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, May 04, 2011

Goodbye SUBRON 8

Submarine Squadron 6 absorbed Submarine Squaron 8 in a ceremony held on April 28. Excerpts:
COMSUBRON 6 will be the immediate superior in command for the six Los Angeles-class attack submarines homeported in Norfolk: USS Albany (SSN 753), USS Boise (SSN 764), USS Montpelier (SSN 765), USS Newport News (SSN 750), USS Norfolk (SSN 714), and USS Scranton (SSN 756). The COMSUBRON 6 staff will be responsible for preparing and certifying their submarines and crews for operations and warfighting in support of the combatant commanders’ objectives.
COMSUBRON 8 was originally commissioned in February 1946 in Groton, Conn. It was decommissioned in December 1969 and re-commissioned in August 1979 in Norfolk, where it has remained until the consolidation.
Are those six the only submarines left in Norfolk, other than the 774s being built at Newport News? Since the Sub Force is normally loath to give up O-6 billets leading to Flag like this, I figure they had a lot of budgetary pressure to combine the staffs.

In other submarine news, both USS Florida (SSGN 728) and my old boat USS Connecticut (SSN 22) returned home from historic deployments. OK, Florida's deployment was probably a little more historic.

Have you ever been part of a decommissioning crew or staff?

46 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Armstrong said...

I was on the decommissioning crew for the USS George Washington (SSN/SSBN 598). We decommissioned her in January 1985.

5/04/2011 5:31 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

Dodged decommisioning crew for the James Madison (SSBN 627), decommed Ray (SSN 653), and decommed Vallejo(SSBN 658). I rode a few others that are now razor blades as well, but wasn't part of final manning.

5/04/2011 5:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be more. Since there is only one squadron in Norfolk now, NSSC Norfolk goes away. And Groton and Pearl are losing one squadron each.

5/04/2011 6:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VA boats have typically been assigned to COMSUBGRU 2/COMSUBRON 4 from construction through PSA.

5/04/2011 6:58 PM

 
Blogger 4MC said...

Jim Armstrong, you decommissioned a boat before I even joined the Navy. I've since served 23 years and have been retired for over 2.

God bless, and keep kicking.

5/04/2011 8:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS Helena will be joining them shortly.

5/04/2011 10:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I joined in '76 and by '86 two of my boats were scrapped by SALT II, even though both were upgraded before decomissioning.

5/04/2011 10:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decommed SS 568 in '74. sole to Italy.

5/05/2011 5:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We part of the decommissioning crew for the USS Bergall (SSN-667) in Bremerton, Wa., back in 1996.

5/05/2011 6:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decommissioned the SSBN 632, I believe is was the last sub to be decommissioned in the Charleston, SC shipyard. Made for interesting support from the yard.

5/05/2011 6:20 AM

 
Anonymous 4-Stop said...

So long ANTI-Submarine Squadron 8! Don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good lord split ya’. Four years of hell serving in that SQD. No other boats at the pier and they still parked us all the way at the end.

5/05/2011 6:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decommed Glenard P Lipscomb (SSN 685) less than a month after a surprise ORSE. Makes sense that the right hand didn't talk to the left. TSSBP

5/05/2011 6:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decommed Ulysses S Grant SSBN-631 in 1992 after combining crews and changing homeport from NLON to Bremerton. CO decided to keep the combined crew and no one slapped his hand...the watch bill was so fat I stood OOD one in six underway to the west coast!

Spent most of my off time during decomm fighting with the Squadron out there as to how they were going to handle me (and others like me) that were getting out of the Nanvy but had been shanghaied as part of the decomm crew by a CO who did not let anyone go when we combined crews. I was in Bremerton but my household goods were still back in NLON. Eventually they saw things my way.

Decomm was interesting. The shipyard had it down to a science by the tome we went through the process.

My claim to fame was managing to do the entire decomm as an EDO without once touring the reactor compartment. Minimizing my exposure and also seeing if I could get away with it. My ENG was kind of pissed when I told him prior to leaving the boat/Navy. Oh well, if you can't take a joke...

5/05/2011 6:48 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the decommissioning crew of SEAWOLF (SSN575)in preparation for the removal of the sodium plant and installation of the PWR. A memory is the scene from The Inferno - in the dark of night smoke pouring out of the hull opening, illuminated by the flickering flames as the lead-burners did their job - and the mini-sub in which the reactor was placed for at-sea disposal.

5/05/2011 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

I decommed the last 594 (USS Gato SSN 615) in Bremerton WA, back in '95-'96. We had to sit beside the pier for a few extra months, because there was a political battle about where to trashpile our reactor. Idaho was playing hardball about losing nuc school.

Rumors were flying about doing day ops out of Bangor until things could get resolved. We wound up tearing up the boat, ourselves, before anything bad like that could happen.

5/05/2011 11:11 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Was with Proteus (AS-19) when it decommed in 1992, but didn't ride it back to Bremerton--too much time left. Packed my seabag, said goodbye, walked down the pier to the Holland.

5/05/2011 11:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never decomm-ed a boat, but when they opened up one for parts next to us in a dry-dock, there was a free for all for parts. I have never seen some of my chiefs move so fast, though the Chop and the QAO repeatedly asked themselves "why does God hate me today?".

Never stuck around to see what happened when they flooded the drydock down prior to hauling her away, but my boat never looked nicer. One man's trash is 130 men's treasure.-FA LT

5/05/2011 11:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chop? normally he would be happy about free parts, but must have been an inventory issue of some type.

For the QAO...I wont even touch that one and will just give the fellas the benefit of the down that they took bench sets, lightbulbs, etc.

5/05/2011 11:38 AM

 
Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Decom'd SSN-590 back in '89. Was part of the 2nd-iteration Decom crew of SSN-642 96-00 but actually left prior to the pre-decom last-hurrah deployment. THAT decom was such a moving target I think the first-iteration decom crew was long gone by the time it actually happened!

5/05/2011 4:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 0648,

Was the combined-crew CO on Grant a short, chubby guy that loved M&Ms?

5/05/2011 4:47 PM

 
Blogger KellyJ said...

Decommed USS Skate (SSN578) back in 1986.

5/05/2011 6:57 PM

 
Blogger cal said...

Just finished decomming The USS Los Angeles. Quite an interesting time being the first core type to go through it...a ton of hurdles.

5/05/2011 7:06 PM

 
Blogger Lou said...

Decommed Ulysses S Grant SSBN-631 in 1992 after combining crews and changing homeport from NLON to Bremerton.

I'm surprised that you were able to un-weld the 631 barge from the Simon Lake and get her back across the Atlantic...

Never served on a decom boat, however in the stretch of a year we went through 4 squadrons: SUBRON 14 and 18 (in Charleston), both shut down, SUBRON 4, which would go away when Charleston closed, and finally SUBRON 6.

5/05/2011 7:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember scavenging parts from the enginerooms and machinery spaces of the Ben Franklin and Woodrow Wilson when they were decommissioned. I was sent down to grab little things like the hatch clips and certain fixtures that were broken or needed as spares on my boat. Obsolescence is a bitch. But I knew every time I walked around where those parts came from. Much obliged.

5/05/2011 7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Stsc said...

Decommed the Finback back in '96. The penusanus shipyard was aces at cutting up 637's by that time. First 45 days sucked, after that it was dream duty as a Cone. Friggin' Aft Guys weren't quite as lucky...

5/05/2011 11:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was one of the last 6 coners on
the Tullibee in '88 during decom.
Pre-commed the Miami and was one
of the last 6 pre'commers on her
to xfer as she was doing certs for
deployment.
Didn't like either experience,
both had their pitfalls. Did I say
I hated being in a shityard?


hagar

5/06/2011 12:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grant 631 decomm questions:

No, the decomm CO was not a short guy who liked M&Ms...I think you are referring the the last Blue crew CO. The decomm CO was the last Gold crew CO who later fell on his sword with a DUI about a month or so before decomm ended. I did li,e the story of the Blue crew buying hundreds of M&Ms to get the CO hooked on them and then cutting him off cold turkey in the middle of Patrol!

As for the Barge-631 comment, sigh.... That was the other crew. For some reason all the breakdown stuff that turned the Grant periodically into a barge happened with the other crew. During my time I made six Patrols and every one of them was either started early, extended late, or on one memorable time started early and extended late.

I guess the boat did not like going to see with the other crew?!

We did have a guy onboard from the BLDG-631 days of the Grant's never ending refueling experience in the Portsmouth naval shipyard though...he had interesting stories, especially how the Grant came to have a yellow paint job for the Engineering spaces.

5/06/2011 6:20 AM

 
Blogger tennvol said...

Did the M&M eating Grant Blue CO have the nickname Booger?

5/06/2011 7:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He may have...I really cannot remember to say for sure or not. The nature of boomer crew rotations meant that I only saw the guy a couple of days every couple of months and if I remember correctly this guy had a short cycled CO tour on the Grant due to the combining of the crew and the fact that he was not going to be the combine crew CO. I never heard where he ended up after the Grant.

My only interaction with him was unfucking the mess he would leave my Deviation list for the Grant as the QAO. I had worked hard to get the list down to a short list that kept Squadron happy and off my back. This guy comes along and all of a sudden the list exploded with picky shit. I quietly ignored him when he gave some reason for doing this and as soon as he was gone I zapped all the bullshit ones from the list under my authority as QAO. He got the message and he faced facts that very shortly he was going to be gone from the Grant and I was going to have to deal with the decomm....

5/06/2011 8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KellyJ,

Did you make any WestPacs on Skatefish?

Were you a nuke EM?

5/06/2011 10:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never was part of a decomm or shipyard. Preferred to be operational...a lot less BS!

Retired ANAV

5/06/2011 10:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of us ever had a few women sailors in our decomm crews? Ever wonder why?

Not all of the males had to be sub qualified, and when they were there was often an urgent need for the squadron to get them back to sea.

Well, we shall see how soon women begin staffing decomms. Medical reasons will no doubt necessitate some type of faux shore duty.

Sea time could mean "a lot less BS" for some, but it also means more pay and sacrifices for all.
That's why we joined!

5/06/2011 3:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only did SUBRON 8 go away but STSCM(SS/DV) Jeff Rowe retired today after 30 great years of service to our country and our Navy. This seems to me to be an even better topic of converation. He was the Sonar Chief on SEAWOLF and COB on PITTSBURGH, LOUISVILLE and most recently PROVIDENCE. He is a great leader, mentor and friend.

Matt

5/06/2011 3:45 PM

 
Anonymous EM2(SS) said...

Decommed the New York City (SSN-696) in Portsmouth, NH around 97-98.

As a nuke electrician, it sucked, tagout audits up the arse.

Portsmouth/Kittery was great, but shipyard life sucks. It's the only time where I'd rather be at sea than in port.

PHNSY/No Ka Oi proved that on the Buffy in around 98-99. Shipyard duty always sucks for the guys back aft.

I always hated it when you had to wear hard hats in drydock, because it raised your height by an inch or two. With all of the temporary lighting, ventilation, etc, it was too easy to smack your head into something when you were used to being able to walk about freely.

5/06/2011 6:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMFG, define the officer by
the name of Booger. Did he have a
last name beginning with a B and just happen to command the Jack? He was my XO on the Tullibee, UGH, and
yes, he deserved that nic........


hagar

5/06/2011 9:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grant Blue CO's nickname was Booger, also called GABE, for Gross Ass Booger Eater.

Had him as decomm CO on the Jack. Million stories you could tell about him, but I think he died a few years back. Don't want to be an extreme hater.

5/07/2011 4:36 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

PHNSY/No Ka Oi proved that on the Buffy in around 98-99. Shipyard duty always sucks for the guys back aft.

I was on Buffy for DMP in 91 and did the first 7 months of it before I ran away screaming--to GUAM. How screwed up does the shipyard have to be to WANT to go to Guam? Had 2 days off in my last 3 months. NoKaOi--No Can Do, Ship's Force Fault, pick your fave. But as bad as it was for us, Houston had it 100 times WORSE, but their situation was of their owh making.

5/07/2011 8:19 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, that's booger. Not a hater here, but a laugher. In the med in '86 he was in a drill brief, fell asleep with a finger in his nose, woke up, and walked out of the crews mess. 30 seconds later sonar calls out "torpedo in the water" (the drill brief is still going, so they think it's real...).
He once walked through the mess decks, saw us loading the TDU, and in a commanding voice, asked a SN if the TDU muzzle ball valve was open....we were so shocked we didn't answer his question and just kept on stuffing wet bags.
Back on the planes, we were rigged for black with curtains, at pd on station off of north africa on the mid watch. Stoopid summa bitch opens the curtains and starts shooting flash photos, blinding the entire ship's control party. As the helm I just put full dive on the fairwaters as the Cob started eating the fools @SS.
My first field day onboard in the med.....torpedo room. So they chain my @ss up in a rack, and all I have free is my head and an arm. Booger walks through, sees me and stops and says "petty officer H, why do you not have a chem-wipe in your hand?". I reply, "sir, I'm having some mobility issues.....". So, he walks over, grabs a chem-wipe, and puts it in my outstretched hand and walks on.....
I've heard rumors he almost sank the Jack with a bad surfacing blow in the sound and a horrendous depth excursion with the bridge hatches open. Anybody know about that?
God bless Booger, nobody should die early. He was classical entertainment at it's best.


hagar

5/08/2011 1:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack's problem arose because of a bad valve lineup while attempting an LP blow surfacing, along with a failure to observe and understand the associated indications. Because the seas were rough, the bridge wasn't manned and the bridge hatch was left shut. During the subsequent depth excursion, when the boat almost ran aground from a "surfaced condition," the closed bridge hatch probably saved the boat.

The squadron conducted an investigation, but the CO was found blameless. I say again, the CO was found blameless. After all, how could he know how to do an LP blow surfacing?

The commodore--one of the least popular officers in the submarine force--never understood why he didn't make flag. For this and many other reasons, everyone else understood.

5/09/2011 6:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Negative on the last comment. Didn't try a LP blow. Head valve was OOC. Did a normal blow. Only problem it was calculated using HP air pressure vice normal mbt pressure. Wasn't long enough, didn't get enough water out of the ballast tanks. Enough to get on and stay on the surface. But, when a higher bell was rung up, got driven under.

5/09/2011 4:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lots of calls for scaling back on the VA class in the news this week... I wonder if we will be seeing more subron's combining up

5/09/2011 10:08 PM

 
Blogger Richard Santomauro said...

I was the SUBRON 8 Squadron Career Counselor from 1985-1988 embarked on USS FRANK CABLE at pier 23. Office was next to the Squadron CMC on the floating barge next to the ARDM Resolute.

5/13/2011 1:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting.
http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/CSF/Pages/SubmarinesSquadrons.aspx

So SUBRON-6 now has 8 boats. Seems to make 16 and 20 likely targets for combining since they are but 4 boats each. And do we need 3 RON's in Groton? Split up FOUR between TWO and DEVRON.

5/23/2011 7:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the cited article: "Tomahawk Land to Air Missiles (TLAMs)"

I guess I can understand a publicity type not knowing 'Tomahawk Land Attack Missile', but does 'Land to Air' make any sense at all?

5/28/2011 7:04 AM

 
Blogger Ken said...

Decommed USS Skate (SSN568) back in 1986.


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7/27/2011 3:43 AM

 
Anonymous muebles en fuenlabrada said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thanks so much for this post.

11/29/2011 2:05 AM

 

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