USS Ohio Subjected To Media Availability
Normally a deployment is a time when a submarine's crew can actually go out submarining without a bunch of extraeous passengers (except, of course, at the end when you get Squadron riders to help with exam preps). Unfortunately, if you're a new type of submarine and are doing something newsworthy, like the first SSGN deployment, it looks like the Sub Force still loads you up with riders. This apparently happened to USS Ohio (SSGN 726) recently, as this article from a Canadian paper shows:
The sub's cruise across the Pacific comes as China builds its submarine fleet into the region's largest as part of the bulking up of its military. The voyage is the Ohio's first deployment since the makeover, and Hale is in the odd position of showing the ship off.It's pretty much just a standard article where a reporter who doesn't know too much about submarines tries to explain them to an audience who doesn't either, but it's not the worst I've seen. And I'm sure the men of the Ohio would choose a reporter every day over hosting ORSE board Members. ("Board" intentionally left lower-case because it always pissed me off how they always made sure "Board" was capitalized in their reports, e.g. "Contrary to the NPEB Precepts Letter, the ship did not provide in a timely fashion the 8 Ham Sandwiches and 2 rolls of extra-soft toilet paper requested by the Board; additionally, the sanitary facilities made available for the exclusive use of the Board did not include sufficient quantities of soft-core porn and hand moisturizer.")
It's odd because the sub is all about stealth.
Hale can't talk about where the ship is going. The back of the ship, where the nuclear power plant is located, is off limits. The leader of the SEAL commando contingent aboard can't be named, and the commandos themselves can't be photographed in any way that shows their faces.
But, over the next few months, the Ohio will be making a very public statement, training intensively in some of the world's most crowded and contested waters and joining in exercises with America's Asian allies. Instead of hiding them, the Ohio will be showcasing its abilities to elude detection and operate too deeply and quickly to be tracked.