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, October 17, 2008

Messin' With Drill Monitors

I had this great idea for a post about the never-ending battle between Drill Monitors and watchstanders aboard submarines. Whenever I come up with an idea for a post, I do a quick search of my blog to see if I've already done it (my memory's not quite what it used to be, and, to be honest, I've just about run out of humorous sea stories that aren't classified); in this case, I already had written this post, back in 2005. It's still a good concept, though, so I'm reposting most of it:

-- On the last planned drill before ORSE on the good ship Topeka, we decided to get back at the drill monitors. We got ahold of a drill radio, set it to "VOX", and stuck it on a running HPAC. They ended up securing from the drill because none of the monitors could talk to each other. A win for the little guys! The EDEA was not amused...

-- I was hanging around in the wardroom with another JO, waiting for some forward drills to start. We had a couple of the rotating flashing lights that we use for fire simulation in the pantry for some reason, so my buddy puts them on the wardroom table and turns them on; we think it looks like the top of a police car (it seemed really funny at the time). Suddenly, we hear over the wardroom 4MC white rat: "Fire in the wardroom", and we had to run up to control to get them to secure from the "drill". The XO was not amused...

-- Back aft during a fire drill from hell, we had a huge cluster of people gathered in ERML. Not many EAB connections there, so there were about five guys in a row buddy-clipped onto this one fairly new guy. (For those not familiar with EABS, here's a picture of some being worn. They're "Emergency Air Breathing" masks that you hook up to connections that run fresh breathing air under pressure throughout the ship -- a necessity in case of a fire. When you're wearing one correctly, the only way you breathe is if you're plugged in; you hold your breath going from plug to plug. Each hose has a "buddy-clip" that someone else can plug into near the regulator.)
Anyway, this new guy decided to head up into upper level (this is on an LA-class boat) and doesn't realize he's got all these people plugged into him. He unplugs, starts to head up the ladder, and gets tugged back by the person connected to him. He realizes what's happening, and goes to plug back in, but a new arrival has taken the EAB plug he just abandoned. He looks around for a buddy-clip, and sees one; plugs in, tries to take a deep breath, and... you guessed it. He had plugged into the last guy in the row of people plugged into him. (It's a phenomenon known as "recircing your breathing air"). I laughed my ass off. The five victims were not amused...

-- One day, as Engineer, I found in my inbox a proposed drill guide from the off-going duty section. Apparently they had a shoot-the-sh*t in Maneuvering about spontaneous combustion, and one of them came up with an idea for the ultimate "Screaming Alpha" fire drill. The drill guide was in the correct format, and was titled "Fire in the Reactor Operator". It had possible alternate courses of action like "If desired, the fire may spread to the Throttleman". I pretended not to be amused...

-- Standing EOOW, I had the following 2JV exchange with an off-watch EM:
"Request permission to run a drill in Engine Room Middle Level"
"What kind of drill?"
"An electrical drill"
"Report to Maneuvering"

Thirty seconds later, he ''Christmas-dinner''ed, a power drill in hand...

Let's hear some of your favorite drill memories...

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our engineer never changed his LAN password from the default given him by the FT's at turnover. For an entire patrol, we would log onto his account and pilfer through the upcoming drills, send a malicious email to the DCA or delete an "important" email from the CO. The Drill Team was beat into the ground trying to find out who the mole was. Of course, the non qual VOD dispensers were blamed. It wasn't until after ORSE that we had the heart to tell the ENG the truth.

10/17/2008 3:42 PM

 
Blogger Patty Wayne said...

I was a throttleman during an ORSE on a Sturgeon class boat. The ORSE team was 'in' manuvering and our Eng was standing up against the salinity panels between me and the RO. The ORSE team 'person in charge' (?), a Commander, was to my left, just inside the doorway to manuvering. He was kind of invading my space. Before the actual drills started the Eng tells the Commander that he may not want to stand there, but the CDR assures him it'll be alright. The Eng puts a hand on my shoulder and says "pretend we're not here".
The first drill was a loss of shaft lube oil for which I needed to stop the shaft. I always used a lot of room to operate those wheels and in my action I knocked the CDR out of maneuvering and into the 400 cycle panel. He composed himself, and while I held the astern throttles open, he apologized if he had gotten in my way.

In port we got word of 'repel borders' drill slated for late Friday night by one of the drill monitors who didn't want to be there. We got a nub to go buy a bunch of squirt guns. While the first guys to the wardroom (Security Action Force?) had just gotten their drill weapons the BAF guys (including me) came along and together we ambushed the drill monitors in OpsML with the squirt guns. Oh we got in trouble by Weps and were all required to come in the next night to be drill monitors. It was worth it. On his way off the boat after the 'critique' the Weps was shot in the back of the head with a squirt gun by the topside watch.

PW

10/17/2008 4:08 PM

 
Anonymous QM2/SS said...

Apparently I've been out too long...."christmas dinner-ed"???

Thanks...

10/17/2008 5:35 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

That's what "Request permission to enter..." sounds like if you say it fast enough.

10/17/2008 5:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our ship's drill policy for fire drills was to have the extinguisher and nozzlemen yell "burst" while they were applying agent to the "fire", usually our EDMC waving around his fire sim of choice. While in lower level for one drill being run in middle level I could hear the rapid response guys banging and yelling around as they responded to the fire. Our AEA was leading the charge with a CO2 yelling "Burst! Burst!" at the top of his lungs. All of a sudden I heard a real "burst", followed by dead silence. A minute later the laughter started as our EDMC stood there with the snow melting off his shoulders. Someone had handed the AEA a CO2 with a pulled pin. Drill was secured.

10/18/2008 6:28 AM

 
Anonymous fastnav said...

I remember the one time they had chili for midrats before a drill period.

Needless to say, when maneuvering was packed for the fire drill it was good to be one of the guys required to wear an EAB.

The drill team RAN out of maneuvering once the drill was over and the ENG wasn't happy about our "degassing evolution"

10/18/2008 12:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to fastnav, but not related to drill monitors, our designated EO for maneuvering watch always had a pre-underway PM to which he religiously adhered: He would drink at least two pitchers of Killian's Irish Red beer and eat at least one half-dozen pickled eggs. Needless to say, you did not want to be anywhere near Maneuvering. It was not uncommon to see guys sitting in there voluntarily wearing EABs! 8-)

10/19/2008 10:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Drum I heard that there was a “Fire in the Diesel” drill (all the way forward) coming up so I decided to check out the Hydraulic Power Plant (all the way aft). I was standing back there waiting when the XO came around the corner. He said “how you doing” I said “great” He said “How many times have I told you not to smoke around the Hydraulic Power Plant?” and he threw a red blanket over the Lead Hydraulic Pump. I was right in the middle of it.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

10/19/2008 12:19 PM

 
Blogger King said...

Are these all old time sub stories, and the current Navy is the "No Fun Navy" or was I just on the "No Fun Submarine"? Or did I just miss all the good ones because I am an officer?

The only pranks I can really remember were ERUL often dumping water through the voice tube to ERLL and the ET that walked around the boat who stole pictures of peoples' families to put in his coffee mug. The married guys did not take this so well...

10/19/2008 1:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, King, it is a no fun submarine force anymore! I had more fun on my first three boats and NONE on my last two (maybe a little fun on the last one with a certain CO).

One drill, I was back aft checking on OA-9070 (TA handling system) then to the smoke pit between drills.
A drill monitor comes back and lays down a 3x5 on the butt kit that says "Fire". Immedately, three of us smokers pull out 3x5 cards and write "CO2" and place it over the fire.
The XO who is a few feet away starts laughing and hits us on expending 3 CO2 extinguishers and not 2 and getting a hose..which was a few feet away!

On my surface ship one time, a drill monitor dropped a red rag (fire) in a garbage can and starts waving a gray blanket. A Boiler Tech walks over, unzips his dungarees and whizzes on the "fire". The BT reaches in to the garbage can and hand the red rag back to the drill monitor and tells him "Fires Out"!

STSCS(SS/SW)

10/19/2008 4:54 PM

 
Anonymous ET1(SS) said...

We ran an inport fire drill one morning from the trashcan. An electrician grabbed the hose reel and ran to the fire and someone else pressurized the hose as the electrician was approaching the area. Well, turns out the bail was cracked open, and water was sprayed everywhere, including all over the EDMC...

10/20/2008 6:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ET1, we hit one of the ORSE team members (LCDR) with a pressurized hose. Knocked him down and got him soaking wet.

Classic.

10/27/2008 1:43 AM

 
Anonymous Theodora said...

Really effective information, much thanks for the article.

9/21/2012 2:35 PM

 

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