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, September 04, 2009

USS Scranton Returns Home

From the official Navy website, here's a picture of the return of USS Scranton (SSN 756) to Norfolk following a deployment to the Med, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Gulf as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group:

Now that's a picture of a boat that's been working hard. Welcome home, guys!

According to this story of the homecoming, the boat had liberty stops in Souda Bay, Bahrain, and Diego Garcia. I really hope that they stopped in more and better places than those. What's the worst set of port calls you've ever had on a "normal" deployment?

46 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Djbouti in mid-July, hands down. If the Almighty is ever going to give this planet an enema, the nozzle is going into the Horn of Africa.

9/04/2009 10:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully the PAO or someone else so-inclined has hooked these guys up with the cast of NBC's "the office."

Pam, anyone...?

9/04/2009 10:54 AM

 
Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Souda Bay, tops. There was nothing to do there.

Bahrain's actually a cool place. I lived there for nine months.

Thanks for the shot of Scranton - it now graces one of my monitors.

9/04/2009 11:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WestPac on the 677 in 1993/94. Guam twice for upkeeps and New Caledonia for 4 days of liberty.About 140 days of the 180 spent at sea. Minus a day of duty in New Cal it turned out to be 3 days off for the 6 month deployment. Unbelievable.

9/04/2009 12:24 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

I'm frankly surprised by the hatred for Souda Bay. I rather enjoyed Chania, the food was excellent, the people were damn friendly and just sitting at the edge of Chania harbor watching the sun set was very enjoyable.

My worst port visit? None. I enjoyed them all. If you pinned me down, I'd have to say Agadir, Morocco. Too doggone hot, nothing really to do but drink. I could do that anywhere.

9/04/2009 12:25 PM

 
Anonymous Dave in St. Louis said...

I was on an SSBN. What are these port calls you speak of?

9/04/2009 2:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave in St Louis,

Most of the fags reading and commenting in this blog are SSN weenies. You're just opening the door for some SSBN bashing....

9/04/2009 2:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSBN's...best shore duty I ever had!

9/04/2009 2:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Left Rota....Came back to Rota.

9/04/2009 3:30 PM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

In 20 years on Boomers I had three port calls - not counting PCAN, and some maybes. After spending so much time there, and being able to do off weekend speed runs home, I don't think that counts. And the 1st one I don't know if you can count it, either, because Faslane is right up the river from Holy Loch. We went there because the tender actually went to sea!

Can being on a remote location like Holy Loch be considered a port call?

Two years later, we did a Med Patrol and pulled into Naples for 4 days. That was cool. Took the train to Rome one day. Unforunately I didn't have any money. Somewhere, there's a guy with a picture of me standing in Vatican Square...

On the old boomers out of HL, the battlestations fire control party used to do piggybacks on the Chas boats down on the AUTEC range so we could do TCPs. We would all fly down to Andros Island, get hammered that night, then the next AM get on the small boats out to the piggy back boat. We'd shoot bullets all day, and the next if necessary, then go back to the island. We'd get smashed again, then fly home the next day. Did that twice. Would you call that a port call? I don't know.

12 years later we pulled into Rosey Rhodes. I was on the DCPO watchbill, so I stood no duty there. What a freakin' blast! Went snorkeling, and to San Juan.

Since I had so few of them, I call them all good. Being on boomers really killed it for port calls, but you can't beat offcrew!

9/04/2009 3:44 PM

 
Blogger reddog said...

What's a port call? We went to Adak once. Does that count? There was a bus to take us to the Base exchange. Everybody got to go for an hour, if they wanted. They said they closed it for everybody else while we were there. I just think there was nobody else around. Everybody was thrilled to get a new toothbrush and underwear.

It was rumored that a few guys had a beer. I don't believe it. I didn't see any and I keep my eye out for that kind of stuff.

9/04/2009 5:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

didn't care for La Maddalena back in 1993-1994. enjoyed Gibraltar for that week in 1994 (great bar above the Pizza Hut there). nice friendly women there too. Plymouth England, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were good places in 1996.

9/04/2009 5:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a bad port call. After 15 years in the navy I still live by the philosophy "Work Hard, Play Harder". After a 30-70 day mission any piece of ass looks good especially after a crap load of the local brew. Submarines are experts at making the best of a bad situation. For the record "Poverty breeds the best liberty"
HOO-YAH AMERICA

9/04/2009 6:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've liked everywhere I've been.

Goa, India was the most foreign place I've visited.

I guess I agree with the above poster, that I could do without Souda Bay, but it is based more on the liberty policy of the NSA there than the town (Chania is cool).

You didn't ask, but my favorite ports were Singapore and Aksaz (Marmaris), Turkey. That is some good liberty.

9/04/2009 6:52 PM

 
Blogger Port Tack Start said...

DGar is, by far, the best port call in the Chagos Archipelago!

9/04/2009 7:16 PM

 
Blogger Bigbill said...

I was on a boomer (Hawaii twice) and the 683 (San Diego three times). After making LDO and getting orders to a carrier, I was excited about making port calls. On CVN 69 I got to see Jebel Ali (sucked) and Lisbon (awesome). I split toured to CVN 71 to get out of the shipyard and reported a week before 9/11. Not many port calls that deployment but I got to do 159 straight days at sea.

Worst port call is any Middle East port. The best port call ever was Montenegro on the ES Land.

9/05/2009 12:26 AM

 
Anonymous BetaBar said...

Best port? Freemantle hands down

Worst port? Jakarta

Both of the above on post command tour on a skimmer.

Worst deployment? 2 days in Guam, 5 days in Sasebo, 4 days in Hong Kong. HK was great, but you add up the numbers for 180 day deployment!

9/05/2009 7:40 PM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

The guys who live in Guam have sometimes done Yoko, Yoko, Oki and Yoko. But I really have a hard time knocking any place I've been. Some aren't as fun, but that's the real world. It says something that so many places in the world are fun to visit. If it ain't like the US, shut up and go take the watch for someone else.

Oh, liberty while at anchor kind of blows. Nice that we are out of that business.

9/05/2009 7:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worse WESTPAC, USS Honolulu Westpac 97. Working ports in Yoko (8 days) Sasebo (10 days) Guam (13 days). Only Liberty Port was Pattaya Thailand for 4 days. 35 days in port for a 186 day Westpac. Plus the 2 60 day underways were boring as hell!

STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

9/05/2009 8:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BIOT was not great, but still better than at sea.

Perth/ Fremantle was great, and Hobart is right there, too. Although I may be biased because of a girl in Hobart....

What was really annoying wasthat the more senior (therefore watchbill-influencing) POs would justify screwing the single squids in homeport on holidays, weekends, whatever with the Big Lie that it would work out the other way in liberty ports. That lie should be right up there with what recruiters tell us, and what we tell the ladies.

-3383

9/05/2009 11:38 PM

 
Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Worst ports?

Well, Augusta Bay, Sicily (mid-80's) and Lima/Callao, Peru top my personal list. Mombasa, Kenya is up there, but I spent more time OUT of the town than IN the town.

Best ports? Holy cow, I've been to a ton of them but here goes...

Concur with Fremantle as tops of the list. Last time (of the 2) I was there was during the America's Cup in '87. 'Nuff said! Other chart toppers:
Valparaiso, Chile, Aqaba, Jordan, Singapore and Cartagena, Spain round out my top five.
As far as DGAR goes, never really minded the place. Good sailing, good diving and good food/cheap beer at the Merchant Seaman's club (is it still there?)
Cheers...

9/06/2009 5:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Left Guam came back to Guam. Our CO liked to say liberty is a mission. We liked to say yea, liberty is a mission, it's just not our mission.

9/06/2009 9:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kinda like couple other posters on here, never had a bad liberty 20 years in the submarine Navy. Never had a bad liberty sailing on MMD with Military Sealift Command either.

Been to Agadir Morocco. Stayed a week at a resort/spa. All topless babes from northern Europe around the pool during the day in late winter. Great time!!

I love Micronesia. I'll take it all, Guam, Tinian, Saipan and especially Palau. That place is freakin paradise!!! Was regular stop like several times a year on MSC ammo ships.

Even on worst WesPac (72) on smoke boat, three back-to-back specops, Yoko, Sasebo, Hong Kong, Yoko, Yoko and only 42 days alongside, liberty was still a blast.

Gotta tell ya, in 2008 I found a bar in honolulu in Iwieli section of town. Owner was Korean woman AND it's across the street from the Womans Homeless Shelter. What a joint!! What a load of fun!! If your on the lookout, you can always find some fun ashore....Even in Keansburg New Jersey!! Told one of my shipmates about pulling liberty there while inport at NWS Earle NJ. He says, "Geeze! thats like going to Stockton CA for liberty!"

Keep a zero bubble...........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/06/2009 2:26 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

DBF,

Glad someone enjoyed Agadir. All I saw was sand, heat, camel s--t, seriously formaldehyde laced Flag Beer, and the nastiest tugs ever for liberty launches. I saw no topless Euro babes lounging around pools.

Oh, I almost forgot, the bazaar. "My good friend, I make you good deal!"

Someone above mentioned Aksaz/Marmaris. I concur, great liberty! Oddly enough, the greatest McDonald's in the world is there!

9/06/2009 9:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone commented earlier, the pooerer they are the better liberty is.

Nothing says America better than a Sailor (officer and enlisted for you high-minded types) spreading his seed for the last two and a half centuries!

9/06/2009 11:23 PM

 
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9/07/2009 12:31 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With four years on 677 (86-90), one of those years being at PSNS and the rest stationed in San Diego, the only ports we hit that entire time were Vallejo, Pearl Harbor, Lahaina and Yokosuka. At least we hit Pearl and Lahaina multiple times enroute to our 60+ day hide and seek runs.

9/07/2009 6:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on DRUM at the same time - do you remember the deployment loadout for the run when we stopped in Pearl Harbor on the way over? The Chop had stored eggs in the forward escape trunk, forgetting that a few days in PH would ruin the whole concept of using the sea as refrigeration. We were on station when they were broken out - and immediately racked out all of forward berthing with the smell. Breaking eggs on the mess decks so they could be TDU'd without imploding and causing noise - what a mess!

9/07/2009 7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten about the stench drill that went along with the "do not cavitate" order accompanying a backing bell while moving ahead painfully slow. (My rack for that run was in the bow on the deck level below two levels of #10 cans!)

9/07/2009 10:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 half deployments and a CHOP for me. The spoils:

Guam x 3
Sasebo x 2
Yokosuka X 3
Chinhae (steaming stores load, had lunch with a korean wardroom and headed out 10 hrs after pulling in)

At least I got to see Tokyo a couple times! (Viking club a few more)

9/08/2009 1:36 AM

 
Anonymous former 758 COB said...

30 years in the Navy, E-1-CWO4. Made it to every continent except for Antarctica. What is there to complain about? Some liberty ports weren’t as good as others, but a day in port beats “deeper than 800’and in excess of 20 kts” or hearing "COMMENCE FIELD DAY".

9/08/2009 5:48 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got to visit such exotic ports of call as Dunoon, Port Canaveral, Charleston weapons station, Groton CT, and last but not least, ELECTRIC BOAT "NAVAL" SHIPYARD. Join the navy and see the world. Eight and out.

9/08/2009 1:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made it all the way home, then got highlighted for a DUI this past weekend.

Way to go blueshirts!

9/08/2009 6:02 PM

 
Anonymous Wow Gold said...

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9/08/2009 11:34 PM

 
Anonymous Wow Gold said...

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9/08/2009 11:34 PM

 
Anonymous Wow Gold said...

wow ! what a blog

9/08/2009 11:37 PM

 
Anonymous Wow Gold said...

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9/08/2009 11:39 PM

 
Anonymous Wow Gold said...

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9/08/2009 11:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My worst port visit was on 693 med run 94. 4hr feild day tied to pier at toulon.

9/13/2009 2:18 PM

 
Blogger nooner said...

SCRANTON looks great! Haven't got used to the new utilities, never liked poopies either. Glad to see they dispensed with the broom, hope their post-deployment exams went well all the same.

I really liked Fremantle to visit, best, but enjoyed liberty everywhere. Best liberty: seeing my wife for 18 hours in Manama, Bahrain. Her ship, CIMARRON, came in with turbine trouble during our liberty call, sweeeeeeet. We were in the same battle group, but never got to stop in the same places, either the skimmers went in first, or we did.

BTW, love the blog!

9/15/2009 1:39 PM

 
Blogger Missy said...

I just found your blog by googling USS SCRANTON. My cousin is becoming the commander tomorrow. Much of my family is going for the ceremony, but I was not able to. Wishing I was there. Interesting comments but I don't know any of those acronymns!

9/30/2009 12:55 PM

 
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