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, July 23, 2009

Virginia-Class Boats Come Home

Yesterday, USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) arrived home to Groton from her maiden deployment, a three-month cruise to Europe. Hopefully they at least got a Sea Service Ribbon out of the deployment. The CO estimated that it was the first deployment for 80% of the crew; I'm guessing that this is fairly common for all the NewCon boats.

Later today, USS Hawaii (SSN 776) arrives in her new homeport of Pearl Harbor, just in time for the state's 50th anniversary of statehood. Here's an analysis of what this means for the area. You can read about the boat's transit on their blog. Expect media availabilities galore for years to come.

Update 1631 24 July: Here's an update on the actual arrival of the Hawaii by William Cole reporter; here's a link to the Governor's proclamation; here are a bunch of pictures. (I put in the bad grammar as a way of abusing reporters who say "USS Whatever submarine" instead of the proper "the submarine USS Whatever". Pet peeve of mine.)


Anonymous quotecritter said...

If that stat on 1st deployments are correct then in my opinion somebody is dropping the ball.

It would be prudent to have a larger base of experienced hands to pass on their institutional memory than having such a high ration of wet behind the ears newbies all jumping into the deep end of the pool.

7/23/2009 7:02 AM

Blogger DayTrader said...

As to the Hawaii attention ,it will most likely generate all the local support and stories just like the years ago boomer boat the Kamehameha had ,even if she was in Guam.

7/23/2009 7:04 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

We'll see how things hold up. Honolulu could hardly get a ticket to a free concert out of the city..and it was homeported there.

7/23/2009 8:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think congrats should go out to the staff at SUBRON4. With all that went on with the Hartford, it is nice to see the better side of the Squadron.

7/23/2009 9:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does 80% first deployment translate to 80% non-quals? Does a new comm boat do enough other stuff before its first deployment to get enough of those "first time deployed" guys qualified?

Also, I've noticed a trend in the comments over the couple of years of obvious ex-submariners (Mikey excluded) referring to submarines as ships. In my day, they were boats. Has something changed?


7/23/2009 10:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1986 I reported to E-Div on a 637 class entering the last year of a refueling overhaul at PSNS. When we left for sea trials a year later, less than 25% of E-Div had been to sea - much less SS qualified.

7/23/2009 5:13 PM

Anonymous ConersBlow said...

If you were a nuke, SS quals were an afterthought. Was hilarious when I was qualified RO/SRO and some scrub coner called me a nub.

Furthermore, you didn't need to be SS qualified to paint and clean, which is really what the submarine force is about these days.

7/23/2009 5:49 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Obviously your super RO brain was far beyond any of that coner BS. I'd take a good A-Ganger on a DC party over some RO any day. Save the ship, they might. Most RO's on the DC party wouldn't be able to plug their nose. If you were too smooth to take a little heat from a Seaman you might consider spending some time in AMR qualifying on the Diesel. You might gain some respect for others.

7/23/2009 6:26 PM

Anonymous ConersBlow said...

Meh, A-gangers were just wash-out nuke MM's, so they weren't typically the sharpest tools in the shed. Probably the least incidence of homosexuality of all the coner ratings, though, so at least they had something.

7/23/2009 6:32 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Wow... Such animosity. Makes me miss the EM-Log even more!

7/23/2009 7:02 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

RO=primadonna. Conersblow could be a pen name for the Mulligan. Wow are you full of yourself. "I took forever to qualify because I am better than them." Good for you. Palin. Idiot. Same.

7/23/2009 7:08 PM

Anonymous ConersBlowHardKocks said...

You missed the point entirely. SS quals were bullshit. As a nuke, no one gave a shit if you were SS if you couldn't stand a watch. There was a reason non-nukes weren't allowed to touch any nuke gear...because non-nukes were typically retards and butt pirates. But anyone could clean, I guess, so peace and love.

7/23/2009 7:25 PM

Anonymous ex-ET nuc said...

Conersblow, people like you are what gives nukes such a bad rep. I would guess from your comments that you were a 6-and-out, but that's just a guess. I was also a 6-and-out, but I left qualified in all engineering watches, including EWS as an E-5, except for ELT (didn't have the right NEC, 3353/63/73). I got my fish at 7mos and qualified RO/SRO at the 1yr point.

Did you have anything at all to do with the forward part of the boat? I did a year as DCLPO, and you would be mightily surprised at what really goes on up there in "Conerland".

Along the way I also qualified some forward "Stuff": Lookout (spent 3.5yrs as maneuvering watch lookout), Helms/Planes, Basic Sonar Operator, Diesel Operator, and working on FTOW.

7/23/2009 11:58 PM

Blogger Rudder Amidships said...

Why don't we leave the forward vs. aft war back on your boat. It just makes you look silly.

I watched the Hawaii pull in today. As it passed Nastypac on Ford Island, I noticed that there was no rust anywhere. Our boats are so pretty when they are new. Too bad that never lasts. I hope they adjust here well.


7/24/2009 12:07 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

If you were a nuke, SS quals were an afterthought.

Yes, because qualifying RO is certainly going to help you know how to dump a hydraulic accumulator when a major rupture occurs and you're the only guy at the hydraulic power plant. If you were a decent nuke, you'd understand the importance of quals, all of them. You'll probably end up a bitter old fool.

Was hilarious when I was qualified RO/SRO and some scrub coner called me a nub.

You are a nub in life. That's obvious by your piss poor attitude. Of course, you do seem to be an experienced troll.

Furthermore, you didn't need to be SS qualified to paint and clean, which is really what the submarine force is about these days.

Is suspect that's all you were/are worth to your ship, what with your rosy outlook and all.

STFU, get your ass back in the Engine Room and go do an APD clean and inspect, NUB.

7/24/2009 7:46 AM

Blogger phw said...

Conersblow=Just another troll

7/24/2009 8:39 AM

Anonymous ConersTakeItInTheRear said...

630-738, I can't tell if you were a coner or not, so I'll reserve judgement for now.

While you may be right in saying that SS quals would help when an accumulator needs to get dumped, it does nothing to get my shipmates out of port and starboard watch rotation. The only thing that does that is qualifying RO/SRO. And in port, I guarantee you that there is not one nuke that gives a shit if you are SS qual'd if you can't even stand an SEO, SRO, or SRW watch.

But go ahead...keep jocking your dolphins. I sat on enough SS qual boards to know you eventually just give those things away after you give the retard SA 45 lookups.

7/24/2009 12:18 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Whatever you call yourself,

I had a really nasty response prepared for you, but I decided not to play. It's just not worth it and I respect Joel too much to bring this blog down to your level.

For the record, I am a retired EMCS. I qualified SRO/SEO on 3 different plants, EWS/EDPO on 5, and EOOW/EDO at NPTU. I fully recognize the importance of at-sea and inport watchstation qualification; hell any boat sailor does, nuc or not. Everyone on this blog recognizes the hard work and knowledge a nuc has to put in to attain his quals. Most here, however, don't engage in ridiculing others to make themselves feel better about themselves. It's truly sad that you have to engage in that kind of behavior. Do you REALLY think that's the cool way to be? All you accomplish with that attitude is make yourself look foolish.

If you are tired of giving out too many lookups at qual boards, fail folks on them. I know what you are thinking, that's easy for you to say when you are the dissenting voice. I respond if you are being OBJECTIVE and FAIR (read: not looking down your nose at the poor SA) and you truly don't feel comfortable with his level of knowledge, you'll be in a better position to make your point to the remainder of the board members. Attitude makes a big difference. If you come off as an asshole in the board, the remainder of the members are less likely to give your opinions value.

Yes, SS quals matter. They matter when real professionals hold each other to a high standard. Referring to any qualification, whether it is SS, SRO/SEO, FTOW, or even trash compactor, is a sign of pettyness and just plain stupid. Try to rise above such childlike behavior.

7/24/2009 1:41 PM

Blogger Scott said...

I was a six and out ET nuke on my boat. I thought like conersblow when I was a NUB (albeit with out the attitude), and I qualified PPO(VA-class RO)/SRO in 10 months, and then proceeded to sit on my fish quals and drag them out another 4 months. After the fact I realized how stupid I was for putting myself through that extra pain. I think I was able to help pass on to the newer NUBs the importance of balancing their forward and aft quals.

Also, conersblow, as a self proclaimed "sharp tool," you should understand that everyone on the boat has a necessary job to do to get the big picture job done, including A-gang, FTs, cooks, and nukes. Reactor safety is a big deal, but so is the diesel. I'm working at a civilian plant now, we don't go to sea, but our diesels are still probably the most important pieces of equipment on site. So take a look at the big picture and understand the boat didn't revolve around you.

7/24/2009 2:52 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...


I doubt there's a nuke submariner alive that didn't harbor those feelings at least once. I sure did, and I probably had a pretty similar attitude for a while. It took a grizzled old EMCM to get me to see the error of my ways. He pinned his fish on me (I was the only guy he gave 'em too), and they are the very same fish I'm pinning on my own son when he qualifies. Due to no fault/input of mine, he's a nuc EM on a boat right now.

7/24/2009 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a NUKE ETCS I'm ashamed of the comments being posted by this so-called former RO. If there is one thing that has kept me in the Navy over the past 15 years it is the comaraderie onboard. I used to use the words CONER & Forward Area Guy, but then arrived on a boat that had a nuke as a COB. He quickly squashed that mentality and made me realize how much we all play apart onboard the submarine. It is imperative that if this NUB/CONER/NUKE mentality exists onbaord that the Chief's get out there and correct it. SUBMARINE'S ONCE, SUBMARINE'S TWICE.......

7/24/2009 3:22 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...


I share your sentiment of embarrassment, but do remember all bad attitudes get started in some form of reality. Nukes are in fact treated differently on some boats. My own son is witness to this. His boat recently returned from patrol (yes, he's a boomer fag- I call him this all the time, he can take it). During the turnover phase, he was standing P/S SEO, and then going to the galley as an FSA for the 2 non-duty days. Clearly this is BS, but it happens.

My point: as Chief's, we have a duty to not only quell fwd-aft animosity, but also to stand up and ensure that situations don't exist to foster those animosities in the first place. A popular phrase when I was retiring was "Mission First-People Always". I believe the more proper response should be "People First-Mission Always."

Judging from your words, I see you live that as well. Thanks for being a REAL Chief.

7/24/2009 3:42 PM

Anonymous Ross Kline said...

I never had a problem calling someone a coner...and they never had a problem calling me a f**king nuke. But it was all said in fun, and I respected the hell out of those guys. For the most part, the entire crew was made up of very talented pros and all played a part.

But that was in the navy i remember. Maybe things have changed.

How sad.

7/24/2009 7:14 PM

Blogger Scott said...

I agree with the later sentiments expressed here. I found that the chiefs quarters were sometimes a bit lacking on my boat. Some of the forward chiefs would love to flame the coner/nuke fire, and a few of the aft chiefs were just as guilty. Like I said, I did my six and moved on, and I'm extremely happy with my decision. At the same time, I have a lot of respect for the guys that have done the 20+.

Also, 630-738, I was looking at your blogger profile, and judging from your hometown and job description, I'm guessing you work at Turkey Point. If that's true, hello, fellow FPL employee! I'm in I&C at Seabrook.

7/24/2009 9:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a nuke EM and EVERYONE participated in the fwd vs aft shenanigans - even the COB - a grizzled old EMCM with a devil tat on each a$$ cheek shoveling coal into . . . yep, there. But, it was all in good fun. Did the coners get a better deal on liberty and working hours? Without a doubt, they did. Did I like it? Not one bit, but it wasn't their fault – just the nature of the beast - manning, equipment to maintain, extra training, etc.

7/24/2009 9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the USS Hawaii skipper's blog:

"My nuclear trained watchstanders are counting down the days to our arrival in Hawaii as only nuclear trained watchstanders would. Each day they write down on a white board the element of the periodic table that corresponds to the days we have left. A very unique group of sailors!"

Unique most certainly!

7/25/2009 12:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Elemental countdown" was a great morale booster! Nothing like pulling in on Hydrogen day. To bad the EDMC wouldnt let us fil ballons with hydrogen to celebrate...

7/25/2009 12:38 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

First off,

Scott: I figured you were at Seabrook. I used to be an I&C Field Supv, I&C guys are my favorites!

Yes, the nuke vs. coner "war" should be all in good fun. Where it goes too far is when there becomes an obvious disparity between the two. It's funny, when my kid was pulling double duty, there were two folks getting that deal: both nukes. I blame the COB and EDMC for that. Wherever the blame lies, that fans the flames of true discord across the tunnel door.

This clown "ConersBlow" is most likely trying to be humorous, but fails miserably when he starts denigrating the biggest common denominator on a boat- Dolphins. I'm damn proud of my nuclear training, and obviously I used it to secure meaningful civilian employment. More than that though, I'm fiercly proud of my fish. I'm a member of an elite fraternity. I frequently wear my ship's ballcaps (I have my everyday one from each boat I served on) and can always count on another boat sailor commenting on it. If you don't think that level of camaraderie is important, then you're in the wrong line of work.

Just my .02.

7/25/2009 7:38 AM

Anonymous SJV said...

"conersblow" is like a fart in the wind. He stinks pretty bad but won't last long, and if you ignore him he won't bother you.

7/25/2009 9:46 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

“This letter refers to your phone call to the NRC headquarters operation center on April 19 and 20, 2009....

As part of our response to your concerns related to the safety conscious work environmental at Turkey Point and Saint Lucie Nuclear plants(that is 4 nuclear plants and about 2500 megawatts of electricity...all the nuclear plants in Florida.) we intend to request that Florida Power and Light to perform a evaluation and provide a written response to the NRC. We request that FP$L be thorough, objective and that the evaluator be independent of FP$L management responsible for oversight of the functional areas of your concern. We will evaluate FP$L response, and we will consider it in developing our conclusion in regards to your concerns...”

If you want me to e-mail the full NRC letter to you just send me a note at What a disgrace FP&L management is being so incompetent, and they are advertising they want to build new nuclear plants. These will be big time and highly priced, and highly skilled...sophisticated surveys and pre and follow up interview investigation. The FP&L is already shuffling around the dead wood executives over this.

There is no question the NRC knew I was talking to high management level licensed people...I was talking to a group of shift managers. Basically it was surrounding the damaged fuel bundles and a shortage of technical employees leading to massive overtime. The question is, was FP&L intimidating their employees into hiding safety problems.

If anyone here has a legitimate nuclear safety problem they can’t solve, and you want to maintain your anonymity, or not but make a big splash...they can’t count the large numbers of FP$L employees who I talked to...I’d have a highly skilled NRC inspector investigating your concerns before 24 hours is up! By the way, we got a Inspector General investigation going on with the NRC’s region II...if they did anything improper with the region’s licensees.

7/26/2009 12:19 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Run out of your meds again Mulligan?

7/26/2009 1:43 PM

Blogger Postlethwaite Windschitl (The Yamaha Fanatic) said...

I knew Mike Stevens, the CO of the New Hampshire, when he was the Eng on the Alaska. I highly doubt he missed his family for those three months on the New Hampshire. The man was highly competent, but also the most fanatical careerist robot you could imagine. And extremely thin-skinned. After a few patrols on the Alaska, he left to be a Nav on a fast boat in Hawaii. I guess he was seeing too much of his wife and kids during off-crew.

8/11/2009 1:19 PM

Anonymous NewHampshireSonar said...

To reply to the comment that the 80% of first-time deployers is way out of balance, let me respectfully disagree. As one of those 80%, I can reliably say that all but a few of us have been with the boat since the yards, and all of us (with the exception, I think, of two personnel) had our fish and had done all 259 underway days in the 365 days preceding the deployment. Despite the fact that we are green (at least as far as lengthy underways goes), we are widely acknowledged (by some higher up muckety-mucks) to be on par with, or in some cases, better than, some of the more experienced crews on the waterfront. Or, at least, that's what we're told.

8/13/2009 4:46 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Told you...I need a report on my desk with how much I changed the working inviroment at Turket Point Nuclear plant?

Posted on Friday, 08.07.09 Recommend (0)shareemailprintcommentreprint .NUCLEAR POWER
FPL replaces top administrator at Turkey Point
Florida Power & Light replaced the top administrator at its Turkey Point nuclear facility, following a series of costly problems.
After several embarrassing problems at South Miami-Dade's nuclear facility, Turkey Point's top administrator, Bill Jefferson, has been replaced.

Florida Power & Light, which operates the facility and is planning to install new large reactors there, said in a Tuesday memo obtained by The Miami Herald that ``Jefferson has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities'' and had been replaced by general manager Mike Kiley, effective immediately.

The memo from chief nuclear officer Mano Nazar praised Kiley for his ``integral role in addressing and working through many of the challenges associated with the latest fuel outage.'' It said nothing about Jefferson's years with the company.

8/13/2009 8:12 PM

Anonymous Regina said...

This can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.

9/21/2012 3:07 PM


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