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, February 19, 2005

Strange Picture of the Carter

This picture from the New London Day (will likely require registration tomorrow -- this posting will be around longer -- update 20 Feb) was apparently taken with some really weird type of lens. It appears to show the port side of Torpedo Room Upper Level, looking aft from the ladder that comes down by the CPO Quarter's hatch, and near the breech doors for Torpedo Tubes #2 and #4. What's weird is that the size of the crewman in relation to the weapons shapes is completely out of whack. Each of the weapons should be 21" in diameter (unless they built special shapes for the Carter; the Seawolf class boats do have much larger diameter torpedo tubes than the rest of the boats do), which means that if the perspective is right, the Sailors shown would be about 3 1/2 feet tall.

The accompanying article from The Day (same registration requirements starting tomorrow) is very interesting; I recommend it highly. The four paragraph "fair use" excerpt follows:

"Five years ago the Navy and EB reached agreement on a plan to put a 100-foot, 2,500-ton section in the middle of the ship that will give it a sort of “bomb bay” capability, at a cost of $887 million. That section is jammed with special equipment that will allow it to deploy and retrieve gear such as unmanned and tethered drones, or Special Forces commandoes..."

"...The crew can't talk about most of the work they'll be able to do with the Multi Mission Platform or MMP, as the special section is known, but the navigator, Lt. Stephen Karpi, said some of the unclassified advantages are the extra storage space, berthing area and “head,” or bathroom, that were included in it.
"In addition, the special section has space for some extra exercise equipment for the long missions the Jimmy Carter is expected to tackle, and an extra wardroom, which the crew has taken to calling the “officers' study,” which is equipped with a microwave and sink..."

"...Unlike most submarines Jimmy Carter actually has more berths than people — 164 vs. 151 — but Karpi said the ship is expected to have 25 to 30 “ocean research and development personnel” on most trips, and it is designed to accommodate up to 60 Special Forces, so junior sailors will still probably end up sleeping on temporary bunks in the torpedo room, or “hot racking,” where three sailors who work different shifts share two bunks."

I actually hadn't known how many berths the boat was going to have when I left; that was one of the details that they hadn't finalized yet. Although they didn't mention it, I hope that they ended up with the second washer and dryer, which I was really fighting for. One ominous note: were I still on board, no one (other than the CO, of course) would call the 2nd wardroom an "officer's study" within my hearing -- that's a boomer term, and the Carter is NOT a boomer. I would definitely throw down on that one...

There's also another photo of the Carter at the pier, and a supportive editorial from The Day. Better see them today, though, unless you want to register.

Staying at PD...

Update 1839 19 Feb: For some good pictures of the Carter's commissioning, go to this article -- it's the same dumb AP dispatch with the ridiculous top speed number, but down in the "Related" box there's a link to the gallery of pictures. (In the 10th picture, the officer to the far right is the guy who relieved me as Engineer; I guess that standing on front of the crew is the standard job for the Engineer at these ceremonies; I did the same thing for USS Connecticut's commissioning.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never heard of the wardroom being called nothing but that on the boomers i served on.

2/19/2005 11:17 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

The Ohio-class boats have a second area for officers called the Officer's study; so, it makes sense, but I think the official designation is still Wardroom #2 for the new space. I served only on fast boats, so I'm a little prejudiced against boomers...

2/19/2005 11:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the photo of the Torpedo Room, remember that she doesn't have just 4 tubes. I think she has 8 (of which two are 26").

2/19/2005 4:58 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

You're right, she does have 8 tubes, all of which are 30". There's a TR Lower Level just below the one you see in the picture.

2/19/2005 6:00 PM

Blogger ninme said...

A few things:

First, that bit about the extra wardroom is cute. It reads like an interior design mag.

Second, what's a boomer? And what's wrong with calling it an officer's study?

Third, about the ocean research and development personal, as a Russian translator onboard a Soviet trawler during an American-Soviet joint fishing venture put it, 'Out on the trawlers we used to refer to THOSE kind of boats as "research vessels." As in "Gee, look how many antennas there are on that research vessel."' That bit in the article reminded me of her.

Fourth, it looks like the photographer used a super wide angle lens to take that picture. The stuff immediately next to the guy walking looks considerably smaller. Either that or whatever is in that top row of tubes you're clearly not telling us about.

2/19/2005 9:19 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

What's a boomer? That'll require a post of its' own. Basically, the subs that are built to carry the intercontinental missiles (the ones stationed over in Bangor on the west coast) are boomers; other boats are fast attacks. Although submariners can serve on both types, most prefer one or the other. Boomer life is more predictable, but they spend their patrols hiding from everyone; fast boats try to find people.

2/19/2005 10:13 PM

Blogger ninme said...

But the Carter is famous because it's so quiet and sneaky and going to be observing. Well, I guess that still means it's finding people.

Does the predictability provide more time for the officers to enjoy their microwaves and refrigerators? Or do they just spend the uneventful time studying?

2/19/2005 11:26 PM


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