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.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Five New Submarines Named!

For the first time since January 2009 (and the first time in this Administration), we (finally) have new names for the next five Virginia-class submarines. I'm glad to see they went away from the anomaly introduced by the last one of naming it for a politician and went back to the class-standard naming convention. The new names are: USS Illinois (SSN 786), USS Washington (SSN 787), USS Colorado (SSN 788), USS Indiana (SSN 789), and USS South Dakota (SSN 790). If you've gotta name submarines after states (and, while not as good as fish names, it does at least recognize that submarines are the capital ships of the modern Navy), these are good choices; previous incarnations of all except Illinois saw action in WWII, and the last Illinois (BB 65) was supposed to be the fifth Iowa-class battleship; she was cancelled when WWII ended.

I'm expecting that the First Lady will sponsor the Illinois, continuing the recent tradition. By all accounts, Laura Bush did an excellent job as sponsor of USS Texas (SSN 775); hopefully Mrs. Obama will follow that lead, rather than the one provided by then-Mrs. Clinton when she sponsored USS Columbia (SSN 771), but didn't have time to even attend the commissioning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fast Attacks should be named after cities, not states. Boomers should be named after states. Simple and easy recognition.

Are going to name all of our submarines after states? What are we going to do when we run out of states? USS Puerto Rico? USS Guam? USS Virgin Islands (U.S. Ter.)? Of course this assumes that we will have more than 50 subs at some point in the future.

4/13/2012 10:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naming conventions be damned. They should be named in honor and recognition of the WWII fleet boats.

4/13/2012 11:06 AM

Anonymous Baracuda said...

I’m tired of this anonymous shit. Give yourself a name so people like me can specifically call you out as being a genius or a moron. Next issue.....

That’s a damn fine idea! They started down that path with the Sea Wolf but quickly went downhill when they named the next boat after a state, and then the last one after a lackluster president....

Talk about a class identity crisis

4/13/2012 11:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

State names still available for use with future submarines:

New Jersey
South Carolina

4/13/2012 11:46 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Besides SSN 785, SSN-680, 685, 686, & 687 were also named for former politicians. All of these men were lawyers except for two who had once been: an accountant
(Glenard P. Lipscomb); and a naval supply officer (William H. Bates).

Former Secretary of Defense John Warner (SSN 785) was not just a lawyer, he was a WW2 veteran (Navy PO3) and a ground officer with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing during Korean War.

4/13/2012 11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Baracuda - you're a moron.

Hey, you're right, it works!

4/13/2012 11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vigilis - don't forget HENRY M JACKSON

4/13/2012 11:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...they named the next boat after a state, and then the last one after a lackluster president...." - Baracuda

Think you are confused? Just imagine the potential mistakes enemy intelligence could make. These departures from convention are certainly political, but they are not arbitrary.

Think that is bad? As you particularly must know Baracuda, USS Barracuda (SS-163) was the first U.S. sub commissioned (Oct 1924) with a name it could keep since names were abandoned in 1911. A letter and number-only naming convention had been used from from 1911 until 1924. The letter-number only convention was very confusing during operations with Canadian and British boats, which followed the same, silly aircraft-type designation scheme.

4/13/2012 12:07 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Anonymous @1146 - I would have a real problem with naming another ship Arizona. While the current one is officially decommissioned, I think we need to keep the name of this particular memorial sacred. Just my opinion.

4/13/2012 12:09 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730) was named for another lawyer-politician.
The reason it was not in my list with SSNs, is that the "41 for Freedom" (original SSBNs) were in fact named for patriots (many of whom had been politicians and even lawyers).

4/13/2012 12:15 PM

Anonymous Don said...

I agree Bubblehead, nothing should be named after Arizona again. That should be left in reverence.

4/13/2012 1:16 PM

Anonymous USS Notilus™ said...

"Baracuda" opens up a world of possibilities...and one much more in keeping with the tradition of knuckle-draggers everywhere. And as a bonus, misspelled words are trademarkable!

Just think of the possibilities:

USS Californication™

USS Tejas™

USS New TexMex™

USS Floriduh™

USS Misouri™

USS Masachusets™

USS Misisipi™

or we could even go for favorite A-gang misspellings...

USS Santank™

USS DeselRoom™

USS Nucular™

USS NoShiter™

USS Supmarine™ other words, and endless supply of names that even skimmers could (mis)spell. Might we have discovered 'Shangrila'?

4/13/2012 1:21 PM

Anonymous USS Notilus™ said...

Not to mention: USS AndEndless™

4/13/2012 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fish names for submarines was a great tradition until the brass figured out that fish don't vote.


4/13/2012 1:51 PM

Anonymous USS Notilus™ said...

And how could we possibly overlook:

USS Tytanik (in Sooper3D)™

(...gotta love the "maybe it's another drill...")

4/13/2012 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent many emails to my senators and congressmen from Utah, explaining how there is no name sake for the state of Utah or any city. USS Salt Lake City SSN 716 was decommed in 2006.

I only heard one response back from Senator Hatch and they were going to approach the SecNav about naming one USS SLC again.

USS Utah was the other vessel that sunk during the bombing of Pearl harbor and still rests there with 54 men still entombed inside.

So we will see!!!


4/13/2012 2:38 PM

Anonymous anonymous shit said...

Concur that Baracuda is a moron.

4/13/2012 3:05 PM

Anonymous LAMPS MK 1 said...

Agree that "anonymous shit" is a douchecopter!

Don't forget the Ebonics nunacations for USS

4/13/2012 5:00 PM

Anonymous Old Nameless said...

Let's hope the crews on the new USS South Dakota and USS Washington get along better than did their WWII battlewagon counterparts.

4/13/2012 10:59 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

They haven't used my USS Glenard P Lipscomb SSN 685 name in a long time?

4/14/2012 8:22 AM

Blogger Gerry said...

[[ vigilis said...
USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730) was named for another lawyer-politician.
The reason it was not in my list with SSNs, is that the "41 for Freedom" (original SSBNs) were in fact named for patriots (many of whom had been politicians and even lawyers). ]]

I think I missed your logic Vigilis... the 730 isn't a 41 For Freedom boat, she's a Trident. Tridents are named with state names (except 730) which is what Anon@11:48 was trying to point out (I think).

- MT2/SS (SSBN641, SSBN 730)

4/14/2012 9:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Vaginus was talking about attack submarines exclusively.

4/14/2012 1:13 PM

Blogger SJV said...

SSN's should be named for former fleet boats. Maybe follow the chronology of boats lost. Who gives a rip what they name boomers?

4/14/2012 3:37 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

MT2/SS - You certainly did miss my logic. Forty-one SSBNs prior to the Tridents were actually named after exactly what I said, which is already more of a naming precedent (lawyers and politicians) in SSBNs than there has ever been for SSNs.

With such a naming pattern for boomers already well-established, why even address boomer naming of late?

4/14/2012 6:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served on three fish, one human and a mammal. All five were good ships manned by good men and good leaders. Except for the homosexual CO on the person. He didn't get my ass but he tried..

4/14/2012 6:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess hoping for a return of USS Robert E Lee and USS Stonewall Jackson is out of the question. After Tecumseh I always thought Crazy Horse, Geronimo, and Sitting Bull would be good names for boats.

4/14/2012 6:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, so here's an opportunity for you all. The next class of SSBN has been referred to as "OHIO Replacement Program" for several years, but it will soon need a real name. There will be 12 ships. What should they be named? If it's really true (as has been said here) that senior leadership reads this blog, then you can bet you might have some influence on the naming scheme, especially if you come up with some good ideas.

4/14/2012 6:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if the First Lady is going to be the sponsor for ILLINOIS, I certainly hope she knows how to break the bottle on the first swing. Hillary couldn't do it on the first swing, and COLUMBIA is certainly feeling it.

4/14/2012 7:50 PM

Blogger 4MC said...

To 4/14/2012 6:59 PM, let's name 'em after natural bodily functions.

I'll name the first:

1. USS Windbreaker

4/14/2012 8:19 PM

Anonymous Happy Feet said...

2. USS Orgasm

4/14/2012 8:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

3. USS Jizz

4. USS Nocturnal Emission

4/14/2012 8:39 PM

Anonymous Ham in my pants said...

5. USS Secretion

4/15/2012 7:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the plus side for a sub named "USS Windbreaker", her name would be be immortalized whether or not she ever left home port .

4/15/2012 10:40 AM

Blogger Below Decks Watch said...

How about the USS Paper Clip?



4/15/2012 10:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hillary couldn't do it on the first swing, and COLUMBIA is certainly feeling it."

How many men could do it?

We women are tired of being considered physically inferior to men.

Although we are grateful to Pres. Obama and SecNav Mabus for finally getting women on submarine duty, the administration makes us look inferior still by yet banning those of us who are qualified to become members of the president's armed Secret Service security details.

One tough lady

4/15/2012 11:12 AM

Anonymous Left handed lifter said...

6. USS Eructation

7. USS Egest

8. USS Incontinence

4/15/2012 1:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:12...

I think the poster was getting at the fact Hillary didn't break the bottle on the first swing at the COLUMBIA's christening...which means bad luck for the ship. Ever watch K-19? This comment, unless I am incorrect, had nothing to do with women on subs. And, many women have been able to break the bottle on the first swing...maybe Hillary should have imagined she was swinging at Bill. That would have left a dent, and the ship probably would be fairing much better than I hear she has recently.

4/15/2012 2:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

771 is going through a rough patch. That is certain. Did they get their keys back yet? Heard they spent a week 'underway' while tied to the pier recently. I can't think of a faster way to kill morale ship-wide. Do not expect them to be a golden anchor winner for 2012...

4/15/2012 8:27 PM

Anonymous jay the nuk said...

I just wonder in keeping with the current PC environment will the future combat systems for these 5 boats be in spanish and english???

4/15/2012 8:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Before too long it won't be so much a CHOICE as a lack of options :)

4/16/2012 7:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes the winner of the Golden Anchor is a terrible command, with a lot of sailors reenlisting to get orders off the boat.

4/16/2012 9:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's shame they didn't name another boat after Admiral Rickover.

We wouldn't even have the modern submarine force if it wasn't for him.

4/16/2012 10:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^Well said, well spoken.

BTW, here's an article that mentions Rickover's powerful accomplishments, and gives some fundamental rules for how he went about them.

Having said that, keep the goal in mind, not the means. Even Rickover said -- given the right circumstances -- he'd be willing to "sink them all".

4/16/2012 11:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. And following up on the above article which was in yesterday's newspapers, here's Joel's old boat in today's news.

Not sure why CNN doesn't have more thoughtful and constructive articles about the military...but yes, indeed, this comes to us via Fox News. You be the judge as to why...I'm just the messenger.

4/16/2012 11:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I'm glad my sentiment is shared by at least someone other than myself.

Admiral Rickover is one of my personal heroes. He always was an "against the grain" leader that I think is lacking in the Navy today.

My favorite quote of his was:

"If you're going to sin, sin against God, not the Bureaucracy...

God will forgive you but the Bureaucracy won't."

He would have never lasted long in today's Navy however.

This is merely my opinion of course, some might disagree with me.

4/16/2012 12:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rickover barely lasted in yesterday's Navy. The apparatchik admirals of his day frequently tried to hole his career boat, and went so far in the pettiness category as to not invite him to the White House to celebrate Nautilus' historical trek to the North Pole.

Thankfully, Rickover's "bureaucracy" remark was clearly based on sarcasm, not reality. He stuck it to the flaccid admirals of his day many a time...but mainly, and most doing the right thing rather than just flapping his gums about it.

4/16/2012 12:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which is exactly why I feel we need another boat named after him.

The guys coming out of BESS these days don't have a clue about this great man or his legacy.

4/16/2012 1:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like someone had his thinking cap on when they assigned one of the hull numbers -


Seattle, WA - home of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

4/16/2012 2:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure why CNN doesn't have more thoughtful and constructive articles about the military...but yes, indeed, this comes to us via Fox News. You be the judge as to why...I'm just the messenger.

Maybe it's because they covered it almost a year ago.

4/16/2012 5:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. It's very interesting to compare the comment sections on CNN vs. the Fox story.

Result? Am willing to leave this as an exercise for the reader.

(Hint: we're surrounded by both are pretty bad!)

4/16/2012 5:21 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Anon @ 7:49:

With guys like Norm Dicks, it's a good bet that that was NOT an accident (Cantwell and Murray couldn't conjure up enough braincells between them to be that creative)

4/16/2012 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They can say what they want, but look at those five states and you look at who the puzzle palace needed from mostly democratic states to support a shipbuilding program or who they needed votes from in general.

If I was up to me I would name them things like USS BearShark, or USS GreenGoblin...see if you get the same amount of funding and votes with those. nyuk nyuk nyuk.

All kidding aside, the Warner has no place in the names for submarines: fishes, states, cities should be it, unless its someone like Buffet who is going to give a couple $B and fund one..there's an idea.

4/16/2012 7:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@one tough lady:

If you're looking for misogyny here, you sure picked the wrong comment to find it in.

4/16/2012 7:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concur with parts of the above: Names should be fish (extra-ordinary fish such as Batfish, etc included), states, cities and thats it. Or sell the name. thats right sell the name. You give Uncle Sam $2B+ and you can name it within reason, otherwise stick to the basics of fish, states, cities.

4/16/2012 7:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fish or cities/states...otherwise dont try.

Agreed on corporate sponsorship for name. If a company wants to pay for a full construction of a boat, let them have at it. USS Apple, USS Google....hmmm, at least we would be able to fully fund the shipbuilding program and not take the 30% cut in force structure in the future.

4/16/2012 7:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eat my DBF or bust nubs.

4/16/2012 7:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have a good Sub Ball story from the weekend? All this name calling is getting boring...

4/16/2012 7:27 PM

Anonymous Flip Henry said...

Yeah, I did your wife while you danced with the XO.

4/16/2012 10:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we fight for.

4/17/2012 12:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subs should ONLY be named after fish, states, or cities? Excuse me?

When did we become so inflexible and be willing to give up ever preconceived notion?

Isn't that kind of rigidness exactly what Admiral Rickover sought to change?

"What is right today may be wrong tomorrow. Don't be consistent; consistency is the refuge of fools." - Admiral HG Rickover

4/17/2012 9:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction: Unwilling to give up every preconceived notion.

Damn typos.

4/17/2012 9:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the old days, large capital ships were named after cities and states.

Battleships were named after states -Arizona, Wisconsin. Heavy cruisers were named after large cities - Chicago, St Louis, etc. and light cruisers were named after smaller cities - Boise, Indianapolis, etc.

They carried that convention over to submarines, large capital ships - Ohio, smaller capital ships - Los Angeles.

Destroyers were named top honor people.

Now they name anything after anyone, depending on their political power. So much for tradition.


4/17/2012 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ex em1

you forgot that carriers were named after significant battles. The Marines carried this on with the Iwo Jima and Tarawa but unfortunate that is where the tradition ended. you also had to be dead to get a ship named after you. Having the ships namesake at its commissioning is kinda ridiculous.

4/17/2012 1:54 PM

Anonymous Wedding Photography Perth said...

Hi BubbleHead. Wow! Now you have 5 more submarines to utilize. Your government must have been so supportive.

4/27/2012 4:15 AM


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