Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em...
...except if you're on a submarine, as of today.
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.)
...except if you're on a submarine, as of today.
A reader writes in and says:
I "volunteered" to do a science demonstration for my son's elementary school. When they found our I was an ex-submariner (642B) they requested something sub related. I've thought about the following:Every idea I came up with -- except for the old "raisin in a glass of water with vinegar and baking soda" idea to demonstrate buoyancy -- cost a lot more than $50, so I figured I'd throw it out to the Peanut Gallery for comment. Have any of you ever done something like this? What ideas do you have?
**steam cycle demo, but am having trouble coming up with a way to make steam safely at a high enough pressure to turn an old computer fan (simulating a turbine)... the whole condenser part would need to be on the white board.
**buoyancy demo using pen caps in a sealed 2L bottle - squeeze the bottle, increase the pressure, reduce the bubble size, cap sinks... lacks a certain pizazz
**the old blindfold them and let them play submarine hunter with wet sponges sonar demo - fun, but lacking ideas on where to take it after the first couple kids get smacked with a wet sponge.
Any ideas - either improvements on the above, or new ideas? (I'd like to keep the cost under $50.)
Check out this photo of Santa Claus on the bridge of a Virginia-class submarine:
Here's a Submarine-themed poem that's been running around the 'net this year...
T'was the Night Before Christmas-Submarine StyleMerry Christmas to you and yours.
By Sean Keck
T'was the night before Christmas, and what no-one could see,
The men with the dolphins were under the sea.
Most of the crew was flat on their backs,
Snoring and dreaming all snug in their racks.
Those men on watch were making their rounds,
Some manning the planes or listening for sounds.
Back in maneuvering or down in the room,
They all hoped the oncoming watch would come soon.
I'd finished some PM's whose time was now due,
And hoped for some sleep, even an hour or two.
Against better judgment I took a short stroll,
And found myself wandering into control.
The Nav had the Conn, the COW was in place,
The COB had the Dive and a scowl on his face.
The helm and the planes were relaxed but aware,
The QM and ET were discussing a dare.
To comply with the orders the Nav told the Dive,
To bring the boat up with minimum rise.
The orders were given and soon they were there,
At periscope depth with a scope in the air.
The QM confirmed our position with care,
The broadcast was copied, we brought in some air.
The Nav on the scope let out a small cry,
He shook his head twice and rubbed at his eyes.
He looked once again to find what it was,
That interrupted his sweep and caused him to pause.
Try as he might there was nothing to see,
So down went the scope and us to the deep.
I asked what it was that caused his dismay,
He sheepishly said, "I'm embarrassed to say."
It could have been Northern Lights or a cloud,
Or a meteorite he wondered aloud.
But to tell you the truth I guess I must say,
Whatever it was it looked like a sleigh.
And though it passed quickly and never was clear,
I almost believe it was pulled by reindeer.
We laughed and teased him and I got up to go,
When our moment was broken by "Conn, Radio."
They told us a message was just coming in,
We looked at the depth gauge and started to grin.
"Radio, Conn, I feel safe to say,
Your attempt at a joke is too long delayed.
If it had been sooner it might have been neat,
But I doubt we're receiving at four-hundred feet."
"Conn, Radio, you can come down and see,
We're not playing games to any degree."
I headed aft with nothing better to do,
Surprised by the fact it was still coming through.
It stopped and was sent to control to be read,
The Nav read it slowly and scratched at his head.
Then again he began but this time aloud,
To those that now waited, a curious crowd.
"To you Denizens of the Deep and men of the sea,
Who risk your life daily so others stay free.
I rarely have seen you on this, my big night,
For far too often you are hidden from sight.
But purely by luck I saw you tonight,
As your scope coaxed the plankton to glow in the night.
And lucky for me I've finally won,
The chance to say thanks for all you have done.
I know that you miss your families at home,
And sometimes you feel as if you're alone.
But trust what I say and I'll do what's right,
I'll take something special to your families tonight.
Along with the gifts I'll take to your kin,
I'll visit their dreams and leave word within.
They'll hear of your love, and how you miss them,
I'll tell them that soon you'll be home again.
It might not be much I know that is true,
To thank you for all the things that you do.
But I'll do what I can, while you do what's right,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight."
Remember submarine rating consolidation? It seems to be a thing of the past. According to NAVADMIN 406/10, they're coming out with a new submarine rating in April 2011. From the Navy website:
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy released NAVADMIN 406/10, Dec. 17, announcing the creation of the Information Systems Technician Submarines (ITS) service rating and providing active duty Sailors with guidance on how to request an ITS conversion.What do you think? Is this the change we need to win the war?
"The establishment of the ITS rating will provide the Submarine Force with an infrastructure of information assurance and network professionals who will be fully equipped to resolve future issues and implement new technologies on board our submarines," said Lt. Dan Morrison, Submarine, Non-Nuclear, Enlisted Community Manager. "Overall, the ITS rating is an excellent choice for Sailors who seek challenges in new and emerging technologies, and the opportunity to be submariners
The primary source ratings for ITS conversions will be from Sailors assigned to jobs in submarine Local Area Network divisions and those from ratings in the information assurance workforce, but all non-nuclear trained Sailors are eligible to request conversion. Information System Technicians (IT) with Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes of 2780, 2781, or 2735 will be eligible for direct conversion to ITS.
Describing the benefits of converting to ITS, Morrison explained, "Currently, submariners working outside of their source rating in support of submarine LAN requirements are at a disadvantage when taking promotion examinations. Sailors who convert to ITS will participate in ITS examinations and compete with other ITS professionals in their paygrade."
Any E-4 to E-6 active duty Sailor who wants to be part of the initial 180–200 selected for conversion must ensure they are eligible for submarine service prior to submitting their request (NAVPERS 1306/7 form) to Naval Personnel Command (PERS-811) by the Feb.1, 2011 deadline. Sailors possessing a Microsoft (MS) A+ or Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification are highly encouraged to apply and should note these certifications on their conversion request form.
Dependent upon their source rating and previous training, Sailors selected for conversion may require additional schooling and potentially incur additional obligated service. For example, Sailors who require an IT NEC may attend A-school as part of their conversion and Sailors from non-submarine ratings will need to attend Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) prior to being assigned to a submarine as an ITS. Applicants are encouraged to speak with a Navy Career Counselor about the conversion process.
USS Boise (SSN 764) returned to Norfolk today following a 6 month deployment to the European Command AOR. Excerpts:
During its deployment, USS Boise conducted operations in the European Command area of responsibility while supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. In executing the chief of naval operation's maritime strategy, Boise further demonstrated the submarine force's great capability in providing global presence.Here's a story and video from a Norfolk TV station:
"We were attached to the European Command, which is supported by the Navy's 6th Fleet," said Cmdr. Brian Sittlow, USS Boise commanding officer. "We were assigned exercises and operations by 6th Fleet. These events were conducted with our NATO partner nations in the waters of the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea."
Upon returning to its homeport in Norfolk, the submarine will have traveled approximately 23,000 nautical miles. Port visits included Portsmouth, England; Faslane, Scotland; Bergen, Norway; and Brest, France.
[An earlier post, with video, of the incident is here.]
Caption this photoshopped image of a Seawolf-class boat hanging ten!
President Obama says he will sign the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" when it reaches his desk next week, and the new policy will be implemented in a few months.
A quick post from my son's roommate's computer as I'm packing my son out of his dorm...
The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush was ordered Wednesday to make "best speed" to assist an injured sailor onboard a U.S. Navy submarine conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean.Here's more information from Navy Times. Galrahn discusses some of the OPSEC concerns from this announcement.
The Mayport, Fla.-based USS Boone was also dispatched to aid the submariner...
...The Navy says the sailor has a head injury and, according to the last medical assessment, appears to be stable.
A MH-60S Knight Hawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26 transported a Sailor from a U.S. Navy submarine operating in the Atlantic Ocean to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) for medical evaluation Dec. 16.
A Navy neurosurgeon, assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, assessed the Sailor to be in stable condition and both have been transported to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., for further evaluation and treatment as necessary.
"Mariners at sea take care of each other," said Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "There is no better way to show our Sailors and their families the extent the Navy will go in order to take care of their own."...
..."The saying that we never leave a shipmate behind was proved today," said Capt. Chip Miller, George H.W. Bush commanding officer. "There was a Sailor out there who needed our help, and we were honored to receive the call. I am very proud of the professionals on board this ship and our families at home who provide constant support."
Bush was scheduled to return to its homeport of Norfolk Dec. 15 when the ship was tasked by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet to return to sea.
A message recently went out in the Navy community about how servicepeople should deal with the urge to read the Wikileaks website. Excerpts:
Per ALNAV 055/10, DON personnel are directed not to access the WikiLeaks website to view or download the publicized classified information.[Emphasis mine] It mostly seems common sense and in keeping with the intent of the classified material handling programs in place -- namely, don't put classified material into UNCLAS systems. That statement I highlighted does sound a little creepy, however.
Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks.
There has been rumor that the information is no longer classified since it resides in the public domain. This is NOT true. Executive Order 13526, Section 1.1(4)(c) states "Classified Information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information."
The subject information was neither properly nor improperly "declassified" by an appropriate authority and requires continued classification or reclassification. It is "apparently classified information" that appears to have been disclosed without appropriate review and authority. The information posted needs to be reviewed by the appropriate Original Classification Authorities (OCAs) to:
determine if it is classified, conduct damage assessments, and make a determination regarding continued classification.
Despite circumstances surrounding the WikiLeaks, all DON military, civilian, and contractor support personnel must continue to protect similar or identical information commensurate with the level of classification assigned per SECNAV M-5510.36, until the information is assessed by the appropriate OCAs. DON personnel shall:
A. Not confirm or deny the existence of potentially classified NSI in the public domain, and report the incident per SECNAV M-5510.36, Chapter 12.
B. Not contribute to the further dissemination of potentially classified NSI on DON unclassified IT systems by accessing websites or any other internet based capability (IBC) (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to view, copy or forward this information.
C. Ensure classified NSI is only shared with personnel with an authorized clearance, access, need to know, and only via authorized channels and systems.
D. Protect classified NSI commensurate with the level of classification assigned per SECNAV M-5510.36, until the information is declassified by the appropriate OCA.
E. Adhere to the services systems authorization access request form (SAAR; i.e., user agreement form) for the protection of information residing on DON networks.
F. Adhere to their non-disclosure agreement (SF-312) when granted a security clearance.
Please remember, Government information technology capabilities should be used to enable our war fighters, promote information sharing in defense of our homeland, and to maximize efficiencies in operations. It should not be used as a means to harm national security through unauthorized disclosure of our information on publicly accessible websites or chat rooms.
Attempts to the WikiLeaks site are being monitored by the OSD Computer Network Defense Service Provider (CNDSP).
1. Visit the Information Assurance Support Environment website and read the DoD WikiLeaks guidance, https://powhatan.iiie.disa.mil/webteam/content_pages/guidance.html
2. Do not attempt to access the WikiLeaks website or access WikiLeaks information using search capabilities.
3. Inform other DoD military, civilians, and contractor personnel of the DoD WikiLeak guidance.
It's good that the Navy is open about announcing whenever someone in a ship's senior leadership -- CO/XO/CMC -- is detached for cause, but I bet this one is one they wish they could have kept quiet:
Lt. Cmdr. James Rushton, who commanded MCM Crew Constant aboard the ship Chief, was relieved of command “due to misconduct” following an investigation by his boss, Capt. Robert Hospodar, commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2 in San Diego, Naval Surface Forces spokesman Cmdr. Jason Salata said Thursday.I guess this gives new meaning to the phrase "The XO is sucking up to the Captain".
Rushton appeared at mast to face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of violating a lawful general order and conduct unbecoming an officer. Hospodar found that Rushton “violated the Navy’s fraternization policy by engaging in an unduly familiar relationship with a subordinate female member of his crew,” Salata said.
Hospodar on Wednesday also fired that crew member, Lt. Cmdr. Anne Laird, who has been serving as the XO, for “misconduct.”
Hospodar made the decision to relieve both officers “as a result of an investigation into a violation of the Navy’s fraternization policy,” Salata said.
Here's a long video that The Pentagon Channel put out this month about submarines:
Here's a decent overview of the issues surrounding submarine new construction budgeting and planning over the next 30 years. Excerpt:
The Navy operates 53 attack submarines, 44 of which are Los Angeles-class boats, with another 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and four Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGNs). Beginning in 2015, the service is embarking on a massive retirement plan, with remaining Los Angeles-class subs mothballed and replaced by Virginia-class attack vessels.What do you think will happen? I expect that we'll see the 2 sub/year buy rate go away quickly as budgetary pressures increase, and eventually an SSBN based on the Virginia-class hull -- which will require a much smaller missile and concomitant R & D costs, along with a decision that we'll have to keep the subs closer to their targets to make up for the decreased range of the smaller missiles. (Here's a CRS report from last year with some detailed background information.)
The Ohio-class SSBN’s will reach the end of their service life in 2027. Plans call for replacing 14 Ohio SSBNs with 12 new SSBNs starting in 2019. The Navy doesn’t plan on replacing the four SSGNs, converted from SSBNs after the Cold War, when they retire in the late 2020s...
...When it comes to replacing SSBNs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated earlier this year that “the lead ship of the Ohio replacement class in 2019 will cost $13 billion,” with each successive ship coming in at about the $6-7-billion range, bringing the cost of the 12-ship replacement to about $99 billion. “That may leave scant room in the Navy’s stretched shipbuilding budgets to afford other vessels [on its] wish list,” the CBO stated. That $6-7-billion price tag comes to about half of the Navy’s annual $15-billion shipbuilding budget, which means that during the 15-year period (Fiscal 2019-33) when the Navy plans on building these ships, its ability to build other vessels would be severely restricted.
Under the Navy’s 2011 30-year Shipbuilding Plan, the service says it requires 48 attack submarines and four SSGNs “to sustain our capabilities in these areas.” Still, the service’s current plan puts it on course to purchase 44 attack submarines through 2040, which would not reach its desired number. According to CBO estimates, the number of attack submarines would sink to a low of 39 in 2030 before rising to 45 in the last five years of the plan. The number is expected to drop so dramatically due to the retirement of the Los Angeles-class submarines, while the Virginia class will not be built fast enough to replace them.
This weekend, there was an article in the Virginian-Pilot about a new book that's coming out about the raising of the Soviet submarine K-129 back in the mid-70s. It looks pretty good.
Efforts to put the sail of the USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN 658) in a park in Vallejo, CA, have apparently hit a snag. Excerpts:
Before the city can consider a plan to move part of a former nuclear submarine to Alden Park, the island's master developer must report on the park's setting to determine the appropriateness of any proposed changes.The article goes on to say that they hoped to have the sail in place by the boat's next reunion in July, but that now looks problematic. Here's the crew website for more information on the Save Our Sail project.
Lennar Mare Island and city officials say the report is being prepared. City officials say it is anticipated in March, but a company spokesman said no schedule for its completion has been set..
Meanwhile, the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation's proposal is on hold. It was submitted to the Vallejo planning department in August, when the requirement was discovered.
The project involves placing a 43-foot-long, 18-foot-tall section of the Mariano G. Vallejo -- estimated to weigh 65 tons -- in a corner of the park. The sail, its periscope and control room are all that's left of a submarine that was longer than a football field when launched in 1965 and mothballed in 1995.