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, November 25, 2008

Submarine Tidbits

A quick run around items of interest to Submariners I found on the 'net:

1) There's a new homepage for USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN 686) crewmembers and fans over at Looks like it's off to a promising start. Does anyone have any advice for the webmasters of such sites on how to help their creation to take off?

2) The Kitsap Sun has an update on the recently-completed bow replacement of USS San Francisco (SSN 711). SFO moved out of her drydock last month, and will head to her new homeport of San Diego in the spring.

3) NR-1 was retired in a ceremony held in Groton last Friday after almost 40 years of service. You can see some recent pictures of her here, here, here, and here. I'm hoping that the Navy will build a replacement; interestingly, I think that's more like with a new Obama Administration since it would help establish some sort of pro-military/pro-nuclear bona fides while providing needed scientific capabilities (and, of course, providing unionized jobs in a couple of blue states).

4) A commenter in an earlier thread pointed out that retired Admiral "Skip" Bowman, former head of Naval Reactors, has resigned from his position of Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO. Stating that he was contemplating retirement next year anyway, he said he wanted to give the new NEI leadership a chance to hit the ground running with the new federal administration. Knowing that Admiral Bowman would never back down from a fight, I'm inclined to take him on his word, rather that thinking he resigned due to the anti-nuclear stances of the Obama team. I look forward to seeing what he'll do next.

5) USS Albany (SSN 753) and USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) both recently returned from deployments. Some good pictures of the Jacksonville's return can be found here, and a story on Albany's deployment is here. Looks like the crew of the Albany got some decent liberty, with visits to Crete, France, Italy, and Norway (in addition to some Arabian Gulf ports) mixed in during their 7-month sojourn. Welcome home, guys, and I hope you get some well-deserved time off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

BH, thanks for the plug for Is it ok if I put a link to TSSBP on the site?

11/25/2008 5:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Defense Daily: it seems Bowman was considered too Republican to be an effective lobbyist on behalf of the nuclear industry:

Amid deep concerns in the nuclear energy sector about the impending Obama administration, the industry's top lobbyist--Nuclear Energy Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Frank "Skip" Bowman--resigned on Nov. 14 to let the organization pick a new chief to navigate the drastically changed political landscape in Washington.
In a Nov. 14 letter to John Rowe, NEI chairman and chairman and CEO of Exelon Corp., Bowman said he wanted to give NEI the chance to install new leadership early on in Obama's transition in the interest of "organization continuity."
NEI said Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Marvin Fertel has assumed NEI's top position in an acting capacity.
The trade group said nothing about its search for a permanent replacement for Bowman, but sources said a potential strong candidate for the NEI top job is Betsy Moler, Exelon's executive vice president of government and environmental affairs and public policy.
Bowman, a retired four-star Navy admiral who headed nuclear Navy programs before coming to NEI in 2005, won praise at the trade group for helping to win congressional passage of financial incentives to support construction of new commercial reactors.
However, Bowman is leaving with nuclear industry clearly headed for rougher waters with the exit of President Bush, whose administration was unfailingly supportive of nuclear power.
As the Obama transition team gears up, nuclear industry officials have been eagerly looking for signs that Obama will be at least somewhat supportive of the U.S. nuclear industry's recent rebirth, in which companies have recently filed applications at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build an astonishing 26 new reactors.
But Obama has given them little to cheer about, offering qualified support for nuclear power generally but pledging to kill a top industry priority, the planned repository for spent nuclear fuel in Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
NEI's challenge will be to find a new leader who will have influence with the Obama administration and Congress, where Democrats strengthened their grip in the Nov. 4 election. A key problem is that the number of pro-nuclear, high-profile Democrats who might fill the slot is far smaller than the number of appropriate pro-nuclear Republicans.

11/25/2008 7:57 AM

Blogger J120 Bowman said...

The San Fran incident was a tragedy is so many respects. However, the boat has been OOC for almost 4 years! I know there are a lot factors that go into a decision like this (fuel load, lifecycle plans, lead time for a re-fueling overhaul for a different boat, etc.) but WOW! Four years on the hard to get another 6-7 years of service out of the hull. Amazing. With that much time out of service, think of how many enlisted and officers did their first "sea tour" on that boat. How would you like to serve your department head, XO, or command tour on a boat that never went to sea? Bye, bye career!

11/25/2008 8:38 AM

Blogger Navy Blue Cougar said...

One thing that gives me hope about Obama is that he is seems to be a very thoughtful man. I hope that our government can get beyond seeing nuclear power as a partisan issue. I feel pretty strongly that nuclear power generation is a key to reducing our dependence on foreign energy supply. I hope that Obama feels the same way.

11/25/2008 9:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that San Fran is in line to be one of the MTS replacements, so we'll get more life out of it even after "decomm."

11/25/2008 9:23 AM

Blogger Mark said...

I hear that as well, along with La Jolla. And prototype is just down the street, so it must be true what I hear!

11/25/2008 11:59 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Replacing the MTS platforms would be LOOONG overdue. The crews that staff those dinosaurs do an amazing job keeping them operational for training, considering the replacement parts are increasingly more impossible to obtain. Back in 2003, I was the plant ELCPO on MTS-635. We needed a part from a non-vital switchboard for electrical power monitoring that is no longer manufactured. The entire switchboard section from another decommed SSBN was delivered to an old warehouse on the south end of WPNSTA so we could cannabalize the needed parts. They dumped it on it's side, so I and a couple of EM's used a Chevy Suburban and a rope to flip it over, so we could access the part needed. What a way to procure parts for a nuclear powered training ship!

11/25/2008 12:12 PM

Blogger J120 Bowman said...

As part of NNPS class 9107 we were complaining then about updating the coursework from the S5W plant and there were still plenty of S5W boats still around! Does anyone know if they have updated it?

As sad as it is, the MTS 635 was still fairly "new" when I was a student. The 2nd boat wasn't even there yet.

By the way, I loaded the wife and kids up in the ole family truckster and we went to Disney World last Christmas. Needless to say I was quite shocked as I drove through what used to be a Naval Base! The only thing I recognized was where the back gate used to be by the lake. Talk about reclaiming land!

Good times, good times. I had flashbacks to the Friday evening "parties" the MWR folks threw for the Ensigns at the O Club. They would bring in Hooters Girls, wings, a keg and a DJ. What a laugh. Picture your typical group of geeky 22 year old nukes and Florida Hooters Girls. HA! It was worse than a middle school dance!

11/25/2008 1:25 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Nope. No updates. NNPTC is still teaching S5W, even though there are no S5W boats left in the fleet.

Remember, if you were in 9107, that's still 16-17 years ago. MTS-635 and MTS-626 were commissioned in the early 60's, so they are over 40 years old. That platform was only designed for 30 years. I know they don't go to sea, but the parts availability issue doesn't matter if the boat is at sea or pierside.

11/25/2008 2:43 PM

Blogger Jarrod said...

I was 0506 and I can confirm that they still teach S5W.

I've also heard the rumor about making the SFO a prototype; for what it's worth I'm stationed at PSNS now.

11/25/2008 5:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the SANFRAN is going to it's new homeport of SD? It was supposed to be Guam. Which boat got switched to Guam in her place?

11/25/2008 5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/25/2008 6:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/25/2008 6:24 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I put in my resume to be Skip's's being considered?

On a deeper level, there is cause for concern that the NEI was bum doping the NRC, specifically aging plant medium voltage power cables that were improperly submerged in water for decades at a time, the reliability and safety of submerged cables, not designed to be submerged, to save the utilities money and boost profits.

That's the real reason why Skip is leaving because he approved this selective and dangerous strategy with dealing with a US regulator.
The theme is the NEI has become a government disruptor...their aim is to eat up government resources...or divert them from carrying out the public purpose of overseeing the nuclear industry.

There is further issues where the NRC is not enforcing the complete truth telling from plant component manufacturers, vender's, consultants and special interest just give a selective set of information to the NRC so as to boost profits and income.

This is the domestic nuclear industry's bureaucratic San Antonino(LPD17)...there is oil and hydraulic oil leaking all over the nation. And Skip played a part in this. That is why he was asked to leave.

11/26/2008 8:07 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Ah the Buffalo. And the Buffalo shuffle-o. Those were the days~

11/26/2008 8:23 AM

Blogger Mark said...

0805 can confirm they are still teaching S5W. The MTSs are not due to be replaced until 2018. Forces in the region wonder if their commanders understand the situation on the ground (I'm just graduating NNPS, so I don't wonder -- but my instructors have).

11/26/2008 6:15 PM

Blogger DDM said...

Old boomer sailors should check out this website: It's run by a former shipmate of mine. Lots of old pictures.

11/28/2008 5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Pulaski website is awesome!

11/29/2008 9:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stationed on the La Jolla for 5 years when it just got refueled in 2000. The boat has a lot of life in it considering it's age. With it's DDS operations in the past couple of years, it has plenty of fuel to last but maybe up to MTS days(refuel/conversion?) Now on the Albany, returned from the deployment, fun times, especially when the command said to dress for warm/hot weather and leave the cold weather gear behind. Ended up in cool weather in France and cold weather in Norway.

12/06/2008 6:00 AM

Anonymous Diane said...

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9/05/2012 6:10 AM


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