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.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Light Weekend Reading

Here are some submarine-related tidbits that have come out in the last week or so:

1) The CO/XO and DH screening messages came out. Everyone on them is so young that I have nothing to add to the traditional "I can't believe that puppy-molester screened" conversation Submariners have. That being said, if you do have something to add, please don't use names in the comments.

2) CDR Salamander had a post about a letter sent out by the CNO directing NAVSEA 08 to "stand up a Navy-wide working group" to reduce administrative overhead. I remember the last such initiative, under ADM Boorda. I remember how there was a message from the CNO directing that one particular program (the part of the ORSE Admin requirement that required A-gang participation) be cancelled immediately. I remember how, at the next ORSE (not officially an NR program, of course, but everyone knows the score on that one), they asked me for these records, and I gave them the message from the CNO from 9 months earlier saying it had been canx'd. I clearly remember how the ORSE board member (look, I didn't capitalize it! Man, that's liberating) said he'd never heard of such a thing. Figuring this would happen, I then gave him the records, since I knew that NR would never let something as insignificant as a direct written order from the CNO get in the way of their ORSE Admin requirements.

That being said, ADM Richardson has been known to be interested in reducing unneeded admin, so we'll see if this initiative comes to anything. Heck, it might even be more successful than the clearly doomed-to-almost-immediate-worthlessness of the new "21st Century Sailor office".

3) USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) got back from a WESTPAC! Subic Bay, Pusan, Yoko, and Guam. I've seen worse sets of port visits.

4) Looks like vehicle decals for Navy bases are going to be a thing of the past as of next month.

5) Hey, we should launch a discussion about the U.S. government intercepting communications on a submarine blog! Not.


7) Scandal or non-event? I'm thinking that, as most submarines are commanded by O-5s and we still call them "Captain", it's not a big deal.

Update 1518 18 June: 8) A Brit officer becomes just the 2nd UK officer to earn American gold dolphins.


Blogger Stephen Roselius said...

I'm not sure what vessel Commander -- er, Captain -- Crunch commands, but I'm willing to bet it's not a submarine.

6/15/2013 9:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not with a silly hat like that!

I've really got only one thing to comment on, and that's the ORSE thing. Now I'm not exactly sure what A-gang keeps records for, but the one thing I would (if I actually had a say) is the diesel. Now I know the diesel does more than power the reactor, but lets look at it from purely a nuclear point and not a safety of ship thing, though the latter counts much more to me (cause I like going home).

That's your long term emergency power source, much like the civy plants if I'm not mistaken. All records involving the diesel and diesel supporting systems are pretty important when it comes to reactor safety. So when you think about it, that might be most of what they already keep records for. I'd say it's fair because it is quite important. It also still isn't nearly as much as any other division in engineering. And I do take pride in calling the a-gangers department mates.

But, like I said, I really don't know exactly what equipment they keep records for.

6/15/2013 11:12 PM

Anonymous xmgt said...

Awfully ironic that the CNO would name one of the most notoriously admin-generating organizations to this effort...

6/16/2013 2:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute Bubblehead, you missed some of the details in the base sticker article; namely:

Additionally, all personnel permanently assigned to SUBASE greater than six months will be required to register their vehicle at the Pass and ID Office, Building 500.

Talking about too much admin, the idiots at the Navy Installation Command have directed that all personnel still register their cars at the pass and ID office. If there is a state required smog test in your area, you will need to keep you record of a smog test current with pass and ID, which means visiting them every year or two depending on state regulations. Sounds like the only thing they need to do is to add a requirement to prove you have registered with the pass and ID office by displaying a sticker on your car. Do the State Police of Local Police demand to see this information when parking in the lot at the county courthouse?

Sounds like a jobs program for the pass and ID office.

Sounds completely unforceable. How do you tell the difference between someone visiting and someone assigned greater than six months? Stupid rule.

Why does the base insist on trying to add a layer on the state laws. Yes, everyone knows you need to have a license, registration, insurance and appropriate state inspections. Yet, CNIC can't let go of the fact that a separate registration program creates more admin burden, both from registering and from processing silly stuff from the base police when the sole offense is the sailor's car isn't registered on base.

Yes, if you stop someone for a random vehicle search or a traffic stop, absolutely demand to see license, registration, insurance, etc. Other than that, CNIC, you are creating double the work and it's just damn dumb.

6/16/2013 6:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Air base in Southern Illinois has done away with base stickers for several years now. No registration of vehicles or insurance checks. As long as you have a ID, you can get on base. Parking stickers are supplied to command master sergeants and O-6 and above. It has been working well.

-ETC(SS) Ret.

6/16/2013 8:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that the admin program you're talking about it the DETA records that went away about 12-15 years ago.

Some names on the CO/XO list I'm happy to see, some I'm not. No puppy-molesters, just guys I would not want to serve under for various reasons.

Am I the only one that finds irony in this admin-reduction effort being spearheaded by the man who requires every CO in the Submarine Force to submit a letter every quarter detailing his training plan? A lot of the same language and ideas as the DFUW regarding admin burdens. Not much, if anything, has actually been done. Hopefully this actually does something to make a difference.

Base stickers should have gone away years ago. I got my wife a new car in early May. When I took it in to get base stickers, I could only get stickers through August because my ID expires in September. But at least they were polite when they told me I could just come back in a month after I got my ID renewed and get new stickers.

6/16/2013 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What admin has ADM Richardson successfully eliminated? As COMSUBFOR he created:

-CO assessment letter (read: JO project) to ISIC on a not to exceed 7 month frequency, with a very specific format and terminology relating your performance to the 5 pillars of submarining.
-RC Division RPPMS qualification guidance and QWL record.
-Self-flaggelating audit of RC division maintenance followed by a fleet wide stand-down when comfirmation bias inevitably struck.

And as head of NR he suddenly got quiet about his push to reduce admin overhead, even though he's now in the best position to do it. Wonder why?

His push to get CO's to have greater control of the ship has translated to "I will be hands-off on day-to-day operations except I'm going to force you to do more random audits to prove to me you're not fucking it all away." It's honestly more time intensive for the units and the CO's increased discretion is an illusion.

6/16/2013 11:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the guys on the XO list used to turn red with anger whenever our XO talked to him. He broke a couple of 1MJ handsets in the box from slamming them on the desk in rage. I hope he mellowed out as a DH. I imagine he's going to be a Rob Schneider sort of XO otherwise.

6/16/2013 12:18 PM

Blogger Jed Christiansen said...

One of the guys on the CO list was a shipmate... the next most senior JO than me on the boat. Great guy, and think he'll be a solid CO.

Frankly I'm amazed that guys my age are in the zone to be COs... that's f**king nuts.

Unfortunately I lost touch with him after I left my JO tour (this was pre-Facebook & pre-LinkedIn). Anyone have ideas how I can get in touch with him? I'm at jed.christiansen AT gmail if you have tips.

6/16/2013 4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

. Anyone have ideas how I can get in touch with him?

Uh, call his current command on the phone and ask to speak to him?

6/16/2013 4:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jed -
No wonder you got out and are amazed at the success of those who stayed in.

Enjoy your Walmart greeter job and say, "Here's your cart!"

6/16/2013 7:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the U.S. government intercepting communications on a submarine blog!

BTDT. ESM works great and yes, there have been missions assigned to do just the U.S. (pre-9/11).

If you think our government is not capable and willing to do such things against citizens then you are pretty naïve.

6/16/2013 9:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody ever claimed that Crunch was USN, so the evidence doesn't show anything of note. Crunch's uniform could also be an archaic version of some other country's uniform - note that the CO of the Constitution wears two epaulettes and only one stripe on the sleeves. While the CO today is an O-5 her COs back in her fighting days were captains of the seniority we would associate with an O-6 today.

6/16/2013 9:42 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

Well hell's bells,

I never thought of Captain Crunch as an 0-5. I always considered him as an 0-6. But after a closer look at his uniform you're right, he wears the bars of a Commander. Wow guys, that's like trying to tell me there's no Santa Claus and then attempting to prove it to me. As long as Captain Crunch maintains and consistently supplies our nation's requirement of Crunchberries, I see no reason why Captain Crunch shouldn't be an 0-6.

Am I wrong about that?

6/16/2013 10:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Favorite side comment on orse after a DFW sample "that was the best ever seen". Senior, was he trained by an ELT? I replied, No, we don't allow those pussies in the machinery room.


6/16/2013 10:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Captain Crunch had an adverse FITREP on JO Shore duty, and his career never recovered.

6/17/2013 12:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8) Declining interest in submarines over the last 9 years.

6/17/2013 8:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

9) But 'submarine warfare' becoming more interesting than the much larger 'surface warfare' we've got that going for us...which is nice.

6/17/2013 9:10 PM

Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

Thank you, Carl Spackler

6/18/2013 4:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome, Mrs. little monkey woman.

6/18/2013 6:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The group to reduce administrative burden is comprised of mostly senior officers. My O6 (SWO) boss being one of them. (A bad plan from my perspective; since they are all entrenched in their ways)

My favorite part so far is when he had me write an email for him to send to the head of the group... how that goes along with "reducing administrative burden" is beyond me. It took all of my self control to not include a sentence about wasting a LT's time by having him draft your emails.

6/18/2013 11:23 AM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

Should I be concerned, or praised, for my foresight?

6/18/2013 9:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding [update] 8)...

Food for thought:

If Second Brit officer earns American gold dolphins fulfills some military purpose, is it UK damage control, the denied US special relationship thing, or a wave of the Atlantic fleets joint future?


How many Brit officers have earned American SWO insignia? Why not? How many Yank officers have earned Brit (crown) dolphins?

Charlie Willis

6/18/2013 11:38 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

In the '70s Jerry Holland took command of CSS-1 and immediately put out a directive that 'NR-requirements aside, all units in his squadron would make reports to higher authority ONLY if he had approved the reporting requirement." Glee ensued. Worked. Admin burden became less burdensome and the boats knew that someone had their backs on bullshit.

6/19/2013 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good summertime reading: RADM Holland's published take on "Nimitz, the Submariner." He doesn't mention the fact that Nimitz, as CNO, was also the guy who overrode some of the more numb-nutted in his hierarchy to approve a certain renegade, chain-of-command jumping O-6's recommendation to build the first nuclear-powered submarine.

Holland was quite a character. Still recall parts of his speech to us nub-est of nub sub school grads back in the day. One favorite: "And remember...keep it clean, keep it ready, and if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right."

6/19/2013 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the COs of USS San Francisco (SSN-711) had the following policy to reduce paperwork: if a letter came from outside the Submarine Force, he stored it for a couple of months without responding. If they really wanted an answer, they'd send another letter. If he didn't hear from them again, the letter went in the circular file. Also, periodic reporting requirements that originated outside the Submarine Force went unreported unless he got a specific request from the originator.

6/19/2013 6:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO called me into his office one day asking if had read one of the latest messages - seems we had received a message from some Air Force Colonel who was PISSED that we had "failed to submit our annual inventory of photographic equipment".

WTF?? I had been the ship's photography officer for several years and had never heard of this paperwork requirement. I asked the XO if he had ever heard of this and neither had he....hmn...curious.

Seeing as we were two months away from being decommissioned for good, I told the XO to ignore the message and throw the original message away. I pointed out that we certainly were not about to share anything about our periscope photography capabilities with anyone outside the submarine community, especially not with the Air Force! The Colonel could yell and scream all he wanted to via message, but I didn't work for him so I simply ignored him.

I also pointed out to the XO that by the time the Air Force Colonel realized we were ignoring him, we would cease to exist as a Command!!

I always suspected this was a trap to test us into doing something stupid...but it got ignored with a vengeance!

6/19/2013 7:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since this has seven topics, I figured I would add an eigth

6/19/2013 9:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


6/19/2013 9:32 PM

Anonymous SparkyWT said...

@ Charlie Wills:
USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) has had a RN navigator aboard since commissioning. We had a USN officer on HMS Marlborough until she was decomed in 2004-5.
SWO Pin is designator dependent by Navy instruction. Since you asked about SWOs, notoriously unimaginative and inflexible, do you think any CO would be so brazen as asking for a qual waiver for thee Brit?

6/20/2013 12:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

#9: Here's an opportunity for JOs to have a creative impact on the Navy:

Looking for O-1 to O-3 willing to dedicate one weekend a month. Probably doable for shore duty guys.

6/20/2013 1:17 PM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

All caps message traffic? No big deal.

Oh my, the Commanding Officer of a ship is called Captain. Get over it.

Some folks just have way too much time on their hands.

6/20/2013 9:54 PM

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