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.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Aussie Boat Sinks Target, Has "Minor Flood"

Looks like HMAS Farncomb (SSG 74) had a little more excitement during a RIMPAC 2012 SINKEX than they were expecting:
Sailors aboard a Collins-class submarine forced to return to base for repairs during a multinational exercise near Hawaii last week would have been profoundly disappointed, a former senior submariner says.
It is the second time in just over a year a Collins-class submarine has had to withdraw from a major international exercise because of mechanical issues.
The former commander of the Australian Navy Submarine Group, Steve Davies, said the officers and crew of HMAS Farncomb would have been riding high after successfully sinking a decommissioned United States warship with a Mk 48 torpedo during RIMPAC 2012.
HMAS Farncomb experienced ''a minor flood'' shortly after the firing exercise while snorkelling to recharge its batteries.
One of the hoses in the submarine's weight compensation system split, spraying water into a machinery space.
Emergency measures were invoked with the ship withdrawing from the exercise and returning to Pearl Harbour for repairs.
What's your best "minor flood" or SINKEX story?

Even though they were forced back into port, they did get credit for a successful SINKEX:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Civilian Shipyard Worker Charged With Setting USS Miami Fire

Breaking news from Kittery:
Investigators now say the fire that extensively damaged a Navy submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was intentionally set. Casey James Fury, 24 of Portsmouth, has been charged with setting that fire, and another smaller fire on the sub.
Naval investigators say Fury was working as a painter and sandblaster aboard the USS Miami. They say he confessed to setting the May 23 fire that caused 400 million dollars damage to the sub.
Court documents show that Fury told investigators he suffers from anxiety and takes medication for it. He said the day of the fire, he was working in the torpedo room when his anxiety started getting "really bad". He went to a state room for a cigarette break, saw a bag of rags on the bunk and set them on fire.
If guilty, throw the book at him. While many shipyard workers are very dedicated, there were always a lot of dodgy characters working as painter/cleaners in the shipyard, but this is the worst example I've seen. What are some of your memories of some sketchy sand crabs you've worked with?

Bell-ringer 1050 23 July: Here's an article with much more information from Seacoast Online, which has been providing the best reporting since the story started. It looks like they zero'd in on Fury after a 2nd fire was started in the shipyard on June 16th. Here's a copy of the criminal complaint filed by the NCIS Agent in charge.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boomer Force Earns MUC

Everyone assigned to an SSBN or SSBN support role from July 2007 to January 2011 was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation today. From the COMSUBFOR blog, here's the award citation:
For meritorious service from 16 July 2007 to 28 January 2011. Commander, Task Force 134 and Commander, Task Force 144 (CTF134/144) excelled in support of United States Strategic Command’s flawless execution of its global mission of strategic deterrence. The Task Forces provided an essential leg to our nation’s strategic triad and were a key element of our deterrent mission. The deterrence mission executed by Task Force 134 and 144 during this period underpinned Department of Defense strategy and provided the backbone and foundation for our political leadership in execution of national security policy. Providing credibility to the deterrent force, Commander Task Force 134 and 144 demonstrated high standards in day-to-day operations, in exercises, in training, and every time they went to sea. By their truly distinctive achievements, unrelenting perseverance, and unfailing devotion to duty, the officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees of Commander Task Force 134 and Commander, Task Force 144 reflected credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The MUC as a unit award is generally considered to be comparable to a Bronze Star for individuals. Apparently, the boomer force has done as much for our nation's defense as Sub School and SUPSHIP Groton did earlier.

I don't think I'll hold my breath for the attack submarine force to be similarly rewarded. Even though I'm always happy to see Submariners get more chest candy, I can't help having the feeling that this is just more evidence of the "everyone gets a trophy!" mentality that's been sneaking into the Navy over the last couple of decades.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Responsible Use Of The Submarine Song

Over the years, I've sent the lyrics to "The Submarine Song" to literally hundreds of Submariners, and while I don't know for sure that The Submarine Song contributed to the firing of the COB of USS Annapolis back in April, based on the new description of the events leading up to the firing by the Michael Melia reporter, it sure sounds like it might have played a part. Excerpts:
The sailor from the USS Annapolis, Senior Chief Sonar Technician Gregory Cordray, had been drinking inside a club on the U.S. base when he was involved in an altercation with a group of apparently British sailors on March 12. On the bus to a hotel, he also caused a commotion by starting a sing-along and using profanity, according to the command investigation. The investigation report, obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request, concluded that Cordray violated the commanding officer's orders to avoid intoxication while off-duty in Bahrain, as well as during a January port visit to Toulon, France...
...According to the investigation, Cordray had been drinking beer inside the chief petty officers' club for nearly seven hours before leaving for the hotel, when he encountered the apparently British sailors attempting to board the bus designated for Annapolis sailors. Several people tried to quiet Cordray as they secured the door to the bus.
Because no one wants to see a Submariner lose their job, I feel bad about saying earlier: "It's only fun singing The Submarine Song until someone gets hurt... and then it's hilarious, if the hurt person is a skimmer."

Have you ever gotten into a "tussle" with non-Submariners (especially non-American non-Submariners) in a foreign port?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bad Boys Race Our Young Girls...

Some people are claiming this picture came from an old ET 3&2 Rate Training Manual:

Can anyone confirm? If it didn't come from there, it should have. What are your favorite memories of official Navy training publications (or -- and I hesitate to bring this up for obvious reasons -- "A" School mnemonics you still remember)?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Naval Reactors Admiral Nominated

From the Senate webpage, we see this piece of intel:
Jul 11, 12 PN1807 Navy: The following named officer for appointment to the grade of Admiral in the United States Navy while assigned to a position of importance and responsibility under title 10, U.S.C., section 601 and title 42, U.S.C., section 7158: Vice Adm. John M. Richardson, to be Admiral
The 42 U.S.C. Section 7158 portion confirms that this nomination is to head Naval Reactors. Personally, I think it's a great choice. VADM Richardson has done an excellent job looking for ways to move the Force into the 21st century while heading SUBFOR, and I expect he'll continue the good work of his predecessors at NR.

Monday, July 09, 2012

IG Report On USS Memphis Cheating Scandal

To the surprise of no one, the Navy IG found that the cheating scandal on USS Memphis (SSN 691) was not evidence of a Force-wide issue. Excerpt:
U.S. Navy investigators have dismissed allegations that pervasive cheating tainted training exams administered to enlisted sailors and officers in the submarine force, according to documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The inspector general for the Atlantic submarine force opened an investigation following a complaint that originated in Groton, Conn., the home port of an attack submarine that was hit by a cheating scandal in 2010. In a letter sent to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in December, the commander for the Atlantic submarine force said the claims were unsubstantiated. It said previous episodes mentioned in the complaint were investigated and dealt with individually.
Is anyone surprised that the Navy didn't find evidence of pervasive cheating on the boats?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Coming Forth On The Fifth

I hope everyone had a great celebration of the 236th anniversary of our Nation's Independence yesterday; it looks like San Diego took the cake for the most intense show:

Did anyone in San Diego see the big boom? How were the shows in the submarine ports last night?