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, July 07, 2009

Submarine Supply Shortages

A while back, I posted about the "Great Topeka Food Depression" of 1992. We didn't have a Chop during pre-deployment preps, and the short-timer MSC in charge of ordering the food didn't take into account that we'd have 20 riders aboard -- the type of riders that never miss a meal (you know the type). Our last port visit before our "mission vital to national security" got cancelled, so we weren't able to pick up the stores load we were counting on after the new Chop did an inventory and figured out we were running low on food. First, we ran out of yeast, but the MS's saved the last bit and tried to grow some more. It ended up dying, but that was OK, because by then we'd run out of flour. The sugar ran out soon thereafter. During the last few weeks, we were reduced to a diet of bologna pinwheels and unsweetened jello; we drank water or "diet bug" with meals (bug juice without sugar -- horrible). When we finally pulled into Bahrain, we only had four tubes of bologna and one pathetic bag of mixed veggies left. We had made a list of the riders we were going to eat first if we got extended. Luckily, we never did run out of coffee; otherwise, I'm sure there would have been a mutiny.

Since the last port visit was canx'd, a lot of guys weren't able to pick up the various personal items they had planned to get there. As a result, a black market started up for things like candy and, especially, tobacco. A couple of smart non-smokers had bought a bunch of tobacco in San Diego before the deployment and made a killing. Eventually, that supply ran out too, and I saw the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen before -- the concept of "ABC" smokeless tobacco. ("ABC" stands for "Already Been Chewed".) Luckily, that all seemed to be used by the original owner; I don't think a market ever emerged for that particular commodity.

Do you have any humorous or poignant stories about shortages on submarines?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A continuing shortage in the Navy: asparagus tops.

Ever notice how asparagus is always missing the tops when served? Since it was a never-fail condition, my running joke back in the day was that the Navy was holding them in war reserve -- that we'd never see asparagus tops unless we were in a hot war.

The CO and the chop didn't appreciate my asparagus humor for some reason, but it never failed to be true.

7/07/2009 5:23 PM

Blogger T.J. said...

I've been underway when coffee ran out. It was a bad couple weeks. Swiss Miss became the hot ticket item. Not a pretty time onboard.

My funniest food story is the opposite of a shortage. We had an MS1 who meant to order a top off of some essentials. We were getting ready for local ops, playing rabbit, ORSE preps etc. I think the plan was to order a gross of eggs, but the MS1 ordered a dozen gross of eggs by mistake. We ate eggs with every meal, order an omlet and it was made with at least 6 eggs, instead of a soup down during vulcan death watches we had egg down -I wish I would've saved a POD for proof.

7/07/2009 5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's just short sighted and stupid as hell to run light on food stuffs and required culinary prep supplies.

If no CHOP, then the CSC or lead CS1, are well able to order what they will need. You should be able to project exactly what you'll need for atleast 3 months in advance before getting underway.

5 simple questions the Chop and scullery crew need to ask them selves...

1. Where are we going?

2. How long will be we be out?

3A. How many extra useless free loaders (oops I mean extra riders) do I need to prepare for?
3B. How long will they be on the boat?

4. What ports might we be pulling into as we are making our way from point A to point B?

5. Is there a tender anywhere in the projected area which we can expect to come along side of to help supplement our needed replenishments?

This is called a forecast. It's what's known as basic common sense planning. It doesn't take Mr. Wizard to figure it out.

Granted, when we do begin to run low on fresh food and have to resort to powdered eggs and milk and the like...then you learn to become resourceful in order to keep your crew happy on the mess deck. That's why CS Bubbleheads are the very best cooks in the Navy.

Wanna know how I pissed off the XO on our boat one time last year? He likes lemon in his iced tea and in his diet coke. We ran out of juice, kool-aid and juice boxes. So, I took about 35 to 40 lemons to make lemon-aid for the afternoon meal. It didn't last long but the crew was happy with what they got. The XO wasn't happy but my Chief stuck up for me, even though I should have asked permission first. But at that point, I really didn't care. I was just tired of all the bitching so I figured out a way to try and keep everyone happy for a short time till we pulled in.

There's just no excuse for running out of food and supplies. Some sort of plan can always be formulated and executed. There is always a way.

7/07/2009 6:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

cooks put too much butter out on tables for meals (1/2 lb per table per meal) early in an extended deployment and then tossing the leftover butter - roughly halfway through we began to notice that the "butter" was coating the mouth like grease and looked more like soft serve than hard sticks and was slightly different color which progressively became more white - solution devised = cooks were "extending" the butter with shortening and coloring with carrot juice

7/07/2009 6:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We ran out of TP once, shortly followed by the paper napkins from the mess. We did have plenty of the industrial brown paper hand napkins that go in public restrooms, though, for some reason.

So we got to use the khaki... er, brown "sandpaper squares" in the head for a while.

7/07/2009 7:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now see, that's completely screwy.
You can put unused portions of butter back in the reach in until needed for the next meal. Sanitation & Health will not frown upon that.

Shortening will only make butter taste all the more bland. Carrot juice for coloring? I'll have to ask my CSM about that one, but that really doesn't sound right. Along with such a method being a waste of time and resources, what happens if I have a shipmate who's allergic to carrots or anything similar?

7/07/2009 7:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another opposite story....after departing on Westpac fully loaded out, we found out (by diving) that we were way too we spent the next hour or so daisy-chaining TDU cans and weights up to control, up the sail, and over the side. The chop had apparently overestimated what we would need for our little trip. The old man was not pleased.

Joel, where's the blog post about how long you've gone with the showers secured? We did a stretch of 10 days once, needless to say it was pretty gross.

7/07/2009 7:42 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

Parche Mission 2002: left at 160#, returned six weeks late at 135#. Reason number four why I left the regular Navy.


7/07/2009 8:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew an ASWO on a 1052 who accidentally ordered triple the loadout of sonobuoys. Sonar switchgear was full of them.

Anyone remember "little green balls of death", a/k/a Brussel sprouts?

7/07/2009 8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh' fuck that noise...Lol.
By order of the Captain, brussel sprouts will never ever be permitted on our boat. It doesn't matter how much oregano, butter, garlic or thyme is used to hide their fowl taste. Brussel sprouts will never be brought onboard. Yuck!

7/07/2009 9:07 PM

Blogger Squidward said...

{So we got to use the khaki... er, brown "sandpaper squares" in the head for a while.}

Kem Wipes run out, too? Always worked for me if I had a "spill in ERLL", as it were...

7/07/2009 9:17 PM

Blogger hal911 said...

'93... CO _loved_ ham -- not pork, just ham. Last 4 mon of the deployment, we had it 4 squares a day. Had an MM that was just off the unleavened doughball experience hinted at above, about the only one who seemed to be appreciating our menu.

The '94 run was far better for both the food and the not-getting-yelled-at 3x/day.

7/07/2009 9:18 PM

Blogger Bigbill said...

On one mission we ran out of tuna (midrat favorite) so the cooks found a substitute. Ground up ham and mayo just isn't the same. Then we ran out of mayo.

7/07/2009 9:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the Ground up ham and mayo, if they had added some table salt and vegetable broth in the mixture, the CS guys on your boat would have kept you fooled.

We've pulled this same trick on the Connecticut before recently. Never any complaints either.

7/07/2009 9:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was a rider on a deployment...Chop was told to only order 60 days worth of food for a 30 day mission. Sounds good until you count that we had over 86 hot rackers on a 688, to include 8 midshipmen who only watched movies and ate our food. We also had to stay out, with all of the hot rackers, for an extra 2 days due to a typhoon moving through the Sea of Japan.

7 day port visit following mission turned into a trash off-load followed by a stores onload to go back out and do a ROKN SUBEX. Thanks CTF-74.

We ran out of the usual stuff also, such as yeast, flour and sugar. We did have kielbasa, since the chop had accidentally ordered 1000# vs. the 100# he intended. Chop in Saipan could not understand why we wanted 1000# of kielbasa. Neither could we. We still did not want to eat the kielbasa even with the food running out.

7/07/2009 11:10 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

Northern run way back in the day on the 638 (The Happy Whale!). MS1 (no Chief) orders the 90 day loadout & Chop checked it. In the beginning of the run everything seems just fine, we're eating our way out of cans on the deck & so forth.

A little over a month later & we start running out of things. Important things. Salt, butter, yeast, eggs, insert major building block ingredient here.

I will never forget the butter bowls at the tables that had nothing but lard in them. Shortening we had in spades but we were all out of butter.

Or having breakfast (pancakes w/ the crappy cheap watered down maple syrup) 2-3x a day 3-4 days of the week.

Nucs were scraping sea-salt off of brine stuff back aft & using it for seasoning. I had fortunately brought some Ms. Dash onboard & didn't have to resort to that, though I was running seriously low by the time we came off station (have to share w/ your tablemates!).

The TM's ruined the real eggs before they went bad when a grumpy TM3 stomped on them during TT maintenance instead of moving them from the outdboards first.

We did NOT run out of coffee, but distribution (no extra scoops) was being closely monitored the last few weeks.

The thing I never understood was instead of getting held accountable for the mismanagement he got a medal for ingenuity & made Chief the very next cycle. /boggle

Cigs were being hoarded, candy that was scoffed at the first few weeks was treasured during the last few.

Of note, we no longer do a regular 90 day load-out anymore. 75 is the requirement now from what I've been told by my Chop, unless specific operations necessitates carrying more.

Our EDMC was reviewing the ER food storage plan for the next deployment just this week. Wonder how we'll fare w/ the food...

7/07/2009 11:34 PM

Blogger T.J. said...

We did run out flour one time. The CS's tried their best with what they had on hand and made bread/rolls with pancake mix.

It was sweet.

7/07/2009 11:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...brings back some memories...

We were on a 4-week op (not that long right?) but somehow all we had was chicken on board. It was during that trip I learned new things that could be mixed with rice.

We also ran out of TP about two weeks before a port call and can offer this advice. A good replacement for TP is keep crumpling regular paper and eventually it starts to resemble the texture and ability of TP.

As a side note, I don't remember the cranks putting sugar in the bug juice back in the 79's. Did the bug juice change or have I had too many synapses fail?


7/08/2009 12:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ran out of peanut butter about 3 weeks into a scheduled 9 week underway. A week later the CSs figured out that what the nucs had been saying about not enough TDU weights being on board was actually true. Chop got yelled at lots that underway.

7/08/2009 12:44 AM

Blogger BlueShirtO said...

Can't blame the chop for a 40 day underway extended twice to 63 days. Pretty much same progression as Joel. Ended up at peanut butter and a couple other bland items. The black market ended up at 5 bucks a cigarette and the same for a can of coke. Pulled in to Japan the day Clinton was elected. Very depressing.

7/08/2009 1:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 631 who commented that "There's just no excuse for running out of food and supplies."

Yeah, well if we had crystal balls we'd all be rich. Sometimes s*#t happens. We were extended, several times, on a northern run. No port calls, no tender. The stew burners did their best with what they had, although the peanut butter glazed square pig was a bit much.

When we finally pulled in to Rosyth guys were munching heads of lettuce on the pier. Most of the fresh fruit never made it below decks.

It's not the Chop's fault, or the MSC or MS1 when your relief boat breaks down, repeatedly, and no others are available.


7/08/2009 6:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We always had food problems on my boat. We once accidentally blew San #3 into the galley and had to eat beanie weenies breakfast, lunch and dinner for days until the doc's bacteria culture tests were complete.

7/08/2009 7:24 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

1. Late '60s, the late Yogi Kaufman commanding WILL ROGERS BLUE (his third submarine command, first boomer). Was convinced that the Squadron loadlist for patrol was BS & did not approve of common practice of going way over the list on loadout. Squadron told him to piss off. Yogi said OK and directed his chop to load strictly to the list and not one calorie more. Did so. Ran out of menu about two weeks before the patrol ended. Eating flour soup by patrol's end. Point made. Squadron loadlist made realistic. Yogi happy.

2. Late '60s, the late Don 'Cruncher' Kniss commanding JOHN MARSHALL BLUE. Skipper decided he would quit smoking on patrol, convinced many others to do the same, made bet with wardroom that he would not smoke a cigarette while on patrol. Boat went to sea lightly loaded with cigarettes, but the 'quitters' found they couldn't and took up smoking after a few days. Cigarettes were selling at a very high price. The butt bag at the bridge ladder became the source for unburned tobacco. Problem was rolling paper. Crew found that the paper wrapping of the teetee tissue was perfect. Gone in two days. Some truly horrible and fould smelling fatties made of some really bad tobacco. Pretty gnarly crew at end of patrol. And Don Kniss? He took the wardroom to the club at the end of Ardnadam Pier. Asked us if he'd won his bet fair and square. We said yes, whereupon he took out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up.

7/08/2009 7:30 AM

Anonymous Math teacher UpstateNY said...

"That's just short sighted and stupid as hell to run light on food stuffs and required culinary prep supplies."

Yeah, right. (only time I know that two positives make a negative) Ever been on a Submarine? Things don't always go as planned. Things break, things get miss ordered, plans change...

First boat, 607- Port calls canceled due to "Line of Death" incident. Back when you could smoke anywhere onboard. People were re-rolling and re-smoking the butts. Lucky Strike cigs that must have dated to WWII were broken out from an emergency store source.

Second boat, 731- SCOOP-ex extended us a couple weeks, had extra FLOBs (aka middies) onboard. Ran out of all meats but shrimp, then ran out of butter and anything remotely resembling cocktail sauce. Shrimp for every meal prior to pulling in. Peanut butter held out to the end.

Third boat, 767- reefers went out halfway across the pond. We lived like kings for a couple of days, food was being cooked around the clock, then it all got tossed. The off load in Rota turned several sailors into underway vegetarians. Peanut butter was again the savior.

More stories from the 4th/5th boats. 703/769

TP shortage (or rumors of, which is worse because of the hoarders), only having one color bug juice onboard (the old stuff that was used to clean funnels) so cooks used food coloring to give the appearance of different flavors.

Lots of shortages of this or that over the years, almost never a single point failure. Like most accidents it was a combination of random events that resulted in the problem. Like most issues enough planning, enough foresight, enough micro-management... People learn from mistakes, we try to learn from others, but that doesn't always happen.

Learn to laugh when things happen, learn to help others get back on there feet when they make their mistakes (as you hope they will do for you). And always keep a carton of smokes, a jar of peanutbutter, and a roll of TP in your bunkpan or someplace locked up.

7/08/2009 7:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did 4 week run with the only meat being ham. Cooks messed up and that was all they ordered. There's only so many ways you can name the same stuff; Canadian bacon, breakfast ham steak, etc...

7/08/2009 8:42 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

In late sixties during a WESTPAC on SEADRAGON, we were fortunate to have the two best bakers in PACFLT on board as cooks. They decided to have a baking contest with the crew as judges. We had the best sticky buns, cakes, bread (during movies the members of the crew would take whole loafs of bread and a pad of butter to eat). About a two months into the patrol, the CO decided to hold a supply inspection and determined that there was just two weeks of flour, butter, etc. left with a whole month left at sea. The baking contest was regretfully ended and the baking material was stretched to reach the end of the patrol.
On this same trip we pulled into Okinawa for a port visit and the only meat that the CHOP could get for the rest of the deployment was Kobi Beef from the O Club on the Air Force base on Okinawa. I never thought I would get tired of roast beef, steak, etc. (especially Kobi Beef that melts in your mouth) but we were very happy to see some chicken at our next port call a month and one half later. Such a tough deployment.

7/08/2009 9:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lived through several food shortages but never one quite as desperate as the one you describe. As part of the boat prankster team, we were always trying to think of ways to 'create' shortages. The most obvious was toilet paper but we could never hoard enough of it, not to mention it was stored in the goat locker making it hard to steal. One patrol we finally hit the motherlode....forks. Yes, the humble fork. We started out by each person discreetly slipping their fork in their poopy suit pocket on the way out of a meal. After a month of this we had a nice collection of a few hundred forks but it didn't seem to be causing any concern. We stepped up our efforts and supplemented our regular thievery with random raids on the mess decks. Pretty soon the cooks were in full on panic mode. The chop finally figured out something was up and they had the wardroom do a 'thorough' sweep of the boat complete with flashlights. We were storing the forks underneath a false bottom in a toolbox in a very dark room. They checked the toolbox..but not good enough as the 'mystery' remained unsolved. The command put the crew on notice via the POD...and the forks continued to disappear. As a diversionary tactic, we started the 'Fork Apprehension and Rehabilitation Team' aka 'F.A.R.T.' to round up this herd of renegade forks.
Finally they gave up and put out plastic disposable forks which we used for a week. The gig was up when I saw the COB trying to eat pizza with a plastic fork and they kept breaking. An emergency chief's meeting convened and the perps were granted full amnesty if the forks were returned within 24 hours. They knew who did it..they just couldn't find them. We took the deal and anonymously deposited the forks in a brown paper bag in the wardroom pantry. It was fun while it lasted and the legend lasted for years.

7/08/2009 9:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my husband's last deployment, someone didn't do math so well. That, in addition to a cancelled port call, led to some rationing and the guys meeting us (a group of wives) in port declaring that, before anything, they were going to be fed. :D Apparently "cheeseburger soup" was repeated several times, and a poor vegetarian on board became a very good friend of canned peas - alone.

7/08/2009 9:55 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

The only thing I remember vividly running out of was salt. We did pretty much the same thing as was mentioned before, collected brine, dried it, ground it up and made our own salt. Man did it taste awful!

I'm sure glad I didn't have to live through that ordeal that you did Joel, and more importantly, I'm really glad I wasn't one of your cooks or SKs!

7/08/2009 11:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of supply stories over the course of my career. I tried to learn and not subsequently repeat these as I went on - with mixed results in some cases.

Several boats have run out of butter for a number of reasons, including operations extensions, poor ordering/inventory and poor supervision. During my command tour a new Chop and MSC did not properly watch the night baker and he went through a 90 day load of butter in 30 days...

I was a DH onboard the same boat as a previous poster that ran out of food due to an operational extension. To this day I cannot eat biscuits and gravy because that was all that was served for breakfast for what seemed like months. The last meal before pulling into Yoko was simply a lot of different odds and ends that were all that was left.

As XO we battled evaporator problems that were eventually traced to a bad batch of treatment chemicals. I really learned how important keeping the evaporator running was from that experience. Boy did things get ripe...

As CO, I always made sure that my Chop did not put things off to the next port while deployed. After 9/11 a scheduled 10 day transit turned in to a 10 week u/w. We had no major food issues. We ran out of a few things, but none of the basics. I had my COB engaged early to ensure that we had enough of the basic things that make life bearable - laundry detergent, TP and to ensure that toiletries were shared. My COB had assured me that we had plenty of everything, but not too long in to the u/w he came back to me to report that we were out of laundry detergent. It seems that one of the MSs (now CSs) did not understand the concept of low suds detergent. He did not think that there was enough detegent in the washer and kept adding it until it made suds. He single handedly went through three barrels of detergent in less than a month. We used orange muscle for a couple of weeks until we could get some detergent via a replenishment at sea (RAS). We did a couple of RAS events that u/w and on my next deployment. We mainly got repair parts, but it was always good to top off on popular food items and get some fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV).

I also learned the importance of the washer and dryer at a young age. My first boat was almost late for a deployment u/w waiting for a spare washer motor. In command I tried (unsuccessfully) to formally change washer and dryer repair parts for all submarines, but some civilian desk jockey said no. When my washer subsequently failed and the stash of repair parts could not fix it, I had to CASREP for the parts. For what it cost to ship those parts to the Red Sea the submarine force could have bought these same parts for the entire force.

7/08/2009 11:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 boats - many deployments and many patrols. Always ran out of something new. On my first run, ran out of sugar on the way back from the Med while the Food Services Officer. Blond and sweets became blond and bitter. No, wait, we had confectionery sugar. Ran out of that passing New London Ledge Light inbound.

Ran out of pizza cheese. Had lots of American cheese. Made a sweeter pizza. We adapted.

Had a leak on the Coke machine CO2 line. Scrubbed it all over the side. Lots of N2 onboard. Tried that. Not the same :-)

Pulled into Rota to top-off going into the Med. Did an food inventory and ordered all the deltas to get to the 90-day loadout quantities. The tender gave us more pallets than a boomer going on patrol. Turned the chill box into a freeze box. Had to offload and give lots back. First an only time I trusted the 90-day loadout lists.

7/08/2009 12:25 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I see we have all gone “happy tunes or happy days” that we got the facts of what really happened with the Port Royal, nobody wants to talk about it.

Report details Port Royal’s grounding

Can’t wait for the report on the sub USS Harford and the New Orleans...can there be any more of an entertaining report to read than the Port Royal.

I got a better entrée than Bubblehead's not going to sea with not enough many times has your submarine gone out to sea with broken navigation equipment or other important control room equipment.

That’s got to be something to see...leaving a shipyard with all this broken equipment. Why couldn’t the captain say we aren’t going anywhere until everything is fixed and working properly...that will get everyone in the Pacific Command and Washington off their butts.

“The 9,600-ton cruiser’s fathometer, which measures water depth, was broken, and both radar repeaters, or monitors, on the bridge were out of commission.”

“The board found many equipment malfunctions and human errors — but said there were enough working sensors and visual cues to prevent the grounding.”

7/08/2009 12:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did someone sit on your face when you were a kid, Mike?

7/08/2009 2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Seawolf returned recently, an inventory revealed that there was a bottle of chocolate syrup and a package of taco seasoning for every man on board. At least they weren't out of everything.

7/08/2009 3:57 PM

Anonymous SJV said...

I don't think we ever had a shortage, but the Doc used to joke that we used more rubbers underway than in port...he was a bit twisted.

7/08/2009 7:26 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

USS Hartford

7/08/2009 7:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason, this cracked me up...

When the Seawolf returned recently, an inventory revealed that there was a bottle of chocolate syrup and a package of taco seasoning for every man on board. At least they weren't out of everything.

7/08/2009 9:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

619Blue. Prior to departing Mare Island for DASO in July 1963, CSC(SS) ordered 10,000 candy bars. Yes you read it correctly 10K. Candy bars put out for the evening flick underway. Candy bars unloaded and stored on barge in Charleston SC in December of 63 for 5 month PSA and partial subsafe. Underway June 64 on blue one. evening movie, candy bars out, film breaks, lights go on so movie operater can splice the film. Someone says, "Hey! my candy bar is moving." Cooks knew candy bars had weevils so passed out boxes during movie when lights were out. Night baker says, "don't worry boys they're all protein."

Deployment on smoke boats chill box always converted to freeze box. Fresh veg, fruit, eggs went to the fwd torpedo room. Spuds went in the shower and after battery trunk with doubler hatch installed.

Longest time without showers on SS-348, was 53 days on northern run. Old 348 boat, she was a home and a feeder!!

Yah, thats the way it was in them days. DBF--gotta love it!!


7/08/2009 10:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now Mulligan, we let you out of your cage because you were beginning to behave. Don't screw it up now. If you do, we'll re-apply the genital restraining cuff and your Thorazine shots. So let's try and maintain a true course and stay on topic.

7/08/2009 11:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original note and all the comments about shortages are pretty surprising to this non-military reader. I'd always heard that the sub crews got the best food in the military. I understand the reasons, but still think running out of food would be like a pilot running out of fuel.

And as a former editor, the fact that a commenter managed to turn even food (FFV) into an acronym cracked me up! I've always wondered if all government employees had to pass a course in Advanced Gibberish.

7/09/2009 7:43 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Advanced Gibberish: that's AG to you, buddy.

For many years the Naval Institute Press published a dictionary of naval abbreviations. It's title (naturally): DicNavAb.

7/09/2009 7:55 AM

Anonymous SJV said...

Most times when things run short it's due to being extended on station or underway due to external conditions. When a fighter plane gets its mission extended, they send up a refueling plane. No can do on an SSN. As far as the food being better on a sub, that is the normal condition. We're discussing the abnormal here. I think even on a bad day with some shortages of milk and/or butter, the fare onboard is better than MRE's.

7/09/2009 8:40 AM

Blogger jk said...

My second patrol on the Stonewall Jackson SSBN 634 Gold circa 1972 we left on patrol without coffee filters. The tender in Holy Loch was out and the resupply ship was fighting a storm and late to the party. Used Kim Wipes and paper towels. Make the coffee strong enough and you can almost not taste the Wipes.

7/09/2009 9:56 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Through four boats I've had food issues at one time or another. Few have really been serious. If there is one area to pay attention to, it's chow. If it ain't good, fix it.

First boat. Req's said to load 90 days chow prior to ops while deployed. Chop loads 90 days before leaving PH. Upon departure from Yoko, four weeks later, boat now has 62 days chow. Part of the way through the run, the CO asks the chop if he is running low on sugar. Chop chokes down his mouthful and says "no sir." CO directs graphs and audits. Sure enough, the boat is low on all major food stuffs (flour, sugar). Shortly after deployment, chop is keel-hauled. We ate so much 3-bean salad, pasta and jello before the next port that I will never forget it.

I never forgot the COs clue: the appearance of blueberry muffins at an abnormally high rate indicates sugar shortage. That knowledge served me well.


Did you all know that if you have something you think is worthy of discussion here that you can just email bubblehead? Thanx for letting me know the report was out Mike, but chances are there are no new lessons learned. If one is really so stupid as to go to sea (to SEA!!!) without a fathometer, then you need a new job. Oh. done.

7/09/2009 5:04 PM

Blogger bothenook said...

on the old seawolf, we relied on O2 banks, ventilating, and O2 candles for our air.
guess what the chop failed to order correctly prior to the underway seawolf set the underwater endurance record?

yeah. O2 candles.

we actually increased the pressure inside the boat while lowering the the O2 levels. it worked, i guess, but you couldn't light a zippo worth a crap. we could still smoke on the boat, and the skipper knew we'd be murdering someone if the smoking lamp was out for the duration. adding to the stress of a 90 day divorce from any contact with the atmosphere by not allowing skipper was a smart guy.
we'd call all the compartments, and they would send a rep from each space back to the engine room.
then we'd take the oxygen line from the welding bottles, bleed a little O2 into a small wad of steel wool. since rapidly oxidizing metal equals heat, we had a very transitory cigarette lighter.
once everyone got a smoke lit, they'd haul ass back to their compartment where the smokers were in standby.

7/11/2009 12:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skimmers were a lot luckier, what with the monthly stores UNREP.

But still, after a month of beef, "blasted chicken" and brussel sprouts and it was a surprise that the chop didn't go for a midwatch swim.

Knew of one `can that was on the Gulf of Aden patrol, calling into Djbouti every so often. The chop got fresh eggs which he sold to the wardroom mess at cost. Nobody told the officers that "cost" was 75 cents apiece, the monthly mess bill was into the 3-figure range and this was damn near 30 years ago. Word was that the chop got a bad mark for "judgment" in his fitrep.

7/11/2009 6:09 PM


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