Monday, April 30, 2007

Sub arrives for Fleet week in South Florida

News Video: USS Memphis Arrives at Port Everglades

The USS Memphis arrives for Fleet week in Southern Florida.

Why do reporters always seemed to be fixated on creature comforts, like personal hygiene and sleeping arrangements?

Next report high drama with mess cooking and movie night.

Additional unedited video: Surface transit to port.

Update 5/2/07: A much better report on the USS Memphis while they're in port for fleet week. Disregard the previous snarky comment on mess cooking and movie night.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

NAVY - it's not just a job, it's a musical video adventure!

Official - Accelerate Your Life

Unofficial - Ha Ya Ya

Long skimmer deployments in the hot Middle Eastern sun will do that to you, I guess.

Most of my deployments were in the cold deep Atlantic, different time, different adversary, different music.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Bonefish Fire - recommend read

xformed at ChaoticSynapticActivity has an excellent piece on the USS Bonefish (SS582) fire in 1988. Lots of first hand accounts of the rescue efforts by the USS Carr (FFG52).
USS Bonefish (SS582)
(Photo credit: - Courtesy of Paul Perris, CSG-7 retired)

The Bonefish was one of the B-Girls: USS Barbel (SS580), USS Blueback (SS581) and the USS Bonefish (SS582). In 1980 I took a tour on the one of the B-Girls in Norfolk while I was at NAVET C school in Damn Neck, Va. I thought she was a Nuke until the crewmember showing me the boat said otherwise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


A New England nor'easter sank the Russian Juliett 484 museum submarine today.
The news reported as of yesterday 4/17 that the boat was taking on water aft.

Juliett 484 Summer 2006 (Photo by Lubbers Line)
Then local news today 4/18 had this report on the sinking.

Type: Guided Missile Submarine
Class: Project 651 (NATO designation Juliett)
Launched: 11 March 1965
At: Krasnaya Sormova Works, Gorky, Russia
Commissioned: 31 October 1965
Length: 297 feet
Beam: 32 feet, 10 inches
Draft: 23 feet
Displacement: 3,174 tons (surfaced)
Currently - 4,137 tons (submerged)
Juliett 484 April 18, 2007 (Photo by Lubbers Line)
(Click on photo for a larger view)

I volunteered for a while at the sub museum and it was a sad sight when I stopped by today and took the above photo. She wasn't water-tight having been modified with access doors in the forward and aft torpedo compartments. The hatches were the oval surface ship type that could be dogged shut. Because of the subs age the ballast tanks were a constant maintenance issue requiring repairs to sections where they were rusting through.

Today I spoke to the Duty Officer from the Sunday before Monday's storm; he felt the boat was in good shape to ride out the storm when he left. The problem was that the city closed the hurricane barrier adjecent to the sub for the storm surge. The storm surge caused the sub to ride high on its mooring lines and shift in its normal berth. When the water receded the bow rested high on a shoal area and the stern sank deeper. As I recall the aft ballast tanks were the ones in worst shape and the free flood area aft below the superstructure has lots of areas for water to collect. We always had to pump these pockets out after a big rain.

Once the stern water level reached the access hatch the aft torpedo room started to slowly flood. As evidanced in the photo the boat is now on the bottom at the pier and the Coast Guard has ordered the area closed off to visitors. The mooring lines are stressed to the breaking point and one has already parted. A salvage company was on-site evaluating the effort required to re-float her.

Let's just hope that with all submarines surfacing equal dives.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Headline of the Day

From the Wired News Blog: Navy Chief to Shipbuilders: You Suck!

Has a sort of blue collar shipyard ring to it, don't you think?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Iran's Territorial Duplicity - back story

Everyone knows the story by now of the Iranian capture and eventual release of the 15 British sailors and Marines. But the back story or real story I believe is that the Iranians have been acting agressively and the Brits and Americas have been keeping close watch on them. A little news video timeline to demonstrate:

1) Iran back in Feb was violating Iraqi waters in runs to Iraq's main oil export terminal.

So they are asked to leave Iraq's waters with no repercussions but we're left wondering what there up to.

2) Iran's forces a month later ambush and take 15 Brit Naval personnel hostage.

First the Iranians say they don't want to escalate the situation, but immediately make the Sailors and Marines political pawns.

3) Finally the 15 Brits are released.

Framed by the first and last news video stories you can see that the Brits were oviously watching the Iranians closely. They were also doing their duty in protecting the Iraqi oil facilities and looking for smugglers.

To me the Iranians only managed to raise suspicions of there activities even further despite their, all is forgiven, politically calculated pardon.

As for the conduct of the Brit sailors while captive, different topic and no comment.