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, November 21, 2013

Do "Ultra-Heavy" Iranian Submarines Get PUCs? I Think Not.

I was intrigued by the news from Iran that they were deploying an "ultra-heavy" submarine (the old Kilo-class boat Younus) along with a "destroyer" (actually a 1500 ton frigate) and "helicopter carrier" (actually a 4700 ton supply ship) to India and Sri Lanka. The surface ships are both 40 years old, and the submarine is about half that age. I'll admit that I'll be impressed if all three ships actually make it to their destinations and get back home without having to get towed at some point.

It says something about our potential adversaries when when refer to an old Kilo as "ultra-heavy" -- which it kind of is compared to their tiny toy mini-subs -- but real navies recognize that "ultra-heavy" boats are more along the lines of my old boat USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), which -- oh by the way -- just had a Presidential Unit Citation posted on the Navy Awards page for operations for the 356 days ending 19 Nov 2012.

Take that, Carter-disparagers!

Completely off topic, this story of the snooping wife, despite a senior officer losing his career, is funny in a way that only Navy people can fully appreciate.

Update 0853 22 Nov: Adding a couple of additional unrelated stories to make this even more of a "compilation" entry. Here's a story about morale issues among the Air Force nuclear weapons forces. I'm thinking the Navy hasn't seen the same kind of issues because the "running a submarine" mission takes much more of the average SSBN Sailor's time than the "nuclear weapons" aspect of the job. Or is the Navy seeing the same issues that we're just better at keeping under wraps?

Every month, the Navy webpage posts a summary of Special and General Courts Martial held in the previous month. The compilation for October had one from Great Lakes that kind of jumped out at me:
At a Special Court-Martial in Great Lakes, Illinois, GMSN [doesn't matter what his name is], USN pleaded guilty to indecent language. On 17 October 2013, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge, forfeit 2/3 pay per month for 3 months, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 3 months.
A Big Chicken Dinner and three months in the brig for "indecent language"? Now, I don't know the specifics behind the kind of indecent language used, but I'm assuming it was for really really indecent language of a sexual or racial nature directed at a person who would reasonably be offended by such language. On the other hand, if the Navy is prosecuting Sailors for saying bad words in general, I know a lot of people -- including myself -- would wouldn't have lasted very long in the service.

What's the most ridiculous charge you've ever seen someone brought up on under the UCMJ?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Burials At Sea

A story about a mystery photo left at the Navy Memorial earlier this year has been making the rounds in Facebook, and it got me to thinking about the time-honored tradition of Burial At Sea. While sometimes we might look at the tasking with a certain amount of maudlin humor (on Topeka, we once had a wind direction/head valve not closed issue where some of the ashes from a Bridge ceremony were sucked back into the boat, and we blamed any subsequent intermittent equipment faults on a haunting for the next couple of years), I generally felt honored to take part in the ceremonies committing a Sailor's remains to the deep.

How do you feel about taking part in old Naval traditions?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Veteran's Day

2013 is one of those rare years where the Veteran's Day holiday actually falls on 11/11. The Navy sent quite a contingent to NYC to celebrate Veteran's Week. Thanks to all veterans and those who love us for all that you've done.

How do you celebrate Veteran's Day?

(If you'd like a more substantive discussion, we can discuss this article which wrongly calls for the U.S. Navy to invest in non-nuclear submarines because Europeans are better than Americans or some such hogwash.)