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.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Base News From SUBASE NLON

Here's an article in The Day about how my old CO, CAPT Marc Denno, has been doing as the SUBASE Commanding Officer. It looks like he has his priorities in the right place. Excerpts:
"The base exists for one reason, and that is to homeport and operate submarines out of, and that has to be our primary mission. That has to be our focus," Denno said in an interview this week. "It's not that submarine hasn't been in it, but there have been distractions from the submarine primacy."
"We're getting a new commissary, a new exchange and that's all good," he added. "But we are in existence to serve the submarines, and right now the condition of that part of the base does not deliver that message."
Denno, who became the commanding officer of the base in June, said he does not like seeing the aging piers and infrastructure, leaking pipes, poor roads and inadequate parking for sailors at the waterfront.
"You have to make hard choices in the constrained fiscal environment that we're in right now," Denno said. "When I have one dollar to spend, I want that dollar to be spent on the submarine part of the base."
So are the new commissary and exchange in the same place, or are they putting them somewhere else?


Anonymous STSC said...

No idea where or what exactly they are doing w/ the NEX & groceries, but lower base has been long overdue for an overhaul.

Haven't been there since '05, but I remember a young Sailor dying my last year there because he fell through a poorly marked off hole in the asphalt. He was burned so severely by underground steam piping he couldn't recover. Imagine making that CACO call...he died walking to work because the base was in such poor repair.

They were knocking down buildings left & right, but not sure what they have accomplished since I left to make lower base better for NSSF or the boats.

1/10/2010 3:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the existing NEX/Commissary building will be converted to house only the NEX and a new Commissary will be built in open space near the old building. I don't think this will happen for a couple of more years though.

1/10/2010 4:13 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

Over where English hall ("Old SUBSCOL") currently sits?


1/10/2010 4:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out, all the "wives have the toughest job in the military" BS'ers are going to freak out.

This guy has the right attitude. The base is only there to support submarines and crews whose job is to hunt and kill. Everything else is just fluff.

1/10/2010 4:36 PM

Blogger Marc said...

The new commissary will go on the river side of the exchange where we tore down a warehouse. The NEX will expand into renovated commissary spaces, adding package store, furniture store, etc to new spaces. Tearing down old buildings.
New Gym going where old english hall was.

1/10/2010 4:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The loudest will be the retired Admirals and shore duty O-6's who lost their reserved NEX/Commissary parking spots when CAPT Denno gave them to the SSN CO's and XO's.
There is plenty of parking for everyone.

1/10/2010 4:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would have to agree. Out of the six subases (or what they are called now) I have been to, Groton has always been, by far the most nasty and less impressive base. It was always seeming to fall apart. Not impressed by it! You would think for the Submarine Capitol of the World, it would have been better taken care of.


1/10/2010 5:05 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Nice to see SOMEONE has a plan for the place. Ya know, I was last there in 2006 for a SCC Pre-Sail, having not been there since 1989, and was absolutely appalled at the LACK of improvements that had been made. Sure, there was SOME new stuff but, in reality, how much money would it really take: the base isn't that big! It was run-down in the late '80's and in 2006 it was just plain falling apart.

1/10/2010 5:25 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Before this ramble gets too far off track you'll need to factor in color-of-money matters, NavFac decisions, MilCom allocations, DeCA funding, Commander Navy Installations Command Actions, a whole bunch of staff activity, and take also a look at the staffing levels in the various disciplines of SubBase manning.

CO SubBase has a role and an important voice in this, but swaying the direction of big chunks of installation money involves a lot of people, a number of budgets, multi-year actions, and a whole bunch of different commands. The CO's priorities may be sound. His freedom of action, though, is really pretty limited. Stewardship within his command will be highest priority, the old fashioned stuff: how well his people do their jobs, how well he prioritizes for them inside his sphere of authority, and how much luck he has along the way.

To the last point, I've seen two feet of water above the piers at SubBase (Hurricane Donna, 1960); with events like that, a lot can get off track.

Good luck skipper.

1/10/2010 5:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Defense budget will approach $700,000,000,000.00 in 2010. Maybe we should pass the hat to fix the holes in the piers. Why not? We buy our own tools.

1/10/2010 6:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new exchange is a waste. It didn't used to be this way, but now I think it is rare to get anything at the NEX that can't be found cheaper out in town.

Good Luck to the CO. It is nice to see there are still guys out there that can try to keep the main thing the main thing and cut out some of the BS.

1/10/2010 7:24 PM

Blogger Jason William said...

Interesting development..

That CO is going to have a lot of flak to weather I'm guessing..


1/10/2010 7:46 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I just visited the Commissary this afternoon and noted the reserved parking change. One side is CO/XO and the other is CMC/COB. The O-6 slots are gone. I enjoyed that privilege as an active and retired O-6 for almost twenty five years so I guess it is good to let the younger folks have the space. Actually it is the spouses that will enjoy the fewer steps to the NEX and the Commissary.
I would applaud CAPT Denno's approach as long as he remembers that recreation facilities and barracks are important for the young students at SUBSCOL. I agree that the pier update program needs to continue for at least three more piers. The new wider piers with the built in services seem to be very effective in improving pierside efficiency. Most of the buildings I worked in in my active duty career at SUBASE are now fields or parking lots. Improving the sub maintenance facilities is also important. I hope the Facility Funds are available to support his ideas. IT isn' as easy as it was twenty five years ago to get something done.

1/10/2010 8:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slow topic day! No sympathy here for the 0-6's losing thier parking.Its about the Kids, always the Kids their naval experience should be the best so they can tell their children they where treated right. Can't say that for Kids I served along with there in the early 80's.
Do fondly remember giving the Bird to any passing passing Flag car then hot tailing it to safety.
So lets build the new exchange, and provide Free shuttle service to Delmars.........

1/11/2010 4:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they ever update the BOQ? Back in the 80s it was ancient.

1/11/2010 7:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the old Chalet is still very much a dump. SOBC students are still req'd to stay there and pay approx. $75 a night out of per diem. With all the money that place rakes in, it's a shame they haven't upgraded it at all. The internet is ancient. Overflow quarters goes to the brand new Gateway Inn, which is quite comfortable and approx. $55 a night. The warehouse on lower base is still being demolished, so I don't see the new commissary/NEX being erected anytime soon.

1/11/2010 7:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranky old piers jut into the Thames,
New fast boats moored here and there.
Frozen topsides stand watches shivering.
NAUTILUS wharf-welded on nuclear power.
CROAKER's glory days are done and gone,
Electric Boat's glory days drag on and on.
Harvard races Yale up stream,
The Academy's where the EAGLE nests.
Sun rises over Subase buildings,
(Are they on the National Historic Register?)
And it sets over old Conn College.
O, New London,
Sweet Home, New London,
Submarine Capital of the World!
The First and Finest.

1/11/2010 11:12 AM

Blogger DDM said...

I think they should reserve spots for Master Chiefs vice just COB/CMC. Visit other military bases. If not Master Chiefs, then EDMCs since they are the hardest working enlisted men on the waterfront. :)

1/11/2010 3:44 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...


If you want a COB parking place, be a COB.

1/11/2010 4:37 PM

Blogger DDM said...

Can I get one of those cool green jackets like COs and XOs wear too?

1/11/2010 4:40 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

Certainly...Let me look and see if I got a spare!

1/11/2010 5:07 PM

Blogger DDM said...

ret.cob: I confess. I'm retired EDMC. Gave up on COB after taking so long to make 8 (8 times up). Gave up my right to bitch about COBs a year ago.

1/11/2010 5:24 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/11/2010 7:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The parking is ample, it is just a good walk from the boat. In pearl, most sailors can park a stones throw(quite literally) from the pier. The nex is adequate at best, but for anything other than essentials you are better off going to the mall over in Waterford. The gas station is pointless. The idea of the nex is to save service members money. How can we do that when the nex is only allowed to charge one cent less than the cheapest out in town? I think the discussion about lower base couldn't touch on much more. We are the Navy. How am I supposed to feel proud about serving in a dump? The new piers are definitely a step in the right direction. My guess is that they don't want to dump a bunch of money into a place that has been consistently on the chopping block, albeit it is alwaey saved. Who knows? I see them doing what they can with what they have, so at least someone is trying.

1/12/2010 1:20 AM

Anonymous Sonartech said...

Reminds me of Subase Pearl Harbor back when I was in the nav. The attitude there was that the reason there where submarines was to provide the non qual shore duty pukes with a billet. Submarine support always seemed to be priority two.

1/18/2010 4:32 PM


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