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.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snowy Weapons Move

Check out this photo of a Mk 48 torpedo offload on USS Annapolis (SSN 760) in Groton last month:

That looks cold. What're the worst conditions you've ever seen for a weapons move?

17 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

i absolutely love your blog. i love how you honor our bubbleheads. we're fifteen years in...never thought we would be in this long. we started on the "five year plan" and many of our friends along the way have moved on. must say we are enjoying the transfers and the interesting individuals we meet from station to station.

warm greetings from florida!

2/05/2009 8:34 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Liza,
Thanks! I added your great blog to my "Submarine Wives" blogroll.

2/05/2009 9:21 AM

 
Blogger Lou said...

Holy Loch in January :(

2/05/2009 10:26 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Two. The day (but winter and dark) loading Polaris in the Holy Loch when we had to stop the load several times to sweep snow from the eject chamber.

And the Polaris loadout at the Weapons Station in Charleston when the newly designed 'rain gear' (frame and canvas to cover the open hatch and tube in foul weather) demonstrated how it could also function as a giant box kite tethered to the hook of the weapons-handling portal crane and flapping violently at about 45 deg off verticle at the end of the crane lifting line.

A third? Any torpedo loading operation into tubes-aft in the TANG-class. The fish (had to be Mk 37-0s/3s because tubes were too short for anything else) had to be floated screw-first through the muzzle of the torpedo tube, with divers, float bags, and all sorts of this-is-shaky procedure.

2/05/2009 11:11 AM

 
Anonymous short said...

The worst was to opposite of this picture. Weapon loads in Guam. Between the heat, random rain (OD XXXXX would get trashed), and schedule of the crane operators, it was always a good time...

2/05/2009 12:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rain in Rota Spain was aways a bummer to load fish in, but it doesn't really compare to tha picture of snow!

God help poor dogs and sailors on an night (or day) like that. Those guy truely look miserable.

I do remember how it was against the rules to handle ordnance after dark, but by God you sure could start before sunup!

2/05/2009 1:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The heck with the Weapons Load, I hated just working in the cold. I was on the La Jolla and after commissioning, we spent several months in Groton. We were topside in February 27 years ago, knocking Sail Plate Bolts off with a hand impact wrench. It was close zero out and every time I hit the impact wrench, my hand would shatter.
Working on top of the sail at the same time doing head valve maintenance was miserable.
I swore that I would never go to Groton until I was a kaki clad finger pointer because of that.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa.

2/05/2009 1:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, it was probably about 70 and partly cloudy at Pt Loma. Brutal!

2/05/2009 9:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment...I started out in deck div on the usta fish out of San Diego in the early 90's and participated in many weapons loads. Weather was a real XXXXX to deal with...

2/05/2009 11:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blizzard in '01, in Groton, surge deploy for OEF. Had to get done to support and defend. Worst conditions I have ever seen!

2/06/2009 8:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never understood why anyone would want to be stationed in New London or Norfolk because of the winters there. Thats why I stayed in Pearl Harbor for 13 years.

My worst onload was with MSC onboard the USNS Arctic T-AOE-8 loading out for OIF in March in snow storm at NWS Earle. It was so cold we relieved the pier-side slingers every fifteen minutes. We had diesel powered snow blowers, the walk behind kind with chains on the wheels, to clear ammo handling areas on 01 deck and flight deck. We put on almost 2000 tons of ammo in three days in that stuff. Brutal!!!!!

My two cents, and keep a zero bubble.......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

2/06/2009 12:28 PM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

3" of rain in one day of moves in Guam. I'll take the heat in HI and Guam over snow and ice any time!

2/06/2009 12:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess there was a reason I chose to be a nuke mechanic...no weapons loads, no shore power....no weather at all unless I wanted it.

2/07/2009 8:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the way the guys at West Loch act, you'd think daylight was the worst conditions. Weapons briefs taking until 1000, which is too close to lunch to actually get started, then the first thing they try to do is drop the damn thing in the water so the shift ends early. "Oh, we no can. You gon' feed us, bra? Dat secon shif!"

2/08/2009 7:43 AM

 
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2/11/2009 2:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

West Loch story fall 1974. Loaded 18 MK 57 drill Mines on SS-580 in a little over an hour. We left Subbase around 0730, tied back-up at Subbase around 1300, no tugs required with smoke boats.

Torpedoroom gang had their s--t together!!! We were putting one down about every four minutes. Crane on pier had a mine ready to send over at our ready signal. As soon as the mine was strapped down on the hydraulic hoist in the room, we told pier side to send it over as we were pulling snubbers and inhaul/outhaul cables out of the torpedoroom. Mine positioned over the loading skid, installed loading fixture on tail of mine, hooked up snubbers and inhaul/outhaul cables, then lowered onto loading skid. telephone talker topside tells torpedoroom were ready, they open lower door in escape trunk. Hydraulic hoist with dollies are in place. They tell us, "send it", and it's on the way down at high speed on the inhaul/outhaul cables driven off the forward capstan.

Absolutely no-problems!!!

Gotta love Pearl Harbor submarines back-in-the-day.

Keep a zero bubble......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

2/18/2009 6:49 PM

 
Blogger AB- said...

Two of my boats were in San Diego. Always pleasant. I think we had to load weapons in the fog one day. One in Charleston. Not the best weather - it was the smell from the paper factories and the 3rd dirtiest river in the US that really made it unpleasant - but we did have a kick ass weapons department who could set up the skid in under an hour and load 5 - 6 minute weapons.

The worst weapons load (not weather related) was in La Madalena, Italy. After missing out on launching TLAM's during the gulf war rush we got to off load all the sparkly new TLAMs and take all the old crusty ones back. What's another weapons load? Just for fun? Day was nice and bright 71 degrees F and there may have been a sober TM in the room. I was the aft capstain operator that day. I sent a nub up to the store on the tender to get me some 7-up and cheese balls which I consumed in about 3 minutes after he returned. For some reason, they didn't mix well with the left over booze in my gut and I had to release them over the side. A HUGE bright orange fan of puke "appeared" next to the aft capstain and as I looked up to see who witnessed such a thing, I noticed the CO, XO, and Commodore watching our Battle E quality weapons loading evolution. I think I saw the sweat beed up on the XO's now throbbing vein in his forehead as the CO and Commodore went back inside - probably to have a nice chat about the local economy.

No one ever said a word to me and the nub - it was his fault - I asked for beef jerkey - who got me those cheese balls had a bucket and a heavie line washing off the side of the boat before anyone else could see the evidence.

2/20/2009 4:55 PM

 

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