- LINKS -
Previous Gertrude Checks
Soup Down Sked
newKitsap Navy News
The Sub Scuttlebutt
National Museum of the US Navy
Puget Sound Navy
Sub Force News
& Parts of the Submarine
WWII Patrol Rpts
Wixom's Bit's of Wisdom
TTF Graduation Sked
Submariner Burial Site
Silent Service Motorcycle Club
Guest Columnists Wanted
new military newspaper has started
up in this area called the Kitsap Navy News (KNN).
Their offices are located in Silverdale. The editor, Gregory
Skinner, is looking for guest columnists and news inputs to
contribute to the publication. He is looking for input from all
vets. The Navigator is the official Base newspaper but input
from veterans and their opinions are practically non-existent.
He is also interested in veteran sponsored events and the
reasons associated with them. He will be at the next Bremerton
Base meeting on the 19th to give a short presentation and answer
questions. (Chaplain Fred Borgmann sends.)
Welcome Aboard New Life Member
Ehinger (Threadfin, Sea Cat,
Challenge Coin Poll to Date:
23 members responded for 75
coins. If you have an interest please
e-mail Cdr Dave with number
you may purchase, if offered.
HC & Life Member Goes on Eternal Patrol
Member Henry F. Baker ETCM(SS), of Shelton passed away on
March 23rd at 82 years old. Henry served in Finback,
Toro, Tang, Charr, Pomodon, Ray, Requin and John C Calhoun.
Sailor, rest your oar!
Base Supporters in Recovery
Thirty year base supporter and associate member Mary Berg,
suffered a fall. She is recovering at Northwoods Recovery Center
in Silverdale and should be home this week. Another supporter, Eileen Drumm,
wife of HC & Life member Jerry Drumm, was hospitalized with
a heart problem, now recovering at home.
Speaker Series with Author
Naval Undersea Museum,
30th at 2PM. Mr. Ulmer
will talk about USS
Springer (SS 414), that
rescued 8 downed B-29 airmen
from the sea during World
War II. You will see
footage of the actual rescue
with close-ups of grateful
young survivors. Mr. Ulmer
will be presenting some
artifacts as well. The
museum store will have Don's
books for sale. A book
signing and refreshments
will follow the
4-1-2011 Deterrent Park Update...Brick Etchings and Install Progress
Fourteen additional etched bricks are in hand (as shown in the image). Those are from: Caiman Association, Martinson, Johnsen (2), Willette, Rifkin, Lynch, Romero, Eggert, Drannan, Robinson, Carpenter and Swenson(2). All (27) etched bricks will be in installed in May, 2011.
frame. Application is at http://gertrude-check.org/brickap.htm.
Future Brick Application Processing/Brick Installation: We have decided to install bricks twice a year, and set deadlines
for applications for
those installation time frames. The install time frames would be in April-May, deadline March 1 and September-October, deadline August 1
Grilse Submarine Commemorative to be
held in Victoria, British Columbia
29th to Sunday, May 1st, 2011
Drop dead date,...suggest Forms be submitted
ensure attendance availability
$125 per person - Canadian funds preferred
Friday late-afternoon finger food ... Saturday afternoon
rum & finger food ... Saturday evening banquet / no-host
bar ... Sunday morning breakfast ... Sunday afternoon rum,
soup & sangies
Also suggest you take advantage of your duty-free allowances
into Canada - 1.14L of spirits, 1.5L of wine, or 24 bottles
or cans of beer (8.5L) - for off-time socializing in rooms.
Important reminder of our host Hotel cut-off date of March
29th to receive our Group Room Rate of $110 CA ...
cancellation policy of 3PM date preceding your check-in.
More details here.
2011 Officer Submarine Birthday Ball
Seattle Marriott Waterfront Grand Ballroom
1730 Cocktails, 1900 Program and Dinner, 2100
Dance Floor Opens.
Time Base Supporter Passes
is with a a heavy heart that I pass on
the news that base founding
member/current Secretary Dick
Listcher’s mother, Gertrude (Mommsie)
Banaszak ( a long time supporter of
Subvets) passed on to a better place on
Thursday, March 17, 2011, It appears
that she was getting ready for bed and
laid back and went to sleep for the last
time. Dick relays that Gert had the
mindset of no services, no frills and no
ceremonies. So, with that, he will
respect her wishes. God Bless.
Enlisted Submarine Birthday Ball
The ball will be held on Saturday, 23 April
at the Sheraton
Seattle (1400 Sixth Ave, Seattle, WA), Cocktail hour starts at
1700 and the program begins at 1800. Tickets for sale at $65 per
CMDCM(SS) Rob Enquist, CMC of TRIDENT Training Facility Bangor
is ticket distribution POC. He is assisted by his right hand
man, MTCS(SS) Jon Bellinfante.
NEW STOREKEEPER ITEM
(in cooperation with Designs Unlimited) has arranged
to have this black jacket (w/o hood) for sale at
about $100 plus any patches and sewing charges.
Please contact Ralph at 360-876-0830 or
firstname.lastname@example.org . Perfect for the
Duck Traditional Jacket / Arctic Quilt Lined Style
12-ounce, firm-hand, 100% ring-spun cotton duck
Water-repellent (re-treat after washing)
Arctic weight quilted nylon lining
Corduroy top collar with snaps under collar for
Rib knit storm cuff in sleeve
Zipper front has wind flap with hook and loop
Two extra large front patch pockets
Inside welt pocket with zipper closure on right side
for secure storage
Inside patch pocket with hook and loop closure on
left side for added convenience
Two-button adjustable waist tabs
Work fit for better range of motion and comfort
Other features: triple-stitched main seams, split
back with bi-swing, pleated elbow, hanger loop
2-20-2011 2011 USSVI National
Convention in Springfield MO
The 2011 national
convention will be conducted in Springfield, Missouri, within an
hour's drive of Branson. It starts on the 5th of September
and concludes on Sunday, the 11th. All the relevant
information is located
University Plaza is filled up, other hotels are still
available. If you have a thought
of going, and want to be near the action, please consider making
a reservation at the
USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2011-030
To: Distribution List
NEWS-01: 2011 USSVI Convention Sept 5-11, 2011
Submitted by: Office on 4/11/2011
Bases: Please give this wide distribution via email, base
meetings and in your base newsletter.
The OZARK/RUNNER SS476 BASE (USSVI) and the City of Springfield,
MO. invite you to join us in Springfield, MO. for the 2011 Joint
National Convention of the USSVI and of the U.S. Submarine
Veterans of WWII. The Convention will run from Mon. Sept 5 to
Sun. Sept 11, 2011.
The host Base is the OZARK/RUNNER BASE. The Convention Chairman
is Ron Athey TMC (SS) USN Ret (email@example.com or
The convention website is www.ussvispringfieldmo.com.
The host city is Springfield, Mo. The Springfield Convention and
Visitors Bureau (CVB) can be reached at 1-800-678-8767 or
www.Travel-Springfield.com. They are looking forward to helping
you with information or answering any of your questions
regarding this area.
Please feel free to contact them. Our “Home Port” will be the
UNIVERSITY PLAZA HOTEL and Convention Center (1-417-864-7333 or
www.upspringfield.com ). Alternate “Berthing” is available at
the CLARION HOTEL (1-800-756-7318; 1-714-883-6550;
www.springfieldclarion.com ) or at the DOUBLETREE HOTEL (A
Hilton Hotel) (1-800-222-tree; 1-417-831-3131). Rooms are $99
per night and parking is complimentary.
The USS LAPON (SSN661) Sail and Submarine Memorial and Nathanael
Greene SSBN 636 Memorials are located in Springfield. The local
Veterans of the American Legion, VFW and FRA are also looking
forward to welcoming you. Green/Straight Board and Dry Bilges
Ronald L. Athey TMC(SS) USN Ret Base Commander, Convention
Chairman Ozark-Runner Base USSVI Host Base , 2011 USSVI National
NEWS-02: 2011 Awards Nominations - 3rd Call
Submitted by: John Stanford on 4/12/2011
THE USSVI 2011 AWARDS GUIDELINES for members and bases to use to
submit nominees for the 2011 USSVI Award Program is posted
online under the (AWARDS) button, then (MANUALS) at
www.ussvi.org and at the link below.
Award Nominations may be submitted through APRIL 30, 2011.
All Award nominations (with exception of Newsletter Award) must
be received by John Stanford, National Awards Chairman, by that
time. Email to JStan131@Comcast.net
May 15 2011 is the deadline for submission of Newsletters for
Newsletter of the Year Award.
Here is a shortcut link to the Awards Manual
NEWS-03: 3rd Call for 2011 Joe Negri Award
Submitted by: John Stanford on 4/12/2011
The late Joe Negri is considered the Primary Founder of USSVI.
The "Joe Negri" Award is awarded to the Member who, by his
personal individual efforts and participation during the
preceding years contributed the most to the advancement and
embodiment of the USSVI Creed and Agenda, and by his dedicated
service and support to our USSVI organization and his fellow
Submarine Veteran Brothers exemplifies the meaning and spirit of
the word, "Shipmate.”
The Deadline for receiving your nomination for this award is
April 30, 2011 and should be submitted to John Stanford,
National Awards Chairman at Jstan131@comcast.net
NEWS-04: 3rd Call for Silver Anchor Award nominations
Submitted by: John Stanford on 4/12/2011
The Silver Anchor Award is presented to a member in recognition
of his efforts to support one of the primary objectives of our
Creed…to provide a way for all submariners to gather for their
mutual benefit and enjoyment.
This award recognizes the member’s volunteer support for
meetings, projects and events, including work to recruit new
members and to retain the current membership of the base.
This Award will be presented to individual Members only.
Your nomination for this award should be submitted no later than
April 30, 2011 to John Stanford, National Awards Chairman at
USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2011-028
He was a
USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2011-027
To: Distribution List
NEWS-01: USS Memphis sail to surface in Memphis TN???
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/29/2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A group of U.S. Navy veterans are lobbying for the bridge of the submarine the USS Memphis to retire in its namesake city.
The Memphis Council of the U.S. Navy wants the sail, the top part where the bridge is located, to go on public display in Tennessee.
Cage Carruthers, a former Naval officer on the cruiser USS Arkansas who slept overnight at sea on the Memphis in April 2007, has been in discussions with the Navy for what may take years of planning.
Carruthers told The Memphis Commercial Appeal he feels confident about the city getting the bridge section of the submarine, which is set for de-commissioning on Friday.
The USS Memphis sailed in every ocean during its 33-year history.
NEWS-02: Navy's Odyssey Dawn Libyan Operation features a SSGN first
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/30/2011
When the guided-missile submarine Florida fired cruise missiles March 19, it was the first war shot by the new four-boat class, said Lt. Brian Wierzbicki, spokesman for Submarine Group 10.
The Navy converted the four oldest Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines beginning in 2002.
The modifications removed the Trident D4 launch tubes and support systems, added an enhanced communications suite, and installed enough nuclear material to extend the subs' life by two decades.
In place of the 24 nuclear missile tubes, the converted subs are capable of loading up to 66 SEALs with their vehicles and supplies or 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 32 more than the most-armed surface combatant, making the SSGN a submersible missile bed.
"The ship did what it was designed to do, was able to lurk nearby [an] adversary's shores and take out targets basically at will," said Scott Truver, head of the strategic analysis team at defense contractor Gryphon Technologies, who has studied the conversion.
"The operational tempo is really high for these simply because they're versatile, they have an enhanced intelligence/surveillance capability and they can put SEALs ashore, and as this latest example [shows], they can launch long-range cruise missile strikes," he said. "They are much in demand."
Nathan Hughes, director of military analysis at the global intelligence company STRATFOR, said the elevated pace of missile sub deployments showed that "these things have been put to sea and kept to sea."
In Libya, Hughes said, "it's allowed the U.S. to hit targets without as big of a foot-print as what otherwise would have been necessary, if you only had three convention-al [attack] subs, two Tomahawk-armed surface combatants and the Air Force ashore to work with." Florida's missile strikes on Libyan defenses are a public affirmation of the value of the converted Ohios, Hughes added.
Florida is the second converted sub. It emerged from Virginia's Norfolk Naval Shipyard in April 2006 and is homeported in Kings Bay, Ga. Florida has two alternating crews, like ballistic boats, allowing the boats to spend more time deployed.
The destroyers Barry and Stout,, attack subs Providence and Scranton, and Royal Navy ships and subs also fired Tomahawk missiles, but 6th Fleet and Navy spokesmen declined to provide a breakdown of how many were fired by ships and submarines.
(By Joshua Stewart and Sam Fellman, Navy Times, 4 April 2011)
For more, visit the link
NEWS-03: American Submariner 2011-1 in the mail
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 3/30/2011
The 2011-1 edition of the American Submariner was mailed from Dallas, Texas today, 3/30/2011.
I hope you enjoy the read. We now appear to be caught up on the transition to the new editor, Gordon Palmer and we look forward to staying on track for the next few years..
Trust all is well with all of my USSVI Shipmates.
BREMERTON BASE BOOSTERS
following Members are recognized for their
generous donations to the Base Operating
$20.00 - $29.99
$30.00 - $49.99
$50.00 - $99.00
Robert "Bob" Paulsen
John "JJ" Lynch
Perlita "Pearly" Lattin
for Don Pennington
Updated: Mar28, 2011.
4115 Wheaton Way, Bremerton
Complete Schedule linked
Ltr of 2010 appreciation/request
for 2011 gift certificate
Ltr request for new restaurant
Check out this link for latest images of events.
Click on Meeting Photos
Founder & Editor
Other News of
Interest to Submariners
WASHINGTON (AP) — China's first aircraft carrier
could begin sea trials as early as this summer and
its deployment would significantly change the
perception of the balance of power in the region,
the chief of U.S. forces in the Pacific said
China bought the vessel from Ukraine more than a
decade ago, and it is viewed as emblematic of the
communist state's ambition to be a military power
that can challenge America's decades-long supremacy
in the west Pacific. China's state news agency this
month carried photos of the carrier in what it said
was the final stages of reconstruction.
"Based on the feedback from our partners and allies
in the Pacific, I think the change in perception by
the region will be significant," Adm. Robert Willard
told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Willard
also noted the "remarkable growth" of China's
But he viewed that impact as largely symbolic, as
there would be a long period of training,
development and exercises before the carrier becomes
The U.S. Pacific Command led by Willard has five
aircraft carrier strike groups, which it has used to
project American power across a region key to global
trade. However, China's military build-up, which
includes the rapid development of ballistic missiles
and cyber warfare capabilities, has spooked its
neighbors and could potentially crimp the U.S.
forces' freedom to operate.
Willard said that China has increased and improved
its fleet of both conventional and nuclear-powered
submarines, which had prompted a proliferation of
submarines in the Asia-Pacific. He mentioned
Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia as
countries that have either acquired or signaled
their intention to acquire or expand their submarine
However, Willard said that China's navy has been
less aggressive in its operations this year than
last. He described that as a "retrenchment" by China
following U.S. statements that it has a national
interest in the peaceful resolution of territorial
disputes in the South China Sea — where China's
claims of sovereignty are challenged by several
countries in southeast Asia.
"While we continue to experience their shadowing of
some of our ships and so forth that are operating in
these waters, we have not seen the same level of
assertiveness in 2011 that we witnessed in 2010," he
said. Willard also attributed this to the U.S. and
China resuming military-to-military relations. The
ties had been suspended over U.S. arms sales to
Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. forces in South
Korea, said American troops should remain on the
volatile Korean peninsula for the "foreseeable
future" because of the threat posed by North Korea.
He said he did not see North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il giving up his nuclear capability as he believes
it vital for his regime's survival.
Navy Subs To Get Tactical Updates
Through Deep Siren
By Henry Kenyon, Defense Systems, April 13, 2011
The Navy has
successfully tested an underwater communications system that
allows submarines to communicate at speed and depth.
Siren acoustic communications system permits submarines to relay
and share information while under water in a variety of
operational environments. This was recently demonstrated during
the Navy’s ICEX 2011 exercise, which took place north of the
Arctic Circle, officials of Raytheon, which developed the
system, said April 13.
Deep Siren is
intended to fill a gap in the Navy’s underwater communications
capabilities — the ability to receive tactical information while
submerged. The system, which has been in development for some
time, operates like a texting service to provide submarines with
data in a short message format that is sent and received by
software-defined acoustic modems located in disposable buoys
launched by the submarine.
Raytheon officials noted that the system is a mature technology
that has been successfully tested in a wide variety of
oceanographic conditions. Deep Siren is part of a broader Navy
effort to provide an underwater network for its submarine fleet.
Deep Siren demonstrated that it can communicate with submarines
operating under sea ice. The system was used to help
participating submarines meet at a base camp located on the ice
sheet 150 nautical miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Both
submarines were directed to the location via Deep Siren
transmissions from the camp.
was also used to help evacuate a seaman aboard the submarine USS
New Hampshire when he became ill with appendicitis. Deep Siren
was used to communicate the emergency and to help report the
location of an area of sea ice thin enough to allow the vessel
has been successfully tested by the British Royal Navy in the
Mediterranean, and the system is scheduled to undergo sea trials
with the German and French navies later this year. The Canadian
navy also is planning its own sea tests. Company officials said
that another version of Deep Siren designed for use by U.S. Navy
special operations forces has already undergone successful
History and Parts of the
EB: Submarines Can Be ''Stretched''
To Boost Firepower (not a new
concept, how about 598 & 599)
By Jennifer McDermott, The Day, April 13, 2011
Electric Boat says it can add more missile tubes to
Virginia-class submarines without compromising speed or
has been working on a concept for a "stretch Virginia"
to boost firepower. The task was to figure out whether
the subs could be lengthened by about 90 feet to
accommodate triple the number of Tomahawk missiles they
now carry, and to launch the weapons of the future,
including unmanned undersea vehicles.
Preliminary estimates say the modification could cost up
to $500 million per ship, adding roughly 20 percent to
the cost of an attack submarine.
years ago the Navy asked EB to work on the project,
which is not an official Navy program at this point.
completing the initial engineering work the company
found that it can be done, according to John Holmander,
the vice president who manages the Virginia-class
program. Company officials are discussing the concept at
the Navy League's three-day Sea-Air-Space Exposition
that began Monday in Maryland.
Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, plans to advocate for
research and design money for the Navy in the fiscal
2012 budget, some of which could be used to further
develop the concept. But fully funding a new program
would be an uphill battle, given the federal
government's fiscal woes.
Navy's Submarine Force will lose about 60 percent of its
undersea firepower in the late 2020s with the retirement
of its four guided-missile subs, capable of carrying up
to 154 Tomahawk missiles. This is happening at the same
time that the number of attack submarines in the fleet
is dropping because of the retiring of the aging members
of the Los Angeles-class subs.
first "stretch" Virginia could be the sub that EB starts
building in 2019, which would be commissioned close to
the time that the first guided-missile sub retires.
the most recent Virginia-class subs, two large-diameter
missile tubes located forward of the sail can launch six
Tomahawk cruise missiles each. The subs also carry
Extending the submarine to 471 feet would make room for
a module near the middle with four additional tubes
capable of launching seven missiles each. That would be
a 230 percent jump in the number of Tomahawks that can
be launched quickly, from 12 to 40.
stretched subs would still fit in the docks at EB, which
at one time held Ohio-class submarines 560 feet long.
four new missile tubes would be more than 7 feet in
opens the door to many, many other game-changing
applications," Rear Adm. Richard P. Breckenridge, deputy
director of the Submarine Warfare Division, said in an
stretch Virginia ranks third in the Submarine Force's
priorities, Breckenridge said. Topping the list is the
program to replace the current fleet of Ohio-class, or
Trident, submarines, followed by finding ways to
mitigate the dip in the number of attack submarines as
the aging subs of the Los Angeles class retire.
the Navy had a more robust budget, it would pay for the
capability "without hesitation," he said. The Navy is
looking to the Defense Department to see if funds could
be available to proceed with the stretch Virginia
concept, Breckenridge said.
W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense
Initiative and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the
Brookings Institution, said the stretch Virginia seeks
to answer a key problem that the Navy faces, the crunch
in the number of submarines overall and the limits in
the number of missiles they can deploy. Both problems
look to be worsening in the future, he added.
Navy is going to face a series of tough decisions
budget wise. But all things being equal, it's a program
we have to give serious consideration towards," Singer
USS Florida was one of the three U.S. submarines that
launched Tomahawk missiles into Libya last month to
support a no-fly zone. One of the fleet's four
guided-missile submarines, the Florida launched a
majority of its Tomahawk missiles, Breckenridge said.
Typically guided-missile submarines deploy with 105
missiles, he added.
Navy would've needed eight other attack subs in theater
to do what that one ship, Florida, did," he said.
the economy and the budget "will not tolerate" building
a new class of guided-missile submarines, Breckenridge
said the stretch Virginia solution offers a more
affordable way for the Navy to get a "strategically
important capability." It gives the Navy flexibility to
distribute more missiles on submarines in more
locations, rather than concentrating them on the
guided-missile submarines, he added.
Courtney said the fact that Congress still plans to pay
for two Virginia-class submarines this year instead of
one, despite immense pressure for spending cuts, bodes
well for the future of the stretch Virginia concept.
you're going to make that investment, you obviously want
to concentrate the return to the greatest extent
possible," he said Tuesday. "And stretching the missile
capacity, I think, makes sense."
Canadian Peacekeeper Boats
Strategy Page, April 12, 2011
years after purchasing four slightly-used British
diesel-electric submarines, Canada still has not gotten any
of them in shape to go to war. Currently, only one of the
four Victoria class subs can even go to sea, and none will
be able to fight until their torpedo tubes are converted to
fire the U.S. made Mk 48 torpedoes (rather than the British
Tigerfish and Spearfish models the subs were originally
designed for.) But the conversion kits have been ordered,
and are to be installed within two years. What Canada has
learned from all this is that submarines are expensive boats
to build and maintain, even if they are second hand.
began in the 1990s, when Canada wanted to replace its 1960s
era diesel-electric subs. This did not seem possible,
because the cost of new boats would have been about half a
billion dollars each. Britain, however, had four slightly
used Upholder class diesel-electric subs that it was willing
to part with for $188 million each. Britain had built these
boats in the late 1980s, put them in service between 1990
and 1993, but then mothballed them shortly thereafter when
it decided to go with an all-nuclear submarine fleet.
deal was made in 1998, with delivery of the Upholders to
begin in 2000. Canada decommissioned its Oberons in 2000,
then discovered that the British boats needed more work
(fixing flaws, installing Canadian equipment) than
anticipated. It wasn't until 2004 that the subs were ready,
and that one year one of them was damaged by fire, while at
sea. This boat is to be back in service next year. By the
end of this year, three boats should be back in service.
Upholders are now called the Victoria class, and are much
more modern and capable than the older Oberons. The
Victorias are 2,160 tons (displacement on the surface), have
a crew of 46, and six torpedo tubes (and 18 Mk 48
torpedoes.) The electronics on the Victorias are state of
the art and a primary reason for buying these boats
second-hand. The subs will be used to patrol Canada's
extensive coastline. The passive sonars on these subs make
it possible to detect surface ships over a great distance.
But not having any subs on active duty, ready for combat,
for over a decade has become a major issue in Canada.
problem is that the subs were bought without a through
enough examination. It was later found that most major
systems had problems and defects that had to be fixed (at
considerable expense). Thus these boats have spent most of
their time, during the last decade, undergoing repairs or
upgrades. The final fix will be to get the torpedo tubes
working. In any event, a Canadian warship has never fired a
torpedo in combat, mainly because the Canadian Navy did not
get subs until the 1960s. Lots of Canadian surface ships
have fired torpedoes in combat, but the last time that
happened was in 1945. The sole operational Victoria class
boat is on patrol in the Pacific, listening for trouble
which, if found, will be reported to the proper authorities.
Calls for integrating attack subs;
hesitant on SEAL teams
But although he's
against any gender ban in the service, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus
stopped short of a full-throated endorsement of integrating
women into every part of the naval special warfare community.
"It's my notion
that women should have the same opportunities as men in the
Navy," Mabus told Navy Times during a March 31 interview. "They
should be able to go as far as their talent stake them. They
should be able to serve in whatever communities. "The only
reason I'm being a little hesitant for the SEALs is some of the
physical things you've got to go through to be a SEAL. I think
women ought to have whatever opportunities men do," he said. An
advisory panel led by senior enlisted and officers from each
service recently called for opening all military specialties to
women. When asked if attack submarines will be integrated, Mabus
told Navy Times: "That's going to happen. What you don't want to
have is, sort of, two different submarine forces: the
[ballistic-missile and guided-missile subs] if there are women
embarked, the [attack subs] if there are not women embarked.
planning is underway in terms of how that would work," he added.
"Part of it is what lessons were learned with women on the SSBNs
and the SSGNs. Let's get a little experience first before we
move out on that."
Mabus said the
integration of attack submarines, which will require significant
berthing configuration changes, was being studied but that no
time frame had been set, adding that it would be a "relatively
close follow-on" to the integration taking place on boomers.
"We're going to integrate the entire force." Besides SEALs, the
other Navy communities closed to women are special warfare
combatant-craft crewmen, Fleet Marine Force corpsmen serving in
direct combat units, and riverines, due to combat exclusion
rules. And enlisted women are prohibited from serving aboard
coast patrol craft and frigates. Frigates are slated for
decommissioning and the cost of reconfiguring berthing on these
vessels would be "prohibitive," according to Lt. Matthew Allen,
a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel.
that women should serve on all the Navy's subs marks a shift
from the integration announcement in late September 2009. Then,
Big Navy was initially bullish about putting women aboard
ballistic-missile and guided-missile subs but more conservative
when it came to attack boats. Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet
Forces Command, told Navy Times in October 2009 — less than one
week after the policy shift was announced — that the Navy was
taking a wait-and-see approach toward putting women aboard
Seawolf-, Los Angeles- and Virginia-class subs.
"When you look at
the one we're building now, the Virginia class, that's what I'd
call a mature design," Harvey said. "Now that we're in serial
production, to go back and undo things to make it viable for
females in the crew, that's a pretty tall order.
"Can it be done?
I just don't know where we are on that and at what cost, etc.,"
he said. "But I know we can get at it much more rapidly with the
SSGNs and SSBNs, so that's where the focus will be."
on the SSGN and SSBN side has already begun. Eighteen female
junior officers are in the training pipeline; the first 10 have
progressed from Naval Nuclear Power School to nuclear prototype
training, the second phase of nuclear training for officers, and
are expected to arrive at their subs in November, according to
Lt. Brian Wierzbicki, spokesman for Submarine Group 10. The
second group of submariners-in-training is at power school and
slated to arrive at their subs in February.
nuclear-trained officers will join the blue and gold crews of
four submarines: ballistic-missile submarines Wyoming and Maine
and guided-missile sub-marines Georgia and Ohio. They will be
joined by female Supply Corps lieutenants who will serve as
professional role models. The three women will share a
In November. —
when the names of the submarines to be integrated were made
public — 21 women were in the training pipeline. Since then, two
women have been selected for graduate school and will
subsequently resume nuke training, and a third has been
medically disqualified. Meanwhile, the eight female lieutenants
are scheduled to head to supply department head school in April
and May, followed by the Submarine Officer Basic Course.
"We will be
informed by the lessons we learn from the integration of female
officers on SSBNs and SSGNs. Once we complete these efforts, we
can determine the best path forward," Wierzbicki wrote in an
email reply to questions. "Lessons learned from this process
will help inform future decisions regarding the expansion of
female integration aboard submarines to the enlisted ranks."
USS Lagarto (SS-371)
Southern Gulf of Siam -
South China Sea
Excellent Documentary on its short
active history. (Bill Hipp sends)
A Royal Navy
sailor has appeared in court in Southampton charged with
murdering a senior officer and trying to kill three other crew
on board a nuclear submarine.
Ryan Donovan, 22, is accused of the murder of Lieutenant
Commander Ian Molyneux on HMS Astute. He is also charged with
the attempted murders of Petty Officer Christopher Brown, Chief
Petty Officer David McCoy and Lieutenant Commander Christopher
He made no
plea and was remanded in custody until his next appearance at
Winchester Crown Court on April 13. During the brief hearing
Donovan, of Hillside Road, Dartford, Kent, spoke only to confirm
his name, age and address.
officials have agreed that his case should be heard in a
civilian court. Crown prosecutor Nick Hawkins told magistrates
it would be alleged there was a "deliberate discharge of a SA80
rifle six times, aimed at four people, one of whom was fatally
Molyneux, the officer who died, was 36 years old and married
with four children.
fatally shot aboard HMS Astute on Friday while it was docked in
Southampton on a five-day goodwill visit. His widow, Gillian has
paid an emotional tribute to him, describing him as "utterly
devoted to his family".
"Everything he did was for us. He was very proud to be an
officer in the Royal Navy Submarine Service."
took place as local dignitaries, including the city council's
mayor, leader and chief executive, were being given a tour of
has been cleared to leave Southampton to return to its base at
Faslane in Scotland
HMAS Kuttabul Sunk (1942) Japanese
midget subs attack Sidney Harbor
(COB Hank Hollis Sends)
HMAS Kuttabul was a
Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
ship, and former
Sydney harbour ferry. During the Japanese midget
attack on Sydney Harbour on 31 May 1942, Kuttabul
was torpedoed and sunk, with 21 Commonwealth naval
Submarine Accident Indictments Handed Down
RIA Novosti, March 31, 2011
The Military Prosecutor of the Pacific Fleet, on Wednesday
confirmed criminal indictments involving allegations surrounding
an accident on Nov. 8, 2008 on the nuclear submarine "Seal"
according to an assistant t the military prosecutor, Roman
During tests in the Sea of Japan the nuclear submarine caught
fire. The fire-extinguishing system worked properly and the
compartments began to flood with poisonous gas.
20 people were killed and another 21 were hospitalized.
A case was brought against submarine commander Dimitry
Lavrentiev and bilge engineer Dimitry Grobov.
The investigation concluded that their inaction led to the
The case will be sent to the Pacific Navy headquarters where the
defendants will be court-martialed
PHYSICS LABORATORY ICE CAMP, Arctic Ocean: The signal sounded
like crickets chirping, but the encoded message transmitted from
the camp atop the frozen Arctic Ocean was music to the ears of
the USS New Hampshire submarine crew.
digital “Deep Siren”
tactical messaging system and a simpler underwater
telephone, officials from the Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory
at the camp last Saturday were able to help the submarine find a
relatively ice-free spot to surface and evacuate a sailor
stricken with appendicitis.
alternative would have been a ruptured appendix, or an emergency
surgery on the table in the captain’s dining room, said a
relieved Dan Roberts, the senior chief and corpsman who handles
the crew’s medical needs. “It would have been rough.”
low-frequency system is built by Raytheon Co, which has been
working on it for several years with $5.2m in initial seed money
from the Navy.
the latest company trying to tackle the persistent challenge of
communicating with submarines while they are travelling deep
under the sea to avoid detection. Past systems have proven too
complicated, and too expensive.
The new system could revolutionize how military commanders stay
in touch with submarines all over the world, allowing them to
alert a submarine about an enemy ship on the surface or a new
mission, without it needing to surface to periscope level, or 60
feet, where it could be detected by potential enemies.
submarines use an underwater phone to communicate with
associates on top of the ice or with other submarines, but those
devices are little more than tin cans on a string and work only
at shorter distances. Submarines can also trail an antenna once
they surface to periscope depth, or around 60 feet, but that
makes them easier to detect.
Jaehn, the No 2 official in charge of submarine operations and
the officer in charge of the ice camp 150 miles north of Prudhoe
Bay, said the Deep Siren was heavily used during the exercises
and played a key role in facilitating the evacuation of the sick
ability to communicate with submarines at any depth and any
distance is a huge step forward, said Matthew Pesce, a former
submariner who now works for the Arctic Submarine Laboratory,
which organises biannual ice exercises in the region, where
submarines practice tactics and procedures.
based in Hawaii, but came aboard the USS New Hampshire for the
exercises as adviser for Arctic equipment and issues, including
the Deep Siren system. He said the system worked well, but some
transmissions were not received properly, possibly due to issues
related to the ice, or the alignment of the submarine.
product could generate significant revenue for the company, said
Stephen Moynahan, a senior Raytheon engineer, who came to the
ice camp in early March to test how the system works under the
ice cap, where varying salinity levels and long ice keels
distort how sound travels.
He gave no
details on the scope of possible sales, but said Britain
successfully tested Deep Siren in the Mediterranean last year,
proving a range of more than 100 miles. Several other countries
were interested and two planned sea trials this year, he said.
allows a submarine to deploy a buoy that can relay messages via
the new system, initially conceived by a Scottish submariner
named Robert Kerr, provided only limited messaging ability, not
bandwidth for transmitting huge chunks of data, but said its
simplicity made it effective, especially in the current
difficult budget environment.
“This is a
really big deal. This is a game-changing technology,” said
Moynahan, who served as the rifleman guarding against polar bear
attacks during a visit to the camp by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus
and other top lawmakers and defense officials on Saturday. No
bears turned up. Pesce said the system helped the submarine find
a place to surface since locating ice-free waters in the Arctic
was a little like “looking upward through a straw,” he said.
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