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, March 29, 2013

Back On Line

Sorry that it's been such a long break since my last post, but I'm pretty much worthless as long as Kansas is still alive in the tournament (which we don't have to worry about any more this year). I think my beloved Jayhawks used up too much good karma in their run to the National Final last year.

In any event, here are some things that have been going on in the submarine world since I last posted:

1) The arsonist who started the fire on USS Miami (SSN 755) was sentenced to 17 years in prison. I think it should have been more, but I do like the $400 million restitution order.

2) The O-7 list came out. I recognize Captains Caudle, Crites, Kearney, and Merz.

3) Here's a decently cool video that makes it look like modern nuclear submarines can submerge quickly.

4) For any readers in Idaho's Treasure Valley, if you've ever wanted to appear in a film, here's your chance:
Students and faculty of the Film School at NNU are in the process of building a full-size mockup of the control room of a WWII submarine for an upcoming film.
The story revolves around real events that led to a serious moral dilemma on submarines on and after December 7th, 1941. The set is constructed so that it can tilt to dive and surface, raise a periscope, etc.
Former submariners are acting as technical advisers to make both the set and the script as realistic and accurate as possible.
Filming will be the weekend of April 19-21.
Unfortunately, given the historical era we’re shooting, all roles are for Caucasian males.
Captain Donnigan – 30 to 45 years old, skipper of the boat, an “old man” in sub service terms, intelligent, compassionate, but very much in charge
XO Spencer – 28 to 40 years old, capable, dedicated to the mission, one of the “new breed” of submariners at the beginning of WWII
Seaman Robbie Patterson – 20 to 25 years old, radio and hydrophone operator, intelligent, inquisitive, capable.
Lt. Watkins – 22 to 30 years old, Officer of the Deck (Diving Officer), in command of the crew
SUPPORTING ROLES (all are speaking roles):
Chief Grigg – 30 to 40, Chief of the Boat (COB)
Seaman Quinn – 18 to 24, helmsman and Robbie’s best friend
Seaman Mirk – 18 to 24, but looks 16, Stern Planes operator
Seaman Landon – 18 to 24, Bow Planes operator
Ensign Gates – 20 to 26, Navigator
Lookout 1 – 18 to 24
Lookout 2 – 18 to 24
Engineer – 18 to 24
The completed film will include screen credits, and will be posted on YouTube and Vimeo, along with the full screenplay from which these scenes are taken.
AUDITIONS will be held the week of April 1st in Nampa, Idaho.
TO AUDITION, send an email to with AUDITION in the subject line.
It looks like it would be a lot of fun!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

One Guy Always Has To Go And Ruin It For Everyone Else

Not sure if this really happened or it's the Brit version of April Fool's Day, but check out this picture:

Here's the story that goes along with it.

Submarine Admirals Move Around

As USS Albany (SSN 753) returned from a European deployment yesterday that featured some decent port visits, they came home to the news that there will be new Admirals in two important Submarine Force jobs. From the DoD press release:
The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced today the following assignments:
Navy Rear Adm. Barry L. Bruner, will be assigned as director, Programming Division, N80, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Bruner is currently serving as director, Undersea Warfare Division, N97, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Navy Rear Adm. (lower half) Richard P. Breckenridge, who has been selected for the rank to rear admiral, will be assigned as director, Undersea Warfare Division, N97, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Breckenridge is currently serving as commander, Submarine Group Two, Groton, Conn.
Navy Rear Adm. (lower half) Kenneth M. Perry, will be assigned as commander, Submarine Group Two, Groton, Conn. Perry is currently serving as vice commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, San Diego, Calif.
Is this a "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" situation, or do you think we'll see some changes in how the Submarine Force trains and operates?

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Movie Review: "Phantom"

During the first few years of this blog, one of the regular features was movie reviews. I haven't been doing as many of those lately, but I figured I owed it to my readers to take one for the team and see the new submarine movie, "Phantom". I hadn't heard that much about it, and frankly my expectations were pretty low -- I really figured it would have a low level of submarine accuracy.

As it turns out, it's clear that they had an actual Submariner as a technical adviser, and they listened to him for the most part. While I don't have specific expertise on the operations of a Soviet Golf-class submarine in the late '60s, a lot of the submarine verbiage was at least semi-accurate, and the movement of crew members throughout the boat looked pretty realistic. Except for some serious issues with the concept of ordered depths during an attempted underhull, and what seemed like some illogical sequences of operation during surfacing and submerging (although who's to say how the Soviets did things on old diesel boats?) it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected.

The story itself was pretty poor. Supposedly based on the loss of the K-129 in 1968, with a script adapted from "Red Star Rogue" by Kenneth Sewell [who also wrote a book theorizing that USS Scorpion (SSN 589) was sunk by the Soviets], you have to suspend disbelief even more than normal for a Cold War tale. Ed Harris did a good job as the CO, and David Duchovny played the character he always plays -- no better, no worse than normal.

Although I went into the movie expecting to give it "the finger", I was impressed enough by the level of accuracy of submarine operations to move it up to two annoying metaphysical endings out of five.