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.)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Rate The Port Visits, Get An Award!

Not much submarine news lately (as indicated by the length of time that's passed since my last post), so I dug around and found a couple of items:

1) USS Louisville (SSN 724) returned from WestPac yesterday; here's photographic proof:

Excerpt from the story:
During the deployment, 26 Sailors qualified in submarines and are now entitled to wear the submarine warfare insignia, also referred to as "Dolphins", after completing a rigorous qualification process that included in-depth understanding of submarine construction and operations, and practical assessments of the Sailor's ability to combat a wide range of casualties that could be encountered while onboard the submarine. A majority of the crew also completed advanced qualifications, including Engineering Watch Supervisor, Diving Officer of the Watch and Chief of the Watch. These qualifications provide greater watch bill flexibility and help ensure that Louisville's performance will remain strong.
"We left on WESTPAC with a fairly junior crew but, they worked hard to keep the ship clean and stowed, and rapidly became qualified for senior watch stations," said Master Chief Fire Control Technician (SS) Joseph Bransfield, Louisville Chief of the Boat.
Despite steaming over 40,000 nautical miles in support of the nation's defense, the crew enjoyed several memorable port visits which included Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Sepangar, Malaysia and Subic Bay, Philippines.
I'd rate that as an above average set of port visits compared to a lot of boats recently. What was your best -- or worst -- combined set of port calls during a full deployment?

2) Here's a story from The Dolphin about the SOAC Director getting an award, the Naval Submarine League’s 2012 Rear Admiral Frederick B. Warder Award for Outstanding Achievement. Pretty cool. The only named award I ever got was the "Military Order of the World Wars" Outstanding Recruit award, given to a graduating recruit every week at Great Lakes back in 1983. (I also earned several Engineer's "Yellow Stickies" when I was a JO.) Did you ever earn a cool award?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I went to the Submarine Officer Advanced Course (SOAC), I wasn't sure whether I could compete with the other rising department heads, so I had something to prove to myself. After many, many late nights and weekends of studying, I managed to graduate first in the class (L.Y. Spear Award). That achievement laid the groundwork for an excellent department head tour during which I reaped the benefits associated with having a great department, crew, and wardroom.

8/09/2012 2:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honor student at Sub school, down hill after that....

8/09/2012 2:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's not WHAT you know it's all about WHO you know. That's just how life works in the nuclear Navy and of course throughout the business world as well.

8/09/2012 3:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an HM 8402 and graduated number 1 in my class, so that was cool. In addition, the honor man received something (I think savings bonds)from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and the class voted another award sponsored by Squibb Pharmaceuticals, and got a really cool attache case, too. So there, I thought they we pretty cool stuff...

8/09/2012 4:20 PM

Blogger Thomas said...

I had sort of the reverse happen to me. I graduated towards the bottom of my prototype (S1C) officer class, something like 17/19. I discovered why on graduation day when (in Service Dress Blues and all, and driving the fuck away from that place forever as soon as it was done) I noticed a data entry error in their grades- somehow I had been given a zero on one of the classroom phase tests and my real grades put me in the middle.

Remember how it felt to pass your EOOW board and be give parole out of prototype? I was so relived to be leaving that place that of course I didn't say anything, they said I could leave and I did!

SOBC was a nice vacation after power school and prototype. I don't think on the cosmic scales I'll suffer for having an artificial bad grade thrown into my aptitude score. (I got after my post-JO shore duty anyway)

Does the so-called "aptitude score" matter anyway? (supposedly as I heard it was the average of your power school, prototype, and PNEO averages)

8/09/2012 6:27 PM

Anonymous Joe Poland said...

I missed the second half of this deployment, but in 07 my boat visited Lisbon, Portugal; Rota, Spain; Haifa, Israel (first sub in like 20 years, or so we were told); Bahrain (midpoint); and Bahrain again and then Seychelles on the way out. For a Medrun/trip to the Gulf I thought it was fantastic.

8/09/2012 7:07 PM

Blogger Russell Roberts said...

Way back in 1998 I finished BESS with the highest average ever obtained. I was immediately placed on admin hold while I was investigated for cheating. Several days (maybe weeks) later I was cleared and allowed to move on to BERT where I finished 3rd. I was investigated again and sent off to RM "A" school finished first.....yeah OK it sounds like a sea story but it happened throughout my career on the boats. I ended up being the guy that suddenly had a heart attack the moment TRE started.

8/09/2012 7:18 PM

Blogger Russell Roberts said...

Damn phone keyboard that should read 1988...

8/09/2012 7:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does the so-called "aptitude score" matter anyway?". As a former detailer, I can say heck yes it matters if you are career minded. You can be successful in your career no matter what your score is, but you are definitely detailed differently based on your scores. Without getting too specific... There are special calculations made to ensure there is enough Engineering savvy on every platform. So depending on the scores of others and your own, you may not qualify to go to specific jobs, either because you weren't 'good' enough to fill a specific role, or because you ARE too good, and all the boats you wanted already have enough nuc brainpower, so you have to to shore up one of the 'short bus' boats (which change all the time based on transfers) to keep them above the minimum average. So it doesn't matter much for your Jo tour, but from DH to CO, it matters ALOT!

8/09/2012 7:27 PM

Anonymous Chris O'Leary said...

Great to hear Joe Bransfield doing well as COB. Not bad for an FT who stood way too much DOOW back on the 721 boat back in 09. Hey Joe, the scope's takin' hits....

Back in 2005 I was awarded an Army commendation medal for leading a team to armor their vehicles or OIF. Not too many bubbleheads with one of those.

Submarine NR-1, Bergen, Norway summer of 1999. There was a girl.... It was a great port visit.

8/09/2012 7:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go NAV-Rod!!! Angel was a superstar in our SOAC class...of course it wasn't hard to shine in our group (we only ruined one 688 propulsion train among us....)

8/09/2012 7:56 PM

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Best set of port calls: 1988 - Yokosuka, Subic Bay, Pattaya, Subic Bay, Yokosuka, Chinhae, Yokosuka and Guam.

Best port call ever: 2003 - Koper.

8/09/2012 7:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a San Diego boat:

Pearl, Yokosuka, Yokasuka, Pearl


8/09/2012 8:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Port visits while on the ALEXANDRIA...

2008 deployment
Toulon, France; Souda Bay, Greece; Bahrain (a few times); Aksaz, Turkey; and Christmas in Gibraltar.

2010 deployment
Hiafa, Israel; Bahrain (a few mor times); Jebel Ali, UAE; Diego Garcia, BIOT; and Limassol, Cyprus.

I could not have asked for a better set of port visits during the two deployments!

8/10/2012 1:10 AM

Blogger DDM said...

1996 Westpac:

Yoko, Yoko, Subic Bay, Darwin, Perth, Perth, Guam

We got the Subic Bay port visit after ADM Konetzni rode us and asked the E-6 and below if there was anything he could do for us. Our A-gang leading 1st rolled up his pant leg and showed him his tattoo (Map of the Phillipines). A week after dropping off the ADM, we got a message saying go the Phillipines.

8/10/2012 3:06 AM

Anonymous 687 tom said...

After a 1981 northern run: holy loch and faslane (reactor plant needed some work).

8/10/2012 5:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Honorman EOOW at MARF. It helped that I qualified as an EO at MARF seven years prior.

Port Calls:

As a Mid, I rose PHILLY during their 2001 Med Cruise (Emil Casciano CO). I arrived in La Madd, and we had a week there before we left. The NAV took us MIDS to Corsica and Sardinia. Then we left, did a TORPEX against JAX in the Adriatic (a first for a SSN). Had a three-day in Dubrovnik, Croatia (AWESOME), picked up CSG-8 in Italy on our way to Gib. Stayed there until we Mids left. While there, we went to Spain (duh!) and took a ferry to Morocco. We also took part in the 200th anniversary ceremony of President Jefferson sending the Navy to deal with the Barbary pirates.

When I got back to school, all of the other Mids had stories of going in and out of Pearl, Bangor, Norfolk, etc....boring boring boring!

8/10/2012 6:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All five of my boats were PAC boats. Four SSNs in Pearl and one SSBN in Bangor.

Pretty much all liberty ports for the SSNs pretty much standard. Yoko, Pattya Beach, Sasebo and Guam. One boat went to Hong Kong, Another to Saipan. I went on seven Westpacs and that was the extent of liberty ports. For the SSBN, Pearl and SD.

Best liberty run occured on my surface ship in late 1985. Stopped in Edinburgh, Scotland; Cophenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Norway; Kiel, West Germany and Namsos, Norway. We were in the first 4 for a week each!

All that time on PAC boats and never made it to Austrilia. :(


8/10/2012 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearl, Guam, Subic Bay, Yokosuka, Diego Garcia, Perth (for Christmas....Ah the memories) then ended off in Suva Fiji. Fiji was different but we steamed in the bay and since I was a nuke that meant only one day of the 3 on shore.

8/10/2012 10:11 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Hmmm... Yoko, Chinhae, Okinawa, Pattaya, Guam, and Brisbane. Not terrible I suppose

8/10/2012 10:54 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

As a person sporting 724 dolphins, Welcome Back Louisville, hope you guys had fun, looks like decent ports. In '98 we did Yoko, Hong Kong, Guam, and Brisbane...pulled into Yoko more times than I can count thanks to the brand new TB-29

8/10/2012 12:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of the 420 U.S. submarine commanders who took subs into WW2 combat and survived, almost all made O-6. How many besides RADM Warder (the Outstanding Achievement Award's namesake) also made Admiral however?

8/10/2012 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS PITTSBURGH SSN 720 Med Cruise 1988/1989. Ports: Monaco Sept 1988 (6 days) with USS Frank Cable), La Maddalena Sardegna Oct 1988 (28 days with USS Frank Cable), Naples It Nov 1988 (6 days), La Maddalena Sardegna Dec 1988 (8 days with USS Frank Cable), Toulon Fr Christmass 1988 (6 days). Did I mention the female bodybuilder on the Frank Cable - we had a very good time.

8/10/2012 1:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon @ 1345:

For one, Rear Admiral Eugene Bennett Fluckey (October 5, 1913 – June 28, 2007), was a United States Navy submarine commander who received the Medal of Honor during World War II.

8/10/2012 1:56 PM

Blogger Bubblehead1283 said...

From my 2009 Deployment...

8 Month Deployment...

Faslane, Scotland: Twice
Bergen, Norway: Twice
Portsmouth, England: Once

8/10/2012 2:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my 2009 Deployment...

8 Month Deployment...

Faslane, Scotland: Twice
Bergen, Norway: Twice
Portsmouth, England: Once

8/10/2012 2:12 PM

Anonymous STSCS said...

UNITAS 92. Puerto Rico x2, Rio de Janeiro(Brazil), Bahia Blanca(Argentina), some other place in either Uruguay or Paraguay, Valparaiso(Chile), Manta (Ecuador), Rodman, Panama, and I might be missing one or two since it was 20 years ago! We skipped Peru (civil unrest) and only the skimmers from the group pulled into Venezuela while we were playing w/ 209's and TR-1700's. Other ops had all skimmers (theirs & ours) against us - our 3" launcher got a workout popping flares as we 'sunk' them one by one and they couldn't find us even right next to them. Best deployment of my career!

8/10/2012 2:35 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

Way back in the 80s on Skate. Did the Yoko and Chinhae thing, then off to PI for a month long upkeep. Finished that with a nice little unexpected op (bad guy came out and needed watchin) then hit Pattya. Leaving Thailand heading for Korea we got smashed by a Typhoon while in the Gulf of Siam (to shallow to dive). Boat took a beating and upon arrival in Chinhae discovered our entire aft superstructure had been ripped off in the storm. Back to PI for 6 more weeks so the SRF could essentially rebuild the after part of the boat. By that time we were pretty well done so back to Pearl.

8/10/2012 4:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also on Skate circa the 1980s. Moored in Subic. Blueback came back in from sea and moored outboard. Of Skate's two screws, the outboard-side screw subsequently was found to be damaged. Due to multiple schedule changes, CSS-7 had several 578-class screws chasing Skate all over WestPac until that screw was replaced. The moral of the story was "sound the collision alarm before Blueback comes alongside to moor."

8/10/2012 6:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singapore was my favorite. I could live without the bar girls. Asians just don't do it for me. But in Singapore, I met up with some Russian liberty ever.

8/10/2012 7:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2003 deployment on Bremerton:

Guam, Guam, Saipan, Guam, Yokosuka

Only Liberty port was Saipan. On the other hand, I got to fly home from Yokosuka to take a standdown so I could get the boat ready for refueling.

8/10/2012 8:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2004 SLC
Yoko, Singapore, Sasebo for 12 hours, Guam for a few days, then went out due to a typhoon, back to Guam then Chinhae then Yoko again then ORSE in Pearl then the best port ever, home in SD.

8/10/2012 10:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the ports I hit back in the day, Halifax was the best. The girls there really do love you forever.

8/11/2012 12:30 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Pusan, Subic, Fremantle, Hobart.

8/11/2012 1:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second UNITAS!
UNITAS XXX, from what I remember it was an incredible time. I couldn't manage to save a penny over that 6 months though.

8/11/2012 7:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see this guy won it, the guy he relieved (LCDR O'Donnell, now a brown-noser on the CNO's staff) was a total asshole.

8/11/2012 7:36 PM

Anonymous 610ET said...

What's a port visit?

8/11/2012 11:07 PM

Blogger dark cloud said...

Singapore and Hong Kong are my favorites, though spending a week in Faslane was also a lot of fun.

8/12/2012 1:17 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Best 'Pac on first boat: Yoko, Yoko, Guam, Pattaya, PI, Chinhae, PI.

Best one on second boat: Yoko, Singapore, Pattaya, Guam, Yoko, Pearl.

Still, neither one was as good as being on the Proteus when she went to Sydney/Brisbane.

8/12/2012 8:51 AM

Blogger bobo nance said...

Port visits? Well when you are on a LANT boomer the best it gets is port canaveral and the worst was the deperm pier in Norfolk where if you were lucky you could sneak a phone call from a friendly guy in the shack.

Awards? I was the first guy qualified in my NPTU class in Idaho Falls. Went from 12 to 8 hour days, became a spray ponder and ended up doing less time at sea. Received a nice letter from then CAPT Brickell, got to remind the retired ADM of this some 30 years latter.

8/12/2012 9:25 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

POrt visits - the best deployment for port visits with UNITAS in 1977. GATO was first nuc to make a UNITAS and we visited Venesuala (the government then was on our side), Salvador and Rio(were "forced" to spend eight days in Rio when our anchor chain knotted) in Brazil, Punta del Este, Uraguay; Puerto Madryn,Argentina; Puent Arenas, Chile; Valpariso, Chile and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. It was one of those trips where the money ran out before the liberty. In WESPAC visited Yokosuka, Guam, Brisbane, Australia, Sasebo, Naha, Subic Bay, and Hong Kong. Can't complain about the liberty ports even in the Atlantic. I always enjoyed Faslane, Portland, and Holy Loch.
New Subject - COMDEVRON 12 has relieved the CO of PITTSBURGH after a week in command. The recently relieved CO is back in command. The DAY and NORWICH BULLETIN are reporting "personal misconduct" with no further details -

8/12/2012 10:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news- less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news, less than a week in Command:

8/12/2012 11:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surface collision

8/12/2012 12:51 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

In my last post it is COMSUBDEVRON 12, slip of the fingers. The DAY has updated their article. It appears the former CO was having an affair with a young woman in Virginia Beach and faked his death to break it off when he left to assume command of PITTSBURGH. Not so smart, hence the title of this blog.

8/12/2012 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better article and pictures of the damage, clearly on the STBD side. Can't think of any COLREGS scenario where PORTER would not have been the give way vessel.

8/12/2012 2:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big hole on the same side as the green light...probably not going to turn out well!

And the clown who had 7 days in command...isn't that enough? Make the dude an Admiral now!

Jim C.
Retired ANAV

8/12/2012 4:27 PM

Blogger TKO said...

Batchelder Award as Chop

8/12/2012 4:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former detailer-

Is that rating made available to the person rated? If so, how?

8/12/2012 4:45 PM

Anonymous bh_lvmc said...

First (worst) deployment on a fast boat:
Guam, Guam, Yokosuka, Sasebo, Saipan, Guam, Okinawa, Guam (we were broke a lot!)

Best port call ever (on a Trident even): Halifax, Nova Scotia

8/24/2012 2:29 AM

Anonymous Jimi said...

After an illustrious enlisted career I got picked up for OCS about a year after I made Chief, being the standout Officer Candidate that I was I earned the Navy League of Newport's "Congressional Medal of Honor Award," not to be confused with a similarly named award, of a much higher prestige. When my wife told my Aunt about it, she was about to tell all the local papers about my achievement, but thankfully I informed her that I hadn't in fact won the Medal of Honor, and saved myself being charged under the Stolen Valor Act.

9/21/2012 8:41 PM

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