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.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kiwi Honors American Submariners

A reader sent in an article from the New Zealand Herald for ANZAC Day that discussed the contribution made by U.S. submariners to defending Australia and New Zealand during WWII that's well worth a read. Excerpt:
On Anzac Day thoughts turn to those who gave their lives during various wars over the last century. But there is one group which has never been given recognition for what they achieved in World War II and that is the United States submariners, 3505 of whom lost their lives, including 374 officers.
When one analyses what they achieved there is no doubt they did more than any other group to defeat the Japanese and save Australia and New Zealand from being invaded.
The reason is simple - they sank more than 60 per cent of the Japanese merchant marine fleet. Without these ships, not only was the Japanese advance stifled, their occupying troops lost their supply lines and they virtually could not be evacuated like the British were at Dunkirk to fight in other battles.
The story goes on to accurately review aspects of submarine contributions to the war in the Southern Pacific. One thing the writer said at the end, though, surprised me:
Last year while in Los Angeles I spoke to a group of American submariners. Many did not know of their predecessors' achievements in the war and none knew there was a base in Fremantle.
If this is true, and if he was talking about active duty submariners, I think the Sub Force needs to re-emphasize the "heritage" aspects of GMT.

It's nice to see a Kiwi showing support for the U.S. Navy. While most PacFleet Sailors get the opportunity to meet Australians and benefit from the fact that they have been taught to appreciate American Sailors, most of us don't get a chance to interact with New Zealanders due to their annoying nuclear ship ban. That's too bad... most Kiwis I've met (mostly at CENTCOM when I was an IA there) are decent people and not at all as smug as their national nuclear ban might lead you to believe they would be.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Funny Articles

Lots of times you'll see people who don't understand the Navy at all decide to write about naval matters, and hilarity frequently ensues. After being wrong in 2006 and 2007, Dave Lindorff is once again predicting a U.S. attack on Iran -- but this time, it'll come from "aircraft carriers packed with tomahawk cruise missiles"! Maybe next he'll do an investigative piece where he'll learn that aircraft carriers don't carry Tomahawks.

The same people at WorldNetDaily who brought us the "Israeli submarines off Iran" story are now reporting that a Chinese freighter trying to deliver arms to Zimbabwe is being shadowed by a "British Trident submarine"... this despite the fact that Trident is the name of their missile program, and the submarines that carry them are Vanguard-class subs, and that it's really not very likely that the Brits would have a boomer doing shadowing ops off the African coast.

A much better, but still amusing, article comes from a recent media availability inflicted on USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) in conjunction with Fleet Week in PEV. This article is actually pretty good as far as accuracy goes, and has a good slideshow that's worth a look, but I think that because the writer is a woman, she felt the need to get into the emotional side of submarining:
But as much as the men boast about the fulfillment of being submariners, their jobs can be intricate, lonely and introspective, and above all else, quiet; evident by the signs posted along the hallways: "Practice Sound Silencing, Shut Door Quietly." Every movement or conversation can disturb a crew mate in the tight spaces.
When he's not inside the dark sonar room overseeing four seamen, Sonar Technician 1st class Harris Behrman spends his time reading messages from his wife. She writes about three to four messages each day, mostly updating him about their kids."That's the hardest part, not being with my family," Behrman said. "The first thing I do when I get off board is call my wife."
Fritz, the chief chef, shares a similar longing for his family. In the crew's mess Sunday night, before starting a late night game of poker, the 30-year-old popped opened his laptop in search of pictures of his three children. Hundreds popped up.
"I don't look at them often," he admitted. "I get too nostalgic."
Are these guys catching crap from their buddies right now or what? And why is it that women seem to feel the need to believe that guys actually have complex "feelings"? Dave Barry says it best -- if you see a guy is sitting in his chair, looking pensive, it's not because he's thinking about his relationships; he's most likely trying to remember some obscure sports factoid.

Friday, April 25, 2008

College Road Trip

Blogging will be light this weekend, as I'm heading off on our first tour of colleges with my two sons. Target for this weekend: the twin campuses of Washington State University and the University of Idaho. Everything I know about these two schools comes from a Sports Illustrated college football preview articles that was ranking, among other things, the most and least exciting college towns, and had something like this at the bottom of their list:

#120) Pullman, Washington: For excitement, the kids have to head 8 miles east to Moscow, Idaho.

#119) Moscow, Idaho.

Anyway, here's my last trip report from a college excursion for you to review while I prepare this new one.

Update 0500 29 April: I'm back -- I'll download some photos as soon as I find the cord that connects my phone to the computer. Bottom line, the boys came away from the trip more likely to consider going to Washington State, and less likely to consider the University of Idaho. My bank account wept.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

P. J. O'Rourke On TR and John McCain

[Intel Source: M. Simon] My favorite political writer, P. J. O'Rourke, has an article in the new Weekly Standard about his visit to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) -- one of the Nimitz-class carriers that's named after a submarine. Excerpt:
Some say John McCain's character was formed in a North Vietnamese prison. I say those people should take a gander at what John chose to do--voluntarily. Being a carrier pilot requires aptitude, intelligence, skill, knowledge, discernment, and courage of a kind rarely found anywhere but in a poem of Homer's or a half gallon of Dewar's. I look from John McCain to what the opposition has to offer. There's Ms. Smarty-Pantsuit, the Bosnia-Under-Sniper-Fire poster gal, former prominent Washington hostess, and now the JV senator from the state that brought you Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns. And there's the happy-talk boy wonder, the plaster Balthazar in the Cook County political crèche, whose policy pronouncements sound like a walk through Greenwich Village in 1968: "Change, man? Got any spare change? Change?"
Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?
A one-day visit to an aircraft carrier is a lifelong lesson in conservatism. The ship is immense, going seven decks down from the flight deck and ten levels up in the tower. But it's full, with some 5,500 people aboard. Living space is as cramped as steerage on the way to Ellis Island. Even the pilots live in three-bunk cabins as small and windowless as hall closets. A warship is a sort of giant Sherman tank upon the water. Once below deck you're sealed inside. There are no cheery portholes to wave from.
McCain could hardly escape understanding the limits of something huge but hermetic, like a government is, and packed with a madding crowd. It requires organization, needs hierarchies, demands meritocracy, insists upon delegation of authority. An intricate, time-tested system replete with checks and balances is not a plaything to be moved around in a doll house of ideology. It is not a toy bunny serving imaginary sweets at a make-believe political tea party. The captain commands, but his whims do not. He answers to the nation.
I'm a Democrat when it comes to Idaho politics, because in Idaho the Democrats seem to have the most leaders who understand how the world really works. Likewise, on the national stage, John McCain is much more grounded in reality than the two Democratic candidates. Although I'm convinced the country is strong enough to survive one term of an Obama Presidency, I'd still prefer we pick a realist as a leader this year, rather than spending four years seeing that trying to put "Imagine" into practice on a worldwide scale won't work.

Nebraska Submarine Memorial Preservation

While I'm now an Idahoan, I was a Nebraskan while growing up and throughout my time in the Navy, so I'm very interested in things that happen back in Big Red Country. That's why I was interested to read about the upkeep the local US Submarine Veterans of WWII chapter is doing on the memorial to USS Wahoo (SS 238) in Wahoo, Nebraska:

From the article:
The long wait is just about over, however. The first step in the refurbishment process took place last week, when the plaques that adorned the front of the memorial were removed.
According to Vanicek, the plaques will be taken to a foundry in Omaha, where they will be made to look like new.
According to Hancock, some additional refurbishing work will be done on both the torpedo itself and the base that supports it. Much of this work is being done locally. Rick Woita will be doing the painting on the torpedo and Bullock Brothers will handle the masonry work for the base.
A new addition to the monument in the form of an engraved piece of granite will be added to the memorial. Vanicek said they are hoping to have the entire project completed by late August.
Some more information on the Wahoo monument from the perspective of a local blogger is here. It makes me feel good to know that there are groups all over the country caring for the memorials to our lost ships and Submariners, and I'm confident that as long as the Submarine Force stresses our heritage, each new generation of submariners will assume the duty of caring for these sacred places as their time comes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Feline Thought Process

Have you ever thought about what thought processes go through a cat's mind as they're deciding on a course of action? I can just imagine what my cat Hercules was thinking before he laid down as shown in this picture:

All I can figure is he must have thought, "Oh, look, that human who feeds me is staring intently at that horizontal collection of papers. Since everything in the world revolves around cats and their needs, he must be looking at it because he wants me to sleep there. OK, because he feeds me and scoops my poop, I'll humor him this once."

My daughter reports he does the same thing to the keyboard of her laptop.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Scary Skimmer INSURV News

Navy Times reports that two surface ships, USS Chosin (CG 65) and USS Stout (DDG 55), failed INSURV inspections last month. Excerpts from the article, which includes copies of the message reports, include:
But numerous officers familiar with the InSurv reports are concerned that myriad causes are resulting in such poor material inspections.
“Where was the chain of command? Why did the parent squadron not know of the terrible material condition?” van Tol asked. The ship’s command, he said, “has a lot to answer for, either in terms of not finding and fixing the problems, or at least advising his seniors of the problems.”
The ship’s enlisted leaders also are partly responsible, van Tol said.
“One could also ask where the chief’s mess was in all this, since they are the technical experts as well as the senior enlisted leaders onboard.”
The article says that money isn't an issue, and that the ACOS in charge of skimmer maintenance in San Diego says, "We are 100 percent funded to our requirement for maintenance", I'm wondering if that's really the case. People frequently rag on Jimmy Carter because of reports that a Navy ship couldn't get underway during his Presidency; will we be doing the same thing in a few years thinking back on the Bush Presidency?

Monday, April 21, 2008

USS Topeka Returns From Deployment

While I love reporting on the accomplishments of all submarines, I'm always proudest to talk about the boats on which I used to serve (USS Topeka, USS Connecticut, and USS Jimmy Carter). That's why I was so happy to see that USS Topeka (SSN 754) had returned safely from another WestPac last week:

More pictures from her homecoming are here, here, and here. While it looks like they didn't get much in the way of port visits, they did visit the Philippines, which is fairly unusual for a submarine these days.

I hope the crew enjoys their well-earned standdown time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Boot Camp Memories

A quarter-century ago tonight, I was just finishing up my first full day of boot camp at Great Lakes. That day remains the "longest" day I've ever experienced; I remember sitting around that night stenciling uniforms, and talking with people about stuff we'd done "yesterday", only to realize it had happened that morning.

Overall, I actually kind of enjoyed boot camp. My Company Commanders were two Filipino Electrician's Mates who were interested only in winning the competitions between the CCs, so they didn't feel the need to abuse us at all.

What are some of your memories of boot camp? (Or, for those who didn't get to go that route, OCS).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Whiny Navy Reservist Officer Discharged

One of the things I always enjoy reading is stories about people who have been discharged from the military for some perceived wrong-headed reason; I like finding the parts of the story where the reporter uses items from their fitreps or evals to prove how great they were, and how the reporter doesn't realize that basically everyone gets those things said about them. Today I came across another such story, about a Navy Reserve Lieutenant who refuses to report for her IA duty in Iraq. Here's how the story explains how great she was:
Weiner's record and fitness reports before she was called up to IA duty indicate anything but a shrinking violet. She had earned two overseas service ribbons, commendation and achievement medals and was part of a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
After graduating from Stanford in 2001, Weiner started her career aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, a vessel second in size only to aircraft carriers and which transports Marine landing forces. She was serving overseas during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
She received glowing fitness reports:
"Assigned to arduous sea duty ... ," her commander wrote in one review. "Outstanding officer and Navy professional! On the fast track! Assign only to the most challenging jobs!"
She left active duty in August 2004, receiving high marks in her final evaluation in all categories but professional expertise.
By 2005, Weiner as a reservist worked as a research liaison officer at the prestigious Office of Naval Research. Her detachment was responsible for managing research in underwater unmanned vehicles and weaponry. She also served as the unit's public information officer. Her fitness reports continued to average "above standards" or "greatly exceeds standards." A commander called her "an excellent officer" and "a highly motivated self-starter."
Those of us who have actually been in the service know that even the worst dirtbag gets these kind of remarks on their fitness reports until the time comes to actually boot them out. Also note that there's no explanation about why an ROTC graduate didn't fulfill even a four year active duty tour in the middle of wartime.

Even better than this, though, is the reason former LT Weiner put herself in this position; it's not because she opposes the war, it's because she doesn't agree with the haphazard nature of the Individual Augmentee program.
Speaking publicly for the first time about it, Weiner says she was not against the war but the so-called "individual augmentee" program. In the past several years, that program has sent nearly 60,000 sailors from ships and bases to augment Army and Marine ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It is not an against-the-war argument but a people-accountability argument," Weiner says. "I was proud to say I was a Navy officer. My problem is the way they are using us as IAs. It minimizes the job and training we do for the Navy."...
...Weiner got a call before Christmas that she would soon be called up. She says her job in Iraq was to have been commerce officer, providing money to local Iraqi leaders.
That gave her pause, not only because she was not trained for the job, but also because she is of Japanese, Korean and Jewish ancestry.
"They were going to have me negotiate money transactions with Iraqi warlords. A woman of Jewish and East Asian descent to try to talk to men about money in a country where women aren't always allowed to handle money," Weiner says.
As a former IA myself, I'm impressed that they actually told her what her job would be beforehand; when I went (to Tampa, not Iraq) got 4 days warning before leaving, and ended up doing something I'd never done before. Did I complain about it to my co-workers? Sure, all good Sailors bitch. Did I, or anyone else I was working with in the same situation, decide not to follow orders because I didn't like it? Of course not. Even more ridiculously, did I leave active duty during wartime and voluntarily join the Reserves, knowing that Reservists were getting called up for IA duty? No, that's a stupid rhetorical question; I retired. That being said, the Navy is much better off without whiny LT Weiner.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Great Debate: Combined Vs. Separate Submarine Birthday Balls

The Dolphin has an article on the recent Submarine Birthday Balls in Groton, and it got me to thinking about Birthday Balls I've been to. I've been to two different kinds of balls -- "Officer only" balls, and ones where all submariners attended. I'll be honest and say that I liked the "segregated" balls better, and here's why: at the combined ball, people didn't have nearly as much "fun" (where "fun" = "do and say disgusting things"). It was almost as if the enlisted submariners thought they had to behave in front of the officers, and the officers thought they had to maintain decorum in front of the enlisted. Not even any roll fights, let alone having an inflatable sex doll as part of a centerpiece (like we had during my last year on the Connecticut at the Officer Ball).

So what's your opinion? Should Birthday Balls be segregated? Or should we focus more on maintaining a solemn decorum when honoring our forebears at these annual events? Are "enlisted only" balls the same sort of bacchanalian boozefests that officer balls are? And what's your best shore story from a Submarine Birthday Ball?

Update 0918 18 April: I tried to add a poll; let's see if it works:

Which Is Better: Combined Or Segregated Submarine Birthday Balls?
Combined -- Officers And Enlisted, Living Together
Both Kinds Are Great
Both Kinds Blow
I Like Voting In Polls
Free polls from

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Second Season Of "Hey, Shipwreck"

The eagerly-anticipated return of "Hey, Shipwreck" is upon us -- here's the first video, which picks up right where the last one left off:

Although they don't mention it, I think the unnamed space submarine might be called the "Dallas".

Submarine BBQ

A reader sent in a picture of what has to be the neatest barbeque I've ever seen:

Something like that would looking great in almost anyone's backyard.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Submarine Force

On April 11, 1900, the U.S. Navy accepted delivery of USS Holland (SS 1); this date marks the official "birthday" of the Submarine Force. On the 108th anniversary of this historic day, I wish all Submariners a "Happy Birthday"!

In celebration of the Submarine Force's Birthday, it looks like N87 accelerated the posting of new issues of Undersea Warfare Magazine; a scant 2 1/2 months after posting their Spring 2007 issue, the Summer 2007 issue is now up -- albeit with crappier HTML. Don't you just love collateral duties?

Post #2000

After I made my last post on Wednesday, I noticed that it was my 1,999th post. I thought to myself, "I've gotta come up with something spectacular for my 2,000th post, because it's a big round number."

After racking my brains all night Wednesday and all day yesterday, I came to the realization: I've got nothin'. No Great Thoughts on What It's All About, no Sea Story to end all Sea Stories. What I do have is thanks to all my readers and commenters over the last 3 1/2 years. This blog has been a great way for me to keep myself up-to-date with what's happening in the Submarine world I was immersed in for 21 years, as well as a great way to get back in touch with old Shipmates. (Just in the last month, my old Chop from Topeka and my EDMC from Connecticut found me via this blog. I'm still hoping my old friend Jeff Gillette, who used to be Weps on Philadelphia and XO on LaJolla will get in contact with me; if anyone out there knows how to get ahold of him, please drop me a line.)

Oo, wait, I do have some actual content! This story about a hole found in the ballast tank of a laid-up British SSN reminded me of a sea story one of my old Master Chiefs told. So there he was... heading out to sea on the surface in an old 594 after a really long upkeep. He was in the RC tunnel doing something, just happened to look up, and saw what looked like sunlight leaking through a hole in the overhead. It turns out that someone had removed a hull fitting of some sort, covered it with EB Green, and it'd gotten painted over and forgotten. That could've gotten interesting had they dove... but then again, EB Green has been credited with amazing strength.

What strange holes have you found in your submarine(s), or what amazing uses have you seen EB Green put to?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My Front Lawn: Meridian, Idaho, 4/9/08

Now I'm not one to say that one data point is proof that man-made global warming doesn't exist, just the same way I don't say that one year of bad hurricanes is proof that it does. All I'm saying is that I'm really, really ready for winter to be over. Luckily for us, we're supposed to have highs in the 70s this weekend.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kansas Jayhawks -- 2008 National Champions!

My alma mater won their third NCAA Men's Basketball championship tonight in a game that, honestly, wasn't nearly as exciting or good as the last time they won, when I was a senior. Still, KU coming back from a 9 point deficit with just over 2 minutes left in regulation -- and hitting the 3-pointer with a couple seconds left to send the game to overtime-- certainly helped me reach my target heart rate.

Kansas basketball is all about tradition, and I'm happy that the "old" rituals are the same as they were when I graduated:

They'll be "waving the wheat" in Lawrence tonight!

Update 0542 08 April: Here's a video of the shot that sent the game into overtime.

Submarine Stuff From The 'Net

I'll be busy most of the day emotionally preparing myself for tonight's NCAA Men's Basketball championship game (in which my alma mater will hopefully be beating favored Memphis), so here's a couple of quick submarine tidbits to tide you over:

1) Eagle1 has a good post on size vs. mission for submarines.

2) Galrahn has a post going over Sen. Dole's call for increased investment in large-scale weapons systems from the submarine point of view; Wired responds with a post that, other than implying that they think we still have battleships, actually seems to agree that submarines are a decent investment.

3) The Navy 1-star list came out on April 1st (no foolin'!), and from what I can tell, here's a list of all the submarine Captains that were selected:

Doug Biesel
Barry Bruner
Jerry Burroughs (Acquisition Corps)
Brad Gehrke
Dave Johnson (ED)
Mike McLaughlin
Robert Thomas
Let me know if you see any others on the list. Promotion from O-6 to O-7 is the most competitive promotion flowpoint there is (other than, of course, the special case of E-9 to E-10), with a selection percentage of only about 2-3%. In my experience, the Armed Forces do a pretty good job of getting competent guys into flag or general officer ranks -- where "competent" = "knows how the world really works". I've known a lot of stupid O-6s (especially when I was working with Marines at CENTCOM) but I've never known a dumb O-7. They might not reach the right conclusions with the knowledge they have, but they at least have the basic information down pat.

I was thinking this might be the year that my first former boat CO might make Flag, but it didn't happen. Did you ever have a former CO of your sub make Flag, and did he ever help you out after he became an Admiral?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Video

Since I'm busy today with General Conference and basketball, I wanted to quickly post a new video featuring a short song by the world's greatest geek troubador, Jonathan Coulton -- an ode to "Mr. Fancy Pants":

More JoCo videos can be found here.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pirates Seize French Cruise Ship In Gulf Of Aden

A breaking news story with not much detail yet:
PARIS (AP) — France's Foreign Ministry says pirates have seized control of a French cruise ship off the coast of Somalia.
A ministry official says details are scarce about Friday's attack. It is not clear whether any passengers are on board or how many crew members are on the vessel. The ship is in the high seas in the Gulf of Aden.
The Gulf of Aden is just off the coast of Somalia, so it's pretty obvious who is responsible. A French Rear Admiral currently commands CTF 150, the Allied maritime force in the region, so action should be swift. Expect Eagle1 to have the best coverage of this piracy as soon as he gets to a computer.

Staying at PD...

Update 0813 07 April: It turns out that there weren't any passengers on board, but quite a few crewmembers, including, reportedly, six women. As promised, Eagle1 has much more here and here.

Final Four Frenzy!

The National Semifinal games are tomorrow in the 2008 Men's Basketball Tournament. As a 1988 Kansas grad, I'm rooting for the Jayhawks to win it all, but there's something more important than winning the national championship for many Jayhawk fans -- the most important thing is that Roy Willams is crying after the Jayhawks spank the traitor's Tarheels in the 2nd game on Saturday night. Here's a picture of what Traitor Roy will look like after the game:

This is an historic tournament, with all four #1 seeds reaching the Final Four for the first time, and any of the teams would be a worthy champion. Karma, though, requires that Roy "Traitor" Williams lose to his old team. So let it be written... so let it be done. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Update 2134 04 April 2008: Well, the game ended up being way more exciting than it needed to be, what with KU jumping out to a 40-12 lead and then getting overconfident and seeing the lead drop to 4 about midway through the second half. Luckily, UNC expended all their energy in coming back, ran out of gas, and KU closed strong for an 84-66 win. We'll have to see which Jayhawk team shows up against Memphis on Monday night.

Submarine Blog Big Box O' Links

Head on over to bothenook's place to check out the first Bubbleblogger Roundup of the month.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

PTU... More Than Just A Uniform, It's A Lifestyle

Last August, I made fun of the Navy's announcement that they were coming out with an official Physical Training Uniform, and snarkily implied that there were many more important things the Navy could be doing rather than come up with a T-shirt and shorts Sailors would have to wear when running around the base. Now that the new design has officially been unveiled, I'm man enough to admit I was wrong. First, let's check out what the new uniform looks like:

I'll be the first to admit that nothing says "Sailor" more than egg-yolk yellow shirts and blue shorts that are only about 5 years out of date, length-wise. Imagine you're an Al Qaeda terrorist planning to attack a U.S. naval base, when suddenly you're confronted with a whole formation of people running towards you looking like overgrown Cub Scouts. Will you be able to denonate your bomb? Of course not... you'll figure that any country that is rich enough to afford both long-sleeve and mid-length sleeve versions of an official PT uniform is too mighty to ever be defeated. You'd slink off in shame is what you'd do.

Now that our newest weapon has been revealed, everyone wants to know when we're going to put it to use. As always, the Navy website has the answer:
The new PTUs will begin hitting the Navy, with Recruit Training Command, in April, and will phase into the rest of the fleet between May and September. Sailors will be able to pick up their uniforms at Navy Exchanges around the world, costing $50 for the required two sets of PTUs.
I'm glad that our newest Warriors will be getting the uniforms first -- since they're also armed with BC glasses coming out of Boot Camp, they'll present a picture of fierceness that will render even the toughest jihadi helpless. All this for only $50 out of pocket? It'd be a steal at half the price!

But that's probably not your most immediate concern. You're surely asking yourself, "When will Admirals get these snazzy duds?" The story answers that question too:
Simultaneous with the official fleet rollout of the uniform, flag officers, commanding officers and command master chiefs will have the opportunity to purchase their PTUs by calling the Navy exchange uniform call center.
"It's called leading from the front," said Carroll when explaining why a commanding officer can get his PTUs right away. "The Navy wants to lead its Sailors from the top."
Mr. Carroll speaks the truth; the Navy wants to lead its Sailors from both the front and from the top. Anything else would be sodomy.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New U.S. Ship Naming Guidelines Announced

In a move long expected, the Secretary of the Navy today announced that the process for determining the names of Navy ships will "finally enter the 21st century":
"In these days of tighter budgets, all government agencies must find creative ways to raise money for operating funds. As a result, I have today directed that naming rights for future naval vessels will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
"This does not mean we won't continue to honor our heritage. Traditionally, names of all ships within a class have been related. Therefore, naming rights for follow-on Ford-class carriers will be limited to automobile manufacturers. I expect to announce the official naming of USS General Motors (CVN 79) within the next week.
"Bidders for naming rights to major surface ships will be limited to companies listed on the Fortune 500. The second Zumwalt-class destroyer will be christened USS Microsoft (DDG 1001). Amphibious ships will be named for foreign countries; each winning bid comes with a guarantee that the ship will not be used to invade its namesake.
"In another return to tradition, submarines following USS Mississippi (SSN 782) will be named after fish... restaurants. The keel for USS Long John Silver (SNN 783) will be laid early next year."
What a way to start a new month...

Update 03 April 2008: In addition to these changes in the way we name boats, SubSim reported the same day on changes coming in the manning (or, in this case, wo-manning) of submarines.

Update 1758 04 April: The Russians must use a different calendar; their April Fool's press release came out three days late:
MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will put its first Borey-class strategic nuclear submarine through sea trials in the second half of 2008, the Russian Navy commander said on Friday.
The fourth generation Yury Dolgoruky was built at the Sevmash plant in the northern Arkhangelsk Region and was taken out of dry dock last April. It will be equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles upgraded from Topol-M (SS-27) missiles.
"The Yury Dolgoruky will go to sea in July. If not in July, then in October or November," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.
Ha ha! Those Russian Admirals, always going on with their jokes and quips...