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.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

USS Ohio Subjected To Media Availability

Normally a deployment is a time when a submarine's crew can actually go out submarining without a bunch of extraeous passengers (except, of course, at the end when you get Squadron riders to help with exam preps). Unfortunately, if you're a new type of submarine and are doing something newsworthy, like the first SSGN deployment, it looks like the Sub Force still loads you up with riders. This apparently happened to USS Ohio (SSGN 726) recently, as this article from a Canadian paper shows:
The sub's cruise across the Pacific comes as China builds its submarine fleet into the region's largest as part of the bulking up of its military. The voyage is the Ohio's first deployment since the makeover, and Hale is in the odd position of showing the ship off.
It's odd because the sub is all about stealth.
Hale can't talk about where the ship is going. The back of the ship, where the nuclear power plant is located, is off limits. The leader of the SEAL commando contingent aboard can't be named, and the commandos themselves can't be photographed in any way that shows their faces.
But, over the next few months, the Ohio will be making a very public statement, training intensively in some of the world's most crowded and contested waters and joining in exercises with America's Asian allies. Instead of hiding them, the Ohio will be showcasing its abilities to elude detection and operate too deeply and quickly to be tracked.
It's pretty much just a standard article where a reporter who doesn't know too much about submarines tries to explain them to an audience who doesn't either, but it's not the worst I've seen. And I'm sure the men of the Ohio would choose a reporter every day over hosting ORSE board Members. ("Board" intentionally left lower-case because it always pissed me off how they always made sure "Board" was capitalized in their reports, e.g. "Contrary to the NPEB Precepts Letter, the ship did not provide in a timely fashion the 8 Ham Sandwiches and 2 rolls of extra-soft toilet paper requested by the Board; additionally, the sanitary facilities made available for the exclusive use of the Board did not include sufficient quantities of soft-core porn and hand moisturizer.")


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bu ORSE gives you zeros an excuse to practice that leadership principle they taught you at OCS: "Keep the scummy blueshirts busy at all times, or they may grow discontent and mutiny." It's why the Romans kept their army engaged building roads and polishing their armor; it's why anyone gives a crap about lint on top of a valve in the bilge somewhere.

2/15/2008 8:24 AM

Blogger Jay said...

We didn't all learn that principle at OCS. Some learned it at the Naval Academy, some learned it at their ROTC unit, and some didn't learn it when they should have, but learned it after they got to the boat. Regardless, it's in all the standard Naval Officer courses. If we didn't keep the blue shirts busy, they'd all be plotting our overthrow or performing lewd sex acts on each other, and that would be extremely bad for morale and unit cohesion, not to mention it would be messy and could lead to much worse than a dust bunny on important, quality controlled material.

2/15/2008 3:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry we know. Blue shirts do the work and men in khaki take the credit. Its what make the Navy go round n round. My dad warned me about becoming a dirty enlisted man. Should have listened.
-I still like you blog! Even if you are a "restarted" Khaki.

2/15/2008 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When submarine PR stories seem ironic it is likely due to secrecy. There is not a more specialized vehicle for compartmentalization in general and covert intelligence in particular than the military submarine.

The intended reader is not in Canada or the U.S.A. The intended reader is more likely in Pakistan, Somalia, or the Phillipines.

The unwritten message is perhaps as simple as when an anonymous military action suddenly decapitates a terror organization (e.g. Abu Sayef) in the next few weeks or so, SEALs must be included among suspected, unnamed agents of the swift, stealthy and deadly operation.

When was the last time we read a detailed account of a successful SEAL operation? Does anyone doubt these fellows have been very busy and successful? Not me.

More than just a thought. submariner X

2/15/2008 8:01 PM

Blogger Chap said...

SOF, particularly SEALs, practice information prevention.

Submariners would like to see their numbers go above 30 in the long term ("but we'll make it up in the out years"), and focus their efforts on same.

That said, we were pretty media-forward on Kam when we could be, bringing Army combat camera guys on for ops, inviting you name it when we pulled into port, et cetera. The folks what pay us deserve to know what they're paying for; the folks what don't need to know what those things pulling into port really are instead of what the Japanese Communist Party newspapers say we are. Many, many audiences will get input if we play or if we don't; it's in our best interest to put our own actual facts in the mix where it's useful to do so.

So, yeah. This is not unimportant stuff. Problem is, it takes courage to let those evil media types near you, especially if you aren't getting told to by TYCOM specifically...

2/16/2008 12:02 AM

Blogger Jarrod said...

Well, better a media availability than a CNO availability, I say.

2/16/2008 10:30 AM


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