

----

I am concerned for myself that my own first reaction was without an understanding of how often these things break. Two tours living in HI near the AT&T cable ship gave me a feel for the connectivity, but I don't know what kind of random I should expect in terms of cable breaks.

2/07/2008 1:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the day, there was only one gold patrol pin. It was worn by the single individual with the most patrols. Many of the guys near the top of the list kept track of each other, plotting how they were going to get the other guys to shore duty, fast attack tours, or the shipyard so they could claim the gold patrol pin.

It was always assumed that the gold patrol pin would be worn by an enlisted man. However, during the 1980s, a prior-enlisted Lieutenant claimed it. Then he transferred to one of the few remaining diesel boats. It was quite a sight to see--a diesel boat O-ganger wearing the gold patrol pin.

2/07/2008 5:41 AM

 
Anonymous "uber tinfoil" guy said...

"pig boat" - Written word sometimes diverges from the author's intentions. My intent was not to attack BH's belief system...I simply meant to point out the hypocrisy BH displayed in attacking / demeaning those of us who believe there may be alternative motives and unrevealed circumstances in certain situations. BTW resorting to name calling (moron, boomer fairy) shows just how small minded some people can be.

2/07/2008 6:36 AM

 
Blogger Tablebread said...

EVERYONE - now normally I just ignore conversations when they shoot off topic like this but then a comment was made that I just couldn't stand by and let this incorrect information continue.....UBER TINFOIL: 'Boomer Fairy' is a valid noun and should be used as often as possible when referring to Trident sailors. I'm sorry but 'Boomer Fairies' get a frickin lounge. Next thing you know they are going to start calling their deployments 'Cruises' like the surface people.

There I said it, I feel better.

Croft - your story about feeling bad about your 'Fairy' dolphins both sadden me and sickened me. Sure you qualified on a Boomer. I've worked with boomer guys and they've been both good and bad but to let a conversation like this make you feel bad about a lifetime achievement like getting dolphins, well, that's just stupid. Buck up man and act like you've worn an EAB before! Keep this crap up and you'll hot rack in the torpedo room until you grow some balls.

Cheers everyone.

2/07/2008 7:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croft says, "sniffle, sniff, I wasn't important, sniffle..." Guess what, there're guys on fast boats with that attitude; there're guys in Iraq with that attitude, there were guys in WWII with that attitude. There will will always be whiners who don't think their small part makes a dimple in the big picture. Croft, go ahead and enjoy the SUV now. Thanks for your service, it made a difference even if you don't get it. But, if you don't feel like it was manly enough for you, what are you doing now? There are plenty of manly opportunities in the world; which have you chosen to pursue?

RM1/SS

P.S. My pedigree is 3 fast boats and no boomers, and I kid the boomer guys, but never considered any of them to be posers.

2/07/2008 7:05 AM

 
Anonymous pig boat sailor said...

"Uber"

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA! You aren't attacking his beliefs, just calling him a hypocrite for following LDS beliefs but not giving credence to other conspiracy theories? You are rich.

Oh, and the "moron" bit was a tongue-in-cheek shot after calling you on your ad hominem tendencies - which you continue with the small-minded crap. You are too easy, man. Step up your trolling or head elsewhere.

2/07/2008 9:56 AM

 
Anonymous Rich said...

This one got pretty lively!

I love it....

The thing that keeps my dolphins smiling is that we can all hate each other on the surface, or in this room. But if you hear the general alarm and the 1MC cracklw with "Fire....." we are all a band of brothers, buck up and get the job done.

That does not happen on the surface, and makes me proud that I have fish. (Earned in Pearl BTW)

--Rich

2/07/2008 10:41 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please---Someone explain the meaning of "BTW".

2/07/2008 11:13 AM

 
Anonymous Fast Nav said...

BTW - By The Way
**********************

Although I give Boomer guys all the crap in the world, they're still submariners. Sure, I'm jealous of the lounges, and the flushing toilets, and off-crew, but I did much cooler stuff than they did. Granted, I still didn't do all the cool stuff I wanted to... but that's why I'm still in. I'm staying in until I do something cool dammit!!

2/07/2008 11:35 AM

 
Blogger cheezstake said...

Thanks for blogging about this topic. I've been eager to hear your thoughts, especially now that a 5th cable has been reported to be cut.

As for the Boomer bashing...

I qualified on a Boomer and then served on the 21 and 22 boats. Each has it's perks and downfalls. I will always be partial to the Boomer since it was my first and where I earned my fish. I had mine pinned on the bridge while in transit to San Diego.

I never hid my "Pocket Rocket"!

2/07/2008 5:00 PM

 
Blogger Jay said...

I'm trying to figure out why we would want to cut the cables?

Anyway, to pile on Croft, don't let your personal dissatisfaction with your life kill you. Qualifying submarines is qualifying submarines, and the stuff you need to learn to get dolphins is pretty much the same whether your boat was an SSBN or SSN.

Now, I always would recommend to those who want to have some excitement in their submarine career, to complete their first tour on an SSBN, then get over to fast boats and enjoy yourself. But, the BN's are still necessary and those that serve on them can rest assured that their service is appreciated. Hell, I spent all of GW1 on patrol. I missed the whole damn thing. My dad watched the whole thing on TV, i picked it up in bits and pieces of VLF news flashes.

Croft, if this was really such an important life goal of yours, you would have stayed in for a fast boat tour, then parlayed that into that great contractor job. As it is, you chased the money, which is the American thing to do, but, seriously, cry me a river.

It's funny, I chose boomers for my JO tour. I knew it would make qualification easier, would allow me to NOT be on the boat about 1/3 of the time, and let me have a social life. MY best friends all chose SSN's and I do think they had more interesting sea tours, but, man, I never heard such whining. And, for the nuke JO, you spend your first 2 years aft anyway, so, who cares whether it's on an SSN or BN? At least on the BN you don't have to go up forward and spend another 6 hours as JOOD plotting dots.

But, I digress.

2/07/2008 7:25 PM

 
Anonymous -Mike Croft said...

Jay-
Thanks for the "pile on" I actually feel kinda bad about what I said earlier. Could not stay in though... Do you guys have any Idea how much NMCI takes in on their contracts with the Navy? Gotta chase the money. Being a submariner just manages to pay the bills. I want more for my future children.

2/07/2008 7:43 PM

 
Blogger NCdt(III) Genest said...

Bah, you guys should stop whining about SSN vs SSBN... When (if) I get to go on subs, I'll go on SSKs, and only after I've been a skimmer for a while.

You guys have it easy. :p

(Of course, I'm Canadian, so our Navy is entirely fictional.)

2/08/2008 6:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NMCI = Now My Computer's Inoperable. I believe EDS is a Bin Laden subsidiary...

2/08/2008 7:02 AM

 
Blogger ET2(SS) Slater said...

Simply incredible to read the off-topic comments here, So much so that I'll add to the dialogue.

I am a Trident Radioman, qualified on the boat and served three patrols before having a really crappy back injury. I'm now in the process of rating to the Surface fleet and to this day, I wear both my Dolphins and my Patrol pin. I am proud to have earned both, and will continue to wear both. Earning your Dolphins on a Trident is absolutely no different that earning them on a Fast Attack. If anything, we have more to learn (IRT missile systems) than the fast attackers. Yes we have a lounge, yes we have more bunks per sailor, but the tradeoff to living in the Hilton is our complete lack of port calls. Hell, it's like pulling teeth to even be able to tie up pierside in Hawaii anymore. I would have loved to see the ports that a fast attack does, but I wouldn't trade my time in the Trident life for anything.

Now however, I've been given the opportunity (at a medical cost, of course) to see the rest of the world that the other half of the Navy sees, but I will always be a Submariner. A Trident Submariner.

2/08/2008 11:14 AM

 
Anonymous toeachhisown said...

Who cares if we are off-topic on this post. 35 comments were made. Bubblehead hasent had that many comments on any one topic since the Gun-decking" of the logs on whatever that boats name was.

Anyhow clearly the rift between Fast Attack sailors and the "pocket rocket" group still holds true today. As it will 50 years from now. Shit, it will probably follow us into space! At least then it will be a true "pocket rocket"!
lol

-Has anyone else heard that the USS Florida is planing on doing a patrol with female sailors on board? Now thats a topic we can all agree on! Subs remain female free, lets keep it that way!

2/08/2008 1:59 PM

 
Anonymous Gomerb said...

Waves (excuse me, Wins) on a sub? Now back in the day I heard the wives from my boomer say that they would line the pier in revolt to prevent us from boarding if Uncle planned to send women with us. And what would the Navy do about that? Send the Marines to break it up? Heck, those Jarheads lived with our wives while we were on patrol! They were just as scared of those broads as we were!

(Thanks "Toeach," for starting a 3rd thread here...)

2/08/2008 2:59 PM

 
Blogger Tablebread said...

This is such a stupid point. Women on submarines? Especially fast attack?!? How many times do we have to tell Congress?!? WE HAVE WOMEN IN THE SUBMARINE FORCE!!! We have a whole Sonar shack FULL of them! ;)

Also, we can all be pretty big bitches by ourselves, we don't need to add the real thing.

2/08/2008 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Jay said...

It'll be a sad day when I can't turn to an aviator, point to my dolphins and say "You'll never see a woman wearing these."

2/08/2008 3:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You'll never see a woman wearing these."

Spoken like a boomer sailor. You've obviously not made the "right" port calls.

As far as women on the boats go, as a 100% fast-attack guy, I say the sooner the better. Looking back, what a disgusting life it was to not have women around (and around, and around...).

2/08/2008 4:14 PM

 
Anonymous x-TRI -slr said...

hehe its not gay underway!
BTW I love being a Boomer sailor, we have much larger fan rooms!

2/08/2008 4:23 PM

 
Blogger Jay said...

I love the politically correct. And I wouldn't really have minded having a few women on board (I've spent some time on several surface ships with women, and it's actually fine).But, I like the idea of a 100% female submarine, the USS Amazon.

But, there is still something nice about being able to tweak aviators, who brought us all this integration with their obscene Tailhook behavior (you'd have to be over 40 to remember how we got here).

2/08/2008 6:20 PM

 
Anonymous gazunderdownunder said...

We've had women on boats for many years (we're also not the only ones). Women think differently to men (duh, obvious) and in my experience, combining the way men and women think is an advantage that we have over single sex targets or OPFORs. IMHO men can be likened to think more tactically and women more strategically. Either way, once you get over the macho bullshit a competent body in a billet is more than welcome, esp. with the shrinking labour pool and negative demographics of our era.
To tie it into this thread, it just comes down to respecting the dophins...if someone has earned them, with or without boobs, then they've earned the right to your respect as a fellow submariner.

2/08/2008 7:20 PM

 
Anonymous gomerb said...

Whoa! Gazunder... We may lack female submariners in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, but nobody said anything about not having boobs. I had a couple of chiefs who could hold a pencil under there!

2/09/2008 3:51 PM

 
Blogger cheezstake said...

This comment is for Jay.

If you ever turned to any sailor and told them that they'll never see a woman wearing dolphins, you've lied.

There was a female in Bangor who worked for Group 9 who earned her fish by riding boats during Dependent Cruises and the old trip to Dabob Bay. She did her walkthroughs on the boats in refit. She may not have ever been truly underway or ever on alert, but she learned the boats and passed her board.

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