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.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Let's Talk About NAUs

Whenever I want to talk about something where I can't remember if the concept is classified, I Google the term and see what comes up. If it shows up, in context, on a couple of .mil sites, I figure I'm good to go, at least as far as generalities are concerned. Sometimes, though, I hit a grey area.

One of those areas has been NAUs. When I typed in what the term stood for, I only got one .mil hit, and it didn't really say anthing about it. As a result, I've been unable to discuss the concept during threads with skimmers that really could have used it.

That's why I'm happy to have read CDR Scott Waddle's autobiography, "The Right Thing". You may remember that CDR Waddle was the CO on USS Greeneville (SSN 772) when she collided with the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru. Long-time readers may note that I've never been that supportive of CDR Waddle. Today, though, I'm happy that he wrote his book, which was vetted by the Navy for any classified material. Here's what he says on p. 86 of the hardcover version, discussing his boat's participation in an October 1999 exercise:
The exercises were part of the Stennis group's preparations for deployment, so the Greeneville carried a special "noise augmentation unit" to simulate the noises typically created by enemy diesel submarines plying the Arabian Gulf".
There are the words -- a "Noise Augmentation Unit". On can infer from that statement that submarines apparently carry them for exercises, and they make more noise than the submarines do. So, whenever some skimmer says something like "we always kick the submarine's butt in exercises" here's the reason -- our submarines are putting out a lot more noise than we normally do -- it's the only way exercises would have any training value for the ASW forces. If we didn't, the only contact you'd get is a green flare. (By the way, CDR Waddle was correct in saying the Greeneville "carried" the NAU, because it actually wasn't operating. I was on the Stennis as the Battle Group Sub Ops guy, and we kept telling him that his NAU wasn't working, but Waddle wouldn't believe it. We eventually just stopped playing with the Greeneville, because it was a waste of time.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waddle WOULDN'T believe that the NAU wasn't working or Waddle simply TOLD YOU that he believed the NAU was working? I realize the aviation community is different people, but some CO traits are constant.

VFA-195, 88-90

8/14/2006 9:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize that it does not address the classifcation status, but the units are discussed quite openly in Tom Clancy's "Debt of Honor."

Dolphin Dave!

8/14/2006 2:56 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Right on, Dolphin Dave! - Vigilis

8/14/2006 6:54 PM

Blogger Fred said...

I don't really understand how the only way for the training exercises would be useful for ASW forces would be by augmenting the noise level, considering a diesel submarine operating near enemy vessels would most likely operate on batteries, and it's commonly accepted that a diesel sub on batteries is quieter than a nuclear sub. Care to enlighten me, assuming it's not classified?

I also doubt that Canadian and other NATO diesel submarines run off their diesel engines when trying to give you Americans a training opportunity--it'd make a lot more sense to run on batteries to make the sub as hard to detect as possible.

But then again, maybe I just misunderstood what you meant.

8/14/2006 9:35 PM

Blogger rrockbeast said...

you are slowly, inconcievably becoming one of them. I hope not, but it seems this way. Good luck.

8/14/2006 11:04 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

rrockbeast -- Please elaborate.

8/15/2006 12:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a sonarman I know about NAUs and we used them to sim bad guys from nukes to diesel submarines. What a pain in the neck they where to, like most things in the Navy if you put handles on it its portable. The thing was very heavy.

8/15/2006 2:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott was all but fired by Captain Mike in 1990. The "GOLD CREW" CO suggested a swap of Engineers thus saving Scott's career. If only Captain Mike had followed thru and ended Scott's career follow disasters would not have occured.

1/31/2010 10:55 PM


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