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.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Brit Submarines Return To Port

HMS Triumph (S93) returned home from firing missiles at Libya in the inimitable British fashion:


Meanwhile, HMS Vengeance (S31) returned home from a training run in much less triumphant fashion, accompanied by press reports that she had lost propulsion:
An MoD spokesman said: "Vengeance has suffered a mechanical defect resulting in a reduction in propulsion. She is returning to Faslane under her own power. She is still at sea."
He added that the incident is "not nuclear related".
The spokesman said he was unable to confirm reports by a newspaper that the submarine's propulsion unit had become fouled by sea debris.
How would you rather return to homeport? To public acclaim after a successful war patrol? Or to public ridicule doing 3 knots on the outboard? (OK, that question is kind of rhetorical. My memory of slinking back home is here.)

Update 1520 08 Apr: Here are pictures of the return of USS Providence (SSN 719) to Groton after her successful war patrol. Nary a broom in sight...

32 Comments:

Anonymous Bill said...

I would want to just come home safely. No fanfare. People died at the press of a button with little or no risk to own ship. No bravery there.

4/06/2011 9:19 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Coming home in one piece is always nice, but it's also nice to be recognized for going "above and beyond".

That being said, I don't think any of our boats who fired Tomahawks will be putting a broom or a Jolly Roger up--too "un-PC" in this day and age.

4/06/2011 9:50 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

I disagree strongly with @Bill. Anytime a submarine fires a live warshot with a rocket booster attached there is danger to the ship. Just because the system has been well-engineered doesn't mean it's not dangerous.

4/06/2011 10:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picture the boat coming back from tour:
Uh, 'scuse me, sir. This is an actual Navy submarine? Not a float in a parade or something?

4/06/2011 1:27 PM

 
Anonymous Bill said...

Agreed, dangerous evolution with some risk of damage accepted by a well-trained crew in a well-engineered craft. I still wouldn't want the fanfare. Let the captain go to the Admiral's office for his Bronze Star Medal award ceremony while the crew holds field day for the CODEL that's bound to come look at such a fine warship.

4/06/2011 1:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People died at the press of a button with little or no risk to own ship. No bravery there.

I used to think so too - until I realized just what miniscule percentage of the population would actually willingly go to sea on a submarine.

4/06/2011 5:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can bet that Florida will be flying the broom when she returns from deployment.

Pc? Who cares.

4/06/2011 9:23 PM

 
Blogger T said...

Taking a submarine underwater is always a risky evolution. Everything about being on a submarine is inherently somewhat risky. It's the nature of the beast. The increase in risk of shooting a tomahawk is minute.

The riskiest evolutions most underway ships take are probably ENG drills, running EOG's, and field day (considering, that one of the few submarine deaths in the last 5 years occurred during field day). We never got fanfare just for ORSE preps...

4/06/2011 10:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going to PD is more dangerous.

4/07/2011 6:51 AM

 
Anonymous T said...

Very good point!

4/07/2011 7:56 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most dangerous evolution: pissing off the COB.

4/07/2011 9:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People died at the press of a button with little or no risk to own ship."

No shame there.

Rackburn

4/07/2011 9:57 AM

 
Anonymous Night Orders said...

For an SSN, the only higher honor than launching Tomahawks in anger is shooting torpedo's in anger.
Approach and attack is the main mission, everything else is just support.

4/07/2011 10:41 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When's the last time a US submarine did an approach and attack.... Vietnam?

4/07/2011 11:08 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/07/2011 11:41 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

@Bill,
My guesses are that: 1) you may never even have been a submariner; 2) If you ever were a submariner, you were a nuke with limited SSN experiences, or; 3) your service was after the end of the Cold War, unless; 4) you served with US Marines (submariners' traditional and only legitimate detractors).

Your opinion has also been voiced by apologists for 9-11 attackers, a few lawyers, and Islamist terrorists such as the Times Square Bomber.

What drew my attention do this posting was the fact that the Royal Navy now regularly reports the disposition of malfunctioning strategic subs even when there has been no injury, collision, or fatality. Contrast that with current U.S. policy for the flavor of stuff the public never really knows for certain. One is left to wonder what the United Kingdom's rationale for such disclosures could possible be. Perhaps it is to agitate British voters in favor of abolishing the RN's missile subs.

4/07/2011 11:45 AM

 
Anonymous Bill said...

Vig~
I am neither 1-4 nor a detractor. What was detracting in your opinion?

4/07/2011 12:12 PM

 
Anonymous Night Orders said...

Anon@1108 "When's the last time a US submarine did an approach and attack.... Vietnam?"

Before I cause you pain, discomfort, and humiliation, what exactly was the point of your simpleminded comment?

4/07/2011 1:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt some twenty years ago! Degree of public RTP response was not controlled by the ship but by the staffers.

4/07/2011 1:51 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

"I am neither 1-4 nor a detractor"

Yet, you appear solidy immersed in EXACTLY the same adverse opinion as those who have definitely made the U.S. their enemy (Islamist terrorists like the 'Times Square Bomber') and those who loathe the military like lawyers in general and U.N. laywers in particular.

Not a detractor, no kidding? Assuming you haven't an affinity for either of the latter categories, have you ever registered with the selective service, then?

4/07/2011 2:05 PM

 
Blogger Bill Lapham said...

Vig:
What did I write that was detracting to the profession of submarining? That the young men pushed a button and killed people? No, couldn't be that, they did. That there was little risk to own ship? Please. Joel took offense and I pulled back a bit. That there was no display of bravery? Maybe there, but I'm sure none of those young men would consider themselves particularly brave about shooting a load of TLAMs. They probably whooped it up a bit, wouldn't you say? That I'd rather come home quietly and without a broom taped to the flying bridge or the jolly roger flying? Can't be that, can it, Vig? That's just a matter of personal preference and if I was the Chief of the Boat I would advise my skipper against such a display of arrogance. That the skipper will go get his Bronze Star while the crew prepares for the congressional visit? Please. Who are we kidding?

4/07/2011 5:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Night orders:

That submarines are now primarily support ships... if you assume that the only mission worth a crap is approach and attack. Not really "that kind of Navy" anymore. Obviously, A&A is a capability we want to retain, but there's not a whole lot of Navies out there worth approaching and attacking anymore, at least not that we are likely to go to war with anytime soon.

We've never fired an ADCAP in anger, that I do know. I believe the Brits fired one in the Falklands war.

4/07/2011 7:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like I guessed too recently. Looks like last torpedo fired by a US submarine in anger was WWII... is that really right? Man I would figure we'd have sunk something in the Korean War at least.

4/07/2011 7:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The HMS CONQUEROR sunk the ARA BELGRANO with two Mk 8s back in the early 80s. Score one for the Brits.

4/07/2011 9:32 PM

 
Blogger 4MC said...

I'm not assuming anything. The primary mission of a SSN is approach and attack. You can continue to reason away that mission, but this fact remains.
Why not paint your house or clean out the garage instead of wasting your time trying to diminish the role of a Fast Attack.

4/08/2011 1:25 AM

 
Anonymous SonarDave said...

The Royal Navy Submarine tradition of flying the Jolly Roger signifies no claim to bravery or increased risk, merely the successful completion of an operation. I can't speak for the estranged colonies and the broom thing, but having earned the privilege of flying the Jolly Roger is a very special part of Submarine Service in all Commonwealth navies.

4/08/2011 3:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would argue that the primary mission NOW is probably ASW rather than approach and attack. It's where SSN's provide the most value anyway, because it's the area where we are literally orders of magnitude better than any other platform in the US Navy.

I suppose you could lump the two together, but from what I recall (been a few years), we generally used the term "approach and attack" when specifically talking about prosecuting surface combatants.

4/08/2011 6:46 AM

 
Blogger 4MC said...

ASW and ASUW...

4/08/2011 4:29 PM

 
Anonymous T said...

and ORSE ;-)

4/08/2011 5:39 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

NPEB: Death from Within!

-LT L

4/10/2011 6:47 AM

 
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