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, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

Here's wishing a most safe and joyous Christmas season to all Submariners and those who love us; remember to keep in your thoughts those Submariners out on the "tip of the spear" this Holiday season, like the officers and crew of USS La Jolla (SSN 701):

Friday, December 07, 2012

Bad Crippie!

From CNN:
A former U.S. Navy submarine warfare specialist has been arrested and charged with trying to give classified information about how to track U.S. submarines to people he thought were representatives of the Russian Federation - but who were actually FBI undercover agents, according to federal authorities.
Robert Patrick Hoffman II of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was arrested Thursday morning on an attempted espionage charge...
...According to the indictment, on October 21 Hoffman tried to hand over national defense information to people he thought were representatives of the Russian government, including classified information "that revealed and pertained to methods to track U.S. submarines, including the technology and procedures required."...
...Hoffman, 39, is described as a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy who was trained in cryptology and reached the rank of petty officer first class. He retired from active duty in November 2011. According to his biography released by the military, he served as a submarine warfare specialist.
A picture of the goofball, identifying him as a former CT, along with a copy of the indictment is here.

A lot of times in treason cases like this, the prosecutors end up having to bargain away the death penalty in order to get the traitor's help in determining what he had previously given to the foreign country. In this case, since there's no evidence so far that the doofus was ever successful in passing along his information, prosecutors are under no such impediment. Also, since the guy's retired, he's still subject to the UCMJ. I say just run the case through a court martial and fast-track his appeals so we can carry out the sentence expeditiously -- despite the CNN article saying the maximum penalty is life, I'm sure the military could find a UCMJ article (like Article 106a) that carries the death penalty. Does the military still use firing squads?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Submarine Officers Earn Their Dolphins!

I was excited to see the Navy website front-page an article about submarine officers earning their fish; no matter why they decided to do a story about it now, it's good to see young Sailors becoming Submariners get some positive press. Excerpt:
Three Sailors assigned to USS Maine (SSBN 741) and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) became the first female unrestricted line officers to qualify in submarines Dec. 5.
Lt. j.g. Marquette Leveque, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., assigned to the Gold Crew of Wyoming, and Lt. j.g. Amber Cowan and Lt. j.g. Jennifer Noonan of Maine's Blue Crew received their submarine "dolphins" during separate ceremonies at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.
In order to receive their dolphins, Leveque, Cowan and Noonan were required to qualify as Officer of the Deck and Engineering Officer of the Watch, perform damage control functions, and demonstrate satisfactory qualities of leadership.
Cowan, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Noonan, who hails from Boston, joined two other Blue Crew officers - Lt. j.g. James Barclay and Lt. j.g. John Schaeffer - in receiving their dolphins. Cowan was pinned by her husband, Naval Flight Officer Lt. Adam Cowan. Noonan chose a former Maine shipmate and mentor, Lt. Jason Brethauer, to pin her dolphins. Schaeffer decided to have Lt. Joe Westfall, a current shipmate from the Blue Crew, conduct his pinning. The Commanding officer of Maine's Blue Crew, Cmdr. William Johnson, pinned Barclay.
They even included a picture of the pinning:

Because us old crusty retired types like nothing better than to tell new Submariners how it was back in the day, here's some unsolicited advice from one of your new brothers:

1) The sea is a cruel mistress (or swain, as the case may be), who doesn't care if you went to the White House as a non-qual; all she cares about is that you respect her.

2) The rules of Submarining are written in blood. By earning your fish, you've proven that you have achieved the absolute minimum level of competence required to be trusted with the boat. There are still lots of rules for you to learn; don't ever think you know everything there is to know about how to safely and effectively operate a submarine. Violations of the rules can kill you -- or, even worse, those who work with you and trust you. Don't ever abuse the trust your Captain has shown by signing his name on your qual card.

3) IMHO, the most effective Submariners are those who know, deep down, that they really are the best at what they do. Sure, you should show humility and good humor around your shipmates (lest no one want to work with you), but, in your most base essence, you should believe that you really are the best at what you do. And you have to be able to back it up.

4) Always respect the boat and the crew. While the reactor may be the submarine's heart and the CO the boat's brain, the soul of a ship is made up of the blood, sweat, and tears of every man and woman who serves or has served on her. Never forget that your boat is alive, and if you love her, she may love you back.

5) Congratulations and welcome to the Brother- and Sisterhood of the 'Phin. You've worked hard, and are now a member of one of the most elite groups of warriors in the world. In time, you may find you have more in common with Submariners from other countries than you do with some American civilians. Enjoy your accomplishment. Watch a movie every now and again. And get hot -- you're dink on Command Quals.