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, March 30, 2010

PCU Missouri Drydock Photo

From the SUBGRU 2 Facebook page, here's a photo of the crew of PCU Missouri (SSN 780) with their boat in drydock at EB:

Missouri is scheduled to be commissioned in July of this year. Does anyone have any good shipyard stories?


Blogger reddog said...

Those uniforms look stupid.

3/30/2010 3:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The are no good shipyard stories other than leaving the shipyard without getting fired!


3/30/2010 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I reported to a 637 boat at PSNS in Oct of 1986. At that time several shacks were built on the boat to support SHT installation. As a nuke non-qual nub, I was generously assigned duty on Thanksgiving. Of course the yard was closed except for critical path work. So, during the day I wandered around topside and into a shack just looking around. What do I find? Two yardbirds complete with a large cooler, portable tv, and plates of food watching football. Surprised that they were there, I asked, "What are you doing?" One of them responded with something like, "Making triple time."

Another time I was on mids and went up to one of the shops looking for a test engineer. Opened the door to a little building and discovered that the guy inside had actually tied some twine from the door to his thumb as a door alarm.

But my favorite was during engine room steaming. I was assigned the arduous task of operating the steam supply valve from the steam barge into the boat. The valve was topside on the boat and we had constructed a sort of hammock of duct tape, rope, etc. One particular sunny (rare for PSNS) afternoon, I was kicked back relaxing when I heard the Eng screaming my name from the brow. I looked up to hear him scream, "Were you sleeping?" Being astute, I answered, "No sir!" Of course, I had been catching a few winks, but the valve was not only closed, it was danger tagged, pad locked with a key lock and logging chain, and I was not in possession of the key.

Ahhh, sweet memories . . .

BTW, what uniforms? All I could see were heads and hardhats.

3/30/2010 3:39 PM

Blogger Oz said...

Once I was in the shipyard. Then I went to shore duty. The end.

3/30/2010 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been in the shield tank of this boat. Does that count as a good shipyard story?

3/30/2010 4:52 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

The boat rolling-off-the-blocks dreams have finally stopped. That's a good thing.

3/30/2010 5:17 PM

Anonymous JTH said...

Maybe thet'll float off early like we did on the Carter! I hate that drydock.

3/30/2010 5:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those uniforms are so modern Navy like.

Note: This is not a complement.

3/30/2010 5:53 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

I was in DNP on the Buffalo back in 1991, PHNSY Drydock 1. My best memory? Checking out of the command, hopping on a plane to LAX, then a connecting flight to Cabo for 10 days.

And yeah--those new working uniforms are teh suck. God help the first poor SOB that falls overboard.

3/30/2010 6:19 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Seems like a lot of Marines to guard just the one boat!

3/30/2010 7:15 PM

Anonymous shore jo said...

Obese SY tank watch people were always my favorite. Especially the time one of them slipped in the TR and got stuck on their way down to the bilge....needed EBFD and all kinds of chain-falls. Fantastic.

3/30/2010 7:55 PM

Anonymous Jim Armstrong said...

In 1978, I transferred from Pollack to Guardfish.
In 1979, Guardfish went to Mare Island for an extended availability. Pollack was there for a major overhaul, including finally getting the SubSafe stuff.
I got to visit with my old shipmates. Made me glad I went to Guardfish when I did.
That, gentlemen, is a great shipyard story.

3/30/2010 8:25 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

In PHNSY for over haul in 1969 during filming of TORA, TORA, TORA. The EDO had a camper trailer on a platform next to the engine room hull cut. We were watching the "Japanese" planes attacking PH and one of them waggled his wings between two cranes along side our drydock. I had visions of him misjudging and landing on the refueling house. It would have made for a very unusual incident report. Our XO took film from our living barge of these same planes flying lower than the upper deck of the barge. It was a great distraction for us in a what turned out to be a three plus year overhaul (I left just after we undocked but before the end of overhaul).

3/30/2010 8:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 yrs in the yards

- Entering ASW bay through the floor
- 2am RC tours
- The full-body frisk machine
- Sparging SGs, recirculating SGs with RPFW WTF
- Evacuating the SY worker who got his arm crushed while rigging in a PLO pump
- Critiques, critiques, critiques
- 6 months of uninterrupted shiftwork/3 section duty
- Sleeping in the WR while painters in full breathing protection are grinding in WRSR 1. Waking up dribbling black snot.
- The miracle of initial criticality (all 9 hours of it)
- 25 minute walk from the parking garage to the boat
- Falling asleep and spinning out on the freeway day after duty
- The barge
- Having to be the asshole when you just want to let the STEs do their jobs
- SY rats (really, really big, fast vermin)
- Flank runs on alpha trials (45 deg sustained roll)
- Ketchikan
- Steel-toed boots, hardhats and wash khakis
- Sailors going nuts from being on land, doing 70 hrs/wk of make work + duty.
- Being the last living soul to see the inside of MBT 1-3A,AUX 3&4 and San 2.
- Nuke field trip to KAPL. MM1 getting a free upgrade to business class and drinking 4 bloody marys enroute.
-Watching the ER turn into Yellowstone national park on initial steaming
-Good folks in a terrible situation

Would highly recommend against SY duty - beg, borrow and steal to avoid it!

3/30/2010 11:28 PM

Anonymous Patty Wayne said...

To anonymous@1539 - was the 637 you were on the Tautog, FlyingFish, or Gurnard? I was on Tautog, or as the yardbirds called us "Building 639". 30 months for an 18 month non-refueling overhaul + failed PORSE. I swear, if we had a Guitarro incident for that boat they would have just left it in Sinclair Inlet to rust.

At about the time we hit our 15-18 month point the 3450 Shift Test Engineers really started pushing to get testing done, especially on their backshifts when less yard workers were around. We nukes were stretched really thin mainly due to the lack of qualified SROs (7 of us at this point). Since we also had to do training from 08-12 every weekday, even off-going, the watchsection really really took every opportunity to get any sleep they could - even sleeping up at the off-hull steam isolation valve.

Around 0100 one very generous EDO refused to wake up the rest of the duty section to do testing. He knew it was a rare break we were getting. The STE got furious with him in Maneuvering and much discussion ensued between these two gentlemen regarding their ancestry, future travel plans and which one could urinate at a greater distance. It escalated to the STE pushing the EDO. The EDO, being smaller in stature then the STE but a competative multiple black belt in one of the martial arts, put the bottom of his boondocker in the chest of the STE. This sent the STE through the maneuvering room door (read: chain) and into the 400-cycle control panel, breaking every meter and denting the door.

This had the unintended consequence of having the entire duty section, nuke and coner, awaken from their dreams of Bremerpotomuses. Many, many people with long titles and scrambled-egg on their hats were soon awaken from their homes to be assembling for a critique. We must clean for them to possibly appease their anger. "Quick! Dispatch to the barracks! I summons all you can find to assist in this appeasement" sayeth the Duty Officer to the Duty Chief, "for there is not enough hate and discontent within the ranks."

I make it down to the boat to relieve the SRO, one of two witnesses. "Dude, it was awesome" was the whole of my turnover.

Our next duty day things were tense, especially since we were going in to Cold Ops, ie 3 months of shift work. It was decided in the critique to start shift work early. The brain trust who led the critique determined it was best for the whole of this testing period to put Kung-Fu EDO with the 400Hz STE on the 16-24 shift, but with a twist. The Assistant STE was a recently-retired MMCM(SS) and a behemoth of a man regardless of the number of stars on his anchor. I wish I'd served on one of his boats. Our EDPO was now an EMCM(SS), our Bull Nuke, instead of a EM1(SS). Things got done.

Nothing overt ever came of the fight and Kung-Fu EDO and 400Hz STE were doing beer bongs together at an End-of-Cold-Ops BBQ at MMCM's house


3/31/2010 12:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous@1539 - was the 637 you were on the Tautog, FlyingFish, or Gurnard?

Drum, actually. I can relate.

3/31/2010 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extended shipyard periods:
Tagouts out the wazoo, tagout audits with multiple binders, WAFs and WAF audits, multiple disciplinary issues, field days until greenies and wire brushes scream, tank watches, fire watches, trying to qualify on removed systems and components, sandcrabs/yardbirds, sleeping on barges and in less than stellar dog houses, cascon watches, safety briefs out the arse, moving deadlines, training, training and more training, geedunk and sandwich shop, sliders on the pier on Fridays, duty nights where fresh STEs show up to keep the late and early AM hours full of lineups and tagouts.

Everything about the yard period is just positive beyond imagination.

3/31/2010 5:46 AM

Anonymous dolfin 719 said...

As this is my second SY tour, i will agree with STSCS Ret.....there are no good SY stories. Any watch/duty day you can finish with the same number of appendages as you started with and still signed into the Watch Qual Book = a good day.

Finishing my second straight month of mid-shift SSW coming out of crit ops, I can say the only (mildly) cool thing so far (other than the random bull session with the guys) was watching initial crit. Even that was anticlimactic.

BTW, they are making preps to move DRUM into DD-3 here at PSNS for breaking up, once they move SOUTH CAROLINA's #1 plant out of it to make room. They may even try putting OMAHA in there with her, as they are both tied up just across the slip in front of the drydock.

3/31/2010 6:15 AM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

I'd post the story in here directly from my book, but here's an abridged version:

We were in the Charleston naval shipyards (USS Sellers DDG-11). From being close to subs there, I knew the identifiers of tools used in a nuke environment, so we got hold of some magenta and yellow tape, took a couple of wrenches, and put the tape on them, and left them laying around Radio Central. The ops boss, upon seeing those tools, nearly had kittens, called away the SSDF and secured the brow. When we told the CO we had pulled off the prank, he had to pull the ops boss aside to calm him down; everyone on the ship was bugging out over it because most of them, who were unaware at first, totally freaked out thinking that Radio's spaces had become radiologically contaminated.

3/31/2010 8:09 AM

Anonymous anonynav said...

I remember 8 on and 8 off for weeks at a time as SSW. Of course that sounds better than it was, with pre-watch briefs and turnover, and post-watch BS it usually was more like 11 on and 5 off if I was lucky, 12 on and 4 off if not. It was great knowing that other engineer qualled people were suffering with a 1 in 5 SDO watchbill, but were not trusted enough to stand SSW. Of course I still has to do my job as much as I could in my 4 offs and eat and sleep. I found the SY to be the most absurd working environment imagined. After a couple weeks of that I was such a zombie I could barely form complete sentences, but I sure needed to be there looking over the shoulder of the EOOW.

3/31/2010 8:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shipyard is pretty much Dante's Inferno.

Spent years in newcon at EB and overhaul at PHNSY. Truly a foul environment.

Worst was "gouging" at EB, wherein overdone welds during the early 80's welding fiasco (see "Running Critical") were burnt away using a carbon arc torch. Never felt filthier in my life, both inside and out.

Would hope that today's conditions are a lot better...wouldn't wish what we went through on anyone.

3/31/2010 9:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To NHSparky,

Buffy had a rough DMP (e.g., stopping all nuke work to undock on less than a day's notice, so no one was really sure the hull was watertight).

Did you ride her into PHNSY, out of PHNSY, or both?

3/31/2010 9:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, here's a shipyard story for you.

Charleston Naval Shipyard. SSBN-635/MTS-635 conversion. CAPT E. LOser in command.

I still have nightmares.

3/31/2010 12:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Engineer at Pearl for the last 22 months of a 36 month refueling and then Eng on another 688 at Pearl for the first 4 months of a DMP. Best story.....taking the call from my EDO who wanted to know what he was supposed to do with the 5 gallon poly bottle full of what appeared to be human piss he found in the RC during his midwatch tour.....

3/31/2010 2:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what he was supposed to do with the 5 gallon poly bottle full of what appeared to be human piss he found in the RC during his midwatch tour.....

Spill drill?

3/31/2010 2:38 PM

Blogger Do You Think I G.A.F. said...

I concur...those uniforms do look stupid!

I have done shipyard periods, refueling and non refueling in NORSHIPCO (AO 179), PSNS (682 & 731) PHNSY (715 & 718). People who posted here are is a crappy environment. I am just glad I wasn't a nuke. When I see them get that big SRB check, I would always laugh and say..they get that money out of you someway!

PHNSY is bar far the worst shipyard. When I was on the 715 as a PO1, I sat near shaft alley oding testing for something non nuke, two SY workers were doing something to the seating area of where the shaft went out. I was there for 8 hours. The would work for like 10 minutes and BS in pidgen for an hour or two. When I was done, I went forward told the WEPS, who took me to the Eng, who took me to the CO and I told them what I had saw. To solidify my story, they had another PO1 sit back there in the same area the next day with the same results.
Next day, new workers and a supervisor was there till the job was finished. Found out later, this was holding up the time line!


3/31/2010 2:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


NO KA OI!!!!

3/31/2010 3:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard official motto: "We keep them fit to fight!" Actual performance: "We keep them!"

I hear they have been getting better lately. Didn't the currnet PHNSY CO just make flag?

3/31/2010 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PHNSY. Before Subase Pearl was shutdown and the shops moved to PHNSY/IMF, it was a much different place and atmosphere.

3/31/2010 4:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly about those uniforms is supposed to be nautical?

3/31/2010 4:32 PM

Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

Boat = Beautiful
Uniforms = Ugly

3/31/2010 4:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what he was supposed to do with the 5 gallon poly bottle full of what appeared to be human piss he found in the RC during his midwatch tour.....

Spill drill?

Can't do that... it'll leave a yellow residue...

3/31/2010 4:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why yes indeed, such a find would be quite a PISSER. Might leave a few guys in a PISSY mood. The yellow residue would PISS me off for sure. I wouldn't want the rest of the watch PISSED at me too if I refused to take appropriate action. Why can't we dump it overboard regardless if water or concrete is beneath the boat? As long as we don't get caught PISSING it all off, we should be okay...Lol.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

3/31/2010 5:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why yes indeed, such a find would be quite a PISSER. Might leave a few guys in a PISSY mood. The yellow residue would PISS me off for sure. I wouldn't want the rest of the watch PISSED at me too if I refused to take appropriate action. Why can't we dump it overboard regardless if water or concrete is beneath the boat? As long as we don't get caught PISSING it all off, we should be okay...Lol.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

3/31/2010 5:06 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

To: Anon @ 3/31/2010 9:08 AM

Rode it in. May 2, 1991. I remember it well. Had a week of leave just after blowing resin in July, and had ONE day off from then until I left the boat in December. RC-division went from 8 qualified RO's to 3--and the other guy's wife had a kid who had a few medical issues. I was port/report for almost two weeks. No EOT award for me, but one other RO who was determined to be too dangerous to be on the plant (hence they made him CalPo for the boat) got a NAM, IIRC. I did, however, get called back to do P&A and NI's for guys who were provisionally RO qualified on my day off because they didn't feel "comfortable" doing it by themselves. RCLPO and I had a few words on that one.

Oh, but I heard about the issues after I left during initial crit with SRNI's coming out of the yard. For the record, the Shipalt which likely caused that went in a month before I got to the boat, and they never worked right after that.

Worst part about it all was having to move from the hi-rise on Subbase to surface craphole. I remember coming back, sitting down in chair with a cigarette and a beer, then waking up with a burnt-out cigarette and warm beer, and time to go back to work. I don't remember a single guy who checked into my division or department from Bremerton on. I do, however, remember killing the pier in Bremerton because the SPM operator didn't lock the outboard all the way down.

Ah...good times...good times.

3/31/2010 5:16 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Correction to last--that wasn't Bremerton--that was Bangor. Same place where the YN3 Duty Driver backed into a forklift while trying to be a smartass. He saw me, thought he was going to be cute and "drive off", but didn't look behind him first. Genius.

3/31/2010 5:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had an SK who sink tested a truck. Was not a VW so waterproof test failed.

3/31/2010 5:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wheels have no say in their uniform selection. If they give them pink jumpers then pink jumpers it is. Those uniforms are very weak.

3/31/2010 6:40 PM

Anonymous Travis said...

Where are the bow planes? There seems to be some cavities there. Perhaps they are just retracted and very streamlined.

3/31/2010 8:28 PM

Anonymous Former 3363 said...

My "fondest" memory was my 1st wedding anniversary...

Allow me to explain. My first wedding anniversary was fast approaching, but the end of crit testing was not (what else is new). Being the team player, (spoken, the BS of putting the RO's Port/Stbd wasn't worth it), I approached the EDMC, approved leave chit in hand, and volunteered to not go on leave to support the department. (Remember what NAVY really stands for, because I obviously forgot on this day!)
The only thing I asked for in return was a 4 day weekend following testing to visit my wife in Norfolk (she stayed while we went to PNSY). The terms were agreed upon, and I was deemed the team player.

Fast forward to post crit, pre fast cruise lull...

The EDMC sends out an email to try and coordinate liberty for those who earned there special liberty carrot for PORSE. So, I ask about the 4 day we had agreed to, and making that happen before fast cruise.

The one word response, and my biggest reason for getting out of the navy....


So, that's my fondest memory of the shipyard. But, now that I am a yardbird, my memories of the shipyard fuel me to be more polite and understanding to ship's force and try to influence others to do the same.

4/01/2010 9:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you detached in December 1991, did you hit the boat's Christmas party before you left? The entertainment at the party was a comedian. He absolutely destroyed the XO, who was dumb enough to sit in the front row at the stage.

4/01/2010 10:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Travis @ 8:28

The bow planes are retracted, if you draw a vertical line from the aft end of the sail you can see them in the light, just above where it turns to shadow.

4/01/2010 2:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two Popes died when the Lipscomb was in the shipyard. Kinda hard to beat that.

4/01/2010 2:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Mare Island's famous static submergence test pierside (unplanned) that did not work out too well for a "G" named boat, lol. Note the "G" boat is the reason for safety draft marks, cofferdams and quick disconnects to this date. Also, MI had issues with certain nuc work after that.

4/01/2010 4:43 PM

Blogger Lou said...

Not quite a shipyard story, but The 637 had an unscheduled submergence in the Cooper during MSW valve maintenance in the early 90's. However, she did not have the honor of being the first boat to dive the in the Cooper as the 671 sat out Hugo at PD.

4/01/2010 6:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone know anything about the virginia boats undergoing a refit period right after they commission due to some contract the navy signed to use outdated equipment up forward on new boats?

4/01/2010 8:24 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

SY time sucks.


CO USS MO is a shipmate. Great guy and I wish the ship and crew all the best.

4/01/2010 8:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Checking aboard USS Plunger in PSNS 1983 prior to sea trials as a SR.

The DCPO gets me a rack and says I can walk around for a little bit just don't go aft.

I change from my blues to dungarees and manage to find my way up to control. I hear some noise behind some equipment (turns out to be FC) so I look behind it.

Notice a familiar smell...two sailors smoking dope and blowing it into a ventilation duct. They look at me and keep smoking.

About a month later after sea trials, before making the transit to San Diego, both of those guys are gone due to positive unrinalysis (something fairly new back then) for cocaine.

My one and only time in the shipyard during a 24 year career...enough for me.

Jim C.
Retired ANAV

4/01/2010 9:21 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

To Anon @ 4/01/2010 10:03 AM:

I remember the X-Mas party in 1990-- and wasn't "Boxo" still the XO? "I'm not only the hair club president..." I checked out of the command like the first weekend of December 1991. I'm guessing if there were an X-Mas party that year (none planned that I remember) it would only have had coners in attendance.

4/02/2010 2:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ship's party was Thursday, December 12th. Most of non-duty people (including nukes) and wives in attendance. Sorry you missed it.

New XO relieved the following day on Friday the 13th. Fitting.

4/02/2010 9:37 AM

Blogger Oz said...

My old boat looked real pretty just before undocking, too. I was real impressed with the job the bubbas did with the paint.

Within a week of going pierside it looked like total ass below the waterline again and not much better above. There's lots of activity left after undocking...

4/02/2010 9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One word: "Hawkspill."

4/03/2010 6:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will tell you that this photo will be etched in my mind forever. I'm on this doomed boat and we are still in that drydock, although it's full of water, 7 months later. Yet, we still haven't gotten through power range testing due to faulty equipment. It took us over 4 times the advertised schedule to get through non-crit steaming after a 2 month delay starting. Even if we can ever get the engine room tested and ever get out of this hellhole known as EB, we are being held up by a force of nature. There is a "endangered" swan with a nest full of eggs sitting directly in front of the bow. The yard is not allowed to do anything to intentionally disturb the nest, so if we do ever get ready to go, we have to wait for the swan to decide to move to a new domicile or call in the state of CT to move the birds. I personally hope it isn't an omen or a higher power trying to deter us. I suppose only time will tell.....
SSN (Shipyard Statue Number) 780 frustrated plankowner to be (someday)

5/15/2010 7:51 PM

Anonymous said...

It can't work as a matter of fact, that's what I suppose.

12/03/2011 5:00 AM

Anonymous Evangeline said...

It will not succeed as a matter of fact, that is what I consider.

9/21/2012 12:55 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home