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Links> USSVI/ Constitution/ Bylaws/ PPM/2010 IRS Return/ American Submariner/ Subvet News/2012 Convention/2013 Convention/Base Bylaws/ Base Web Site <Links


Base Meetings are on the 3rd Tue of the month (except Aug & Dec), starting sharply at 1900, at the FRA Branch #29 Facility, 521 National Ave, Bremerton WA (MAP)

USSVI Bremerton Base, P.O. Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383-0465

Issue date: 01-16-2012


Wednesday, January 18, 2012 06:30 AM

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1-16-2012  Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV)You are invited to observe a remote operated vehicle (ROV) demonstration at the Olympic High School pool on Monday 23 Jan,  from 0900 to 1100.   The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  class, consisting of 30 students and 15 ROVs will put on the show. The pool is very warm so if you want to watch the kids displaying their ROV's, dress accordingly. Life member Dennis Wendt will assist in this demonstration.

1-15-2012  Junk Mail, Safety Options From time to time I will ask someone if they have received my e-mail.  When they say "no", I go back and insure I have sent them the message and it has the right address. Now, I automatically send a copy to myself to ensure it did go out.  But their are other reasons they may have not received the mail, They may have purposely blocked me, or they may have the safety filter on their incoming e-mail set too "high".  With Windows Live Mail on Windows 7, this is set when when "home" is selected on the tool bar, and you click on down arrow below "Junk" , then set "safety" options.  Also, checking your "junk" mail box once in a while might reveal messages that have automatically gone in there vice your "incoming" box.


Updated 01-13-2012 2012 Annual National & Base Dues are Due by Dec 31, 2011 Dues schedule below.


Annual Dues are: National $20 + Base $20 = $40

Make a single check for $40 made out to USSVI Bremerton Base and give it to the Treasurer or mail it to PO Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383


Life Membership Dues are in the table below.  Holland Club members are not except from national or base dues. (2011 change to base by-laws applies.)  As an example, at the current annual rate of $40 National & Base dues, it would take a member  <45 years old about 19 years to = $750 National Life & base dues.  About 58 Bremerton Base members should take a look.


Age Nat $ Base $ Total $ 
<45 500 250 750
46-55 400 150 550
56-65 300 100 400
66-75 200 50 250
76> 100 50 150


Over time, dues increase, so if you  have good intentions of sticking it out, please consider a life membership, no matter what your current age. (pay now or pay more later/GC ed)


12-14-2011 SubVet News - #2011-115
NEWS-01: Thresher Memorial Dinner
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 12/9/2011

Victoria Sallade, Granddaughter of Charles Wiggins FTGI(SS), is organizing a dinner for the former crew and families of those who served aboard the USS Thresher SSN-593 to be held on the 14th of April 2012 at 4:00pm in Portsmouth, NH. She is looking for contact information on surviving family members of the Crew and Officers of Thresher. If you have any information or would care to know more about the program and current status please contact Victoria at 609-519-1707 or

11-25-2011 Deterrent Park Up Date Since the October 2011 brick installation, three sponsors have donated 4 engraved bricks to Deterrent Park.  They will be installed, with other donated bricks, in May 2012.  These sponsors are Barton, Davison and Aiello(2), Kolbeck(2) and Briggs.


An engraved brick for a loved one that served his/her country could be an everlasting memory.  You may want to consider one or more for Christmas presents or a gift for other occasions.  All the Park information you may want to know about the Park and an order form are online. (And the donation is IRS deductable.)




The following Members are recognized for their generous donations to the Base General Fund.
Rig for Dive Periscope Depth

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$1 - $19.99 $20.00 - $29.99

$30.00 - $49.99

$50.00 - $99.00 $100.00 +





George Schaefer

Tudor Davis

Anonymous-WWII Vet

Updated: Jan 4, 2012. Thanks Shipmates


Soup Down: Fri, Jan 20,  1130
*Horse and Cow, Bar & Grill,3050 North Lake Way, Bremerton Will Open for Us

Join the Fun, click for Images

Complete Schedule linked here

Ltr of 2011 appreciation/request for 2012 gift certificate


Gertrude Check
Founder & Editor



Other News of Interest to Submariners



“TANG” – A Vision for the Future.
Commander, Submarine Forces Blog, Jan 17, 2012

This is pretty cool. I was recently briefed on the results of our first try at a new way for us to innovate. We held an “event” in San Diego that brought together 27 of our best and brightest Junior Officers, Sonarmen and Fire Control Technicians to participate in what will be the first of many workshops. Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE (DEVRON 12) allied with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory and the Submarine Advanced Development Team at NAVSEA, making this a “first of its kind” for the Submarine Force and maybe the Navy.

We asked our partners at IDEO to join us. IDEO is a design firm that specializes in human-centered innovation and helping organizations in the business, government, education and social sectors to innovate and grow. They’ve worked on projects like designing the first Apple Mouse to designing the portable defibrillators you can find in many public areas. Most notably, and applicable to our situation, IDEO has a process to teach innovation and design using fast prototyping to achieve terrific results for very low costs. You see, we have a deep understanding of our problem, and a lot of ideas, but lacked the discipline to turn that into something real. IDEO helped us through that.

We’re calling these workshops the “TANG” series: “Tactical Advancement for the Next Generation.” Anyone who knows their submarine history knows this is a deeply meaningful acronym for us. The USS TANG (SS-306) was a Balao-class submarine in World War II. In her short career, with Commander Richard Hetherington O'Kane as her Commanding Officer, TANG sank 33 ships displacing 116,454 tons. CDR O’Kane received the Medal of Honor for his service.

Our goal at the TANG workshop was to more effectively leverage the knowledge and enthusiasm of these Submariners to help us execute a paradigm shift - we want to quickly and effectively evolve - using what our force already “knows” as consumers and experts of smartphones and modern video game consoles like the XBOX 360. Most Sailors entering the Navy can pick up a smartphone and handle it like an ace. They are familiar with the icons and display modes of the new apps and games that deliver a tremendous amount of complexity in an intuitive interface and system design. We want to bring that into our combat systems and take advantage of all the experience and “training” that our Submariners have when they first arrive.

In short, we want to go from screens that look like this:                                                                                                To screens that look more like this:




















The TANG workshop was a big success. The response from our Sailors was amazing. Once they formed into small teams and got the picture of what the event was about, they took over…and the days were full of discovery and “a-ha” moments. With simple props, the small, high-performing teams produced BIG ideas - a validation of the “rapid prototyping” skills inherent in our Submariners when coached by the pros at IDEO! The team used cardboard, markers, foam, PVC piping, glue guns, and yellow stickies to explore different form factors that might better present the information they were used to managing. You can see scenes from the conference, and some of these ideas in this video that highlights the accomplishments of the first TANG. We knew that given an opportunity to have their voices heard and to bring their experience to bear on some focused “how might we?” type questions, our teams would produce…and they delivered big time.

Some of the ideas for new sonar and imaging displays were so good – and achievable – that we’re working to get these ideas incorporated into the next sonar and fire control software upgrade, slated for fleet introduction in 2014. Working prototypes have been built and are running with at-sea data… only 2 months later! And this is only a first step. We will continue to engage with industry “thought leaders” regarding how we might adapt their capabilities into our mission needs.

Thanks to Josh Smith and the JHU/APL team in organizing the TANG forum, Pete Scala and PEO IWS5A for supporting the forum with people and funding, the IDEO team of Dave Blakely, David Haygood, Peter MacDonald and Dan Soltzberg, the Submarine Learning Center Detachment in San Diego and the DEVRON 12 team under the leadership of Commodore Bill Merz.

I’m proud of the accomplishments of the first TANG workshop. Well done to the whole team – especially the Submariners who gave it their best effort and will guide our way ahead! Keep your eyes open for “TANG 2”… maybe the next great idea we use will be yours!

FT1 Don Moreno – USS Bremerton
LTJG John Dubiel – USS Bremerton
FT1 Rich Gunter – USS Charlotte
STS2 Charles Augustine – USS City of Corpus Christi
LTJG Jason Frederick – USS City of Corpus Christi
FT3 Jordan Larry – USS City of Corpus Christi
LT Dan Kohnen – USS Columbus
LTJG Dan Justice – USS Florida
FT1 John Keagle – USS Florida
STS1 Randy Kelly – USS Florida
STS2 Don Grubbe – USS Houston
LTJG Stephen Emerson – USS Houston
FT2 Thaddeus Siongco – USS Houston
LT David Camp – USS Key West
FT3 Glen Elam – USS Key West
STS1 Robert Sarvis – USS Key West
LT Tim Manke – USS New Hampshire
STS1 J.P. Whitney – USS Norfolk
FT1 Brent Caraway – USS San Francisco
LT Eric Dridge – USS San Francisco
STS1 Rich Hering – USS San Francisco
STS2 Chris Remiesiewicz – USS Virginia
FT1 Brandolf Schlieper – USS Virginia
LT Arlo Swallow – USS West Virginia
FT1 Ben Lang – USS West Virginia
STS1 Gabe Brazell – USS West Virginia
STS2 Jake Malone – SLC Det. San Diego

The IDEO Coaching Team:

Peter Macdonald
Dave Blakely
Dan Soltzberg
David Haygood

Semper Procinctum
VADM John M. Richardson
Commander, Submarine Force

SUBRON 17 Welcomes New Commander
By Lt. Ed Early, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs, Jan 14, 2012

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Submarine Squadron 17 held a change of command ceremony Jan. 12 at the Keyport Undersea Museum.

Capt. John Tolliver relieved Capt. Paul Skarpness.

"I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to serve with such an exceptional team of submarine warriors," said Skarpness, who had served as commander of Submarine Squadron 17 since April 2010. "Your daily contributions to our national security are remarkable, unmistakable, and essential. Thank you for making this one of the most rewarding tours of my career."

As the squadron's commander, Skarpness oversaw more than 30 strategic deterrent patrols and numerous refits. In addition, two ballistic missile submarines underwent engineered refueling overhauls - USS Nevada (SSBN 733) returned to service last summer and USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) is scheduled to rejoin Submarine Squadron 17 later in 2012.
"Success is a team effort, and this team has achieved many successes over the past two years under the leadership of Commodore Skarpness," said Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who served as the keynote speaker.

Skarpness' next assignment will be on Caldwell's staff at the Pacific Submarine Force in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Tolliver comes to Submarine Squadron 17 from that staff. He previously served as Blue Crew executive officer of USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) and Blue Crew commanding officer of USS Maine (SSBN 741), which is homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.

"It is great to be back in the best submarine homeport in the Navy," said Tolliver. "It is an honor to be entrusted with the six SSBNs, 12 commanding officers and people of Squadron 17."

Submarine Squadron 17 is responsible for manning, training and equipping six ballistic missile submarines and 12 crews homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

Complete Civil War submarine unveiled for first time

NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful combat submarine when it sank a Union ship in 1864, was unveiled in full and unobstructed for the first time on Thursday, capping a decade of careful preservation.

"No one alive has ever seen the Hunley complete. We're going to see it today," said engineer John King as a crane at a Charleston conservation laboratory slowly lifted a massive steel truss covering the top of the submarine.  Read the rest of the story here. Dave Niemy Sends

Service in Submarines

This pre-World War II (WWII) film profiles the Submarine Training School at New London Connecticut. Features footage of the R4 (R-4) and R11 (R-11) both R-1 class diesel submarines  A Must See!  Fred Green Sends


Submarine’s torpedo compartment was on fire

Revealing photos of the nuclear powered submarine “Yekaterinburg” from before and during last week’s fire clearly indicate that the flames come from inside the torpedo-compartment.  Read more with images here

Bangor galley earns 10th Five-Star award
By: Navy News Service

Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor’s Trident Inn Galley received its tenth consecutive Five-Star Excellence Award for food service during a ceremony held at the NBK-Bangor galley Jan. 6.  Read it all here

Navy Needs New Wharf For Trident Subs At Bangor, Jan 9, 2012

SEATTLE (AP) - The Navy plans to begin construction in July on a new $751 million wharf at the submarine base at Bangor.

The Navy says it's needed to handle upgraded nuclear ballistic missiles for the eight Pacific Trident submarines.

As the Pentagon prepares to issue the final environmental impact statement, The Seattle Times reports opponents question the spending at a time of Pentagon cutbacks and changing defense priorities.

Anti-nuclear activist
Tom Rogers of Poulsbo calls it a "Cold War relic."

The new Bangor wharf is supported by Congressman Norm Dicks and Kitsap County officials who expect the four-year project will create thousands of construction and support jobs


U.S. Strategy Boosts Navy Subs, Programs
Aviation Week, January 5

The new set of Pentagon priorities discussed Jan. 5 by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta includes provisions that will likely bolster U.S. naval forces — but possibly dampen service plans for some proposed fleet upgrades.

The new strategy includes a refocus on the Asia-Pacific region — with several allusions to China — which, many defense analysts say, will surely make certain Navy programs more desirable given the greater need to access the region by sea.

The strategy also focuses on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, anti-access capability and undersea investments, which bodes well for submarine programs.
But the Pentagon’s renewed focus on readiness could cause the Navy to shift funds from procurement to repair needs.

In releasing the strategy, Obama says that, in particular, the nation will continue to invest in the capabilities critical to future success, including “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; counterterrorism; countering weapons of mass destruction” and operating in areas “where adversaries deny us access.”

Panetta says of the future force, “It will have global presence, emphasizing the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.” He says, “of necessity” the Pentagon will have to “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific.”

Of particular concern, the Pentagon says, is China. “Over the long term, China’s emergence as a regional power will have the potential to affect the U.S. economy and our security in a variety of ways. The growth of China’s military power must be accompanied by greater clarity of its strategic intentions in order to avoid causing friction in the region,” the Defense Department says in its summary of the new strategy.

One of the primary missions of U.S. armed forces, the Pentagon says, is to “project power despite anti-access/area denial challenges.”

In these areas, “Sophisticated adversaries will use asymmetric capabilities to include ... ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced air defenses, mining and other methods,” the summary says. “States such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection.”

Accordingly, “The U.S. military will invest as required to ensure its ability to operate effectively in anti-access and area denial environments. This will include implementing the Joint Operational Access Concept, sustaining our undersea capabilities ... improving missile defense and continuing efforts to enhance the resiliency and effectiveness of critical space-based capabilities.”

While making such investments, the Pentagon says it must make sure it maintains its current assets, which has proved problematic for the U.S. Navy when it comes to taking care of its surface ships and equipment, especially its Aegis-equipped destroyers, cruisers and radar components.

Recent Navy reports underscore years of maintenance neglect and now, analysts say, the service faces a huge repair bill to fix and maintain those ships and systems — costs that could upend the Navy’s plans for a redesigned destroyer fleet and new radar system desired for missile defense.

“We will resist the temptation to sacrifice readiness in order to retain force structure,” the Pentagon says, “and will in fact rebuild readiness in areas that, by necessity, were de-emphasized over the past decade.”


Plan for new Navy wharf at Bangor fires up nuke debate
Seattle Times, January 8

WASHINGTON — The Cold War ended in 1991. But you might not know it to look at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.

The base's eight nuclear submarines typically sail on patrol three times a year for up to 100 days at a stretch, much as they did before the Soviet Union disintegrated.

Three of those submarines might be on alert at any given time, and the entire fleet carries enough nuclear warheads on its Trident missiles to obliterate every major city in Russia and China.

Now the Navy wants a $715 million second munitions wharf to accommodate upgrade work on the missiles. The Pentagon is scheduled to issue its final environmental-impact statement early this year, one of the last major hurdles before the four-year construction can begin in July.

The Navy says expanding wharf capacity to load and unload weapons at Bangor is critical to defense readiness. But critics are trying to block it, calling it a costly, unneeded project for a bygone era.

The United States and Russia last year began a new round of whittling down their nuclear arsenals. Last week, the Obama administration released a much-awaited strategic shift in defense priorities, calling for, among other things, both fewer nuclear weapons as well as less reliance on them for national security.

And diminished federal budgets have even top Pentagon officials mulling the possibility that the U.S. eventually may drop one leg of its sea-land-air nuclear stance.

For Tom Rogers, of Poulsbo, those are more than enough reasons to scrap plans for the second weapons-handling wharf.

Rogers, a retired Navy captain turned anti-nuclear activist, was one of five dozen people who showed up at a public hearing in April at North Kitsap High School. The meeting was to discuss environmental consequences of building the 152,000-square-foot wharf on Hood Canal. But most of the attendees who spoke instead questioned why one needed to be built at all.

"Why are we doing this? We're spending a whole lot of taxpayer money on a Cold War relic," Rogers said in an interview. "All we are doing is making defense contractors rich."
Rogers, 65, served three decades on attack submarines at Naval Base San Diego. He believes the massive American nuclear stockpile makes little difference to such unstable nuclear states as North Korea or possible would-be player Iran. And it encourages potential enemies such as Russia or China to keep up their own inventory.

"We're not deterring anyone with those weapons right now," Rogers said. "This is ridiculous spending."

Navy: wharf "critical"

The Navy, however, argues the existing 1970s-era munitions wharf is simply inadequate. Over many years, the military will be upgrading the Trident II D5 missiles to extend their service through 2042.

The Navy estimates it would need 400 days of wharf access a year to remove and reinstall electronics components and perform other work. That's twice the number of days the existing wharf is currently available due to maintenance work and pile replacements.

Six other Trident submarines are based in the Atlantic in Kings Bay, Ga. Of the total fleet of 14 submarines, 12 are operational at a time.

In March, Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, testified in Congress that a second munitions wharf in the Pacific is "critical to nuclear weapons surety and our national security."
Roughead said the Navy has budgeted $715 million for the wharf. The fiscal 2012 military construction spending bill includes $78 million as the first installment.

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said the Navy made "a very strong case" to justify the project.

Dicks said that compared with their predecessor Trident I C4 missiles, the newer missiles are more complex and handling them takes longer.

"I looked at this [wharf] very carefully. And I'm aware about the concerns about the necessity," he said. "I think this is a worthy project."

Dicks added the project will create sorely needed jobs. Kitsap County officials, who generally favor the project, also cited the new paychecks from the construction and related mitigation work.

According to the Navy's estimates, the wharf is expected to create 4,370 direct jobs and 1,970 indirect jobs. The Navy plans to use workers hired through local union halls.

Dicks contends the second wharf is warranted even though the number of submarines at Bangor likely will shrink in the future. The Navy is looking to replace the current fleet starting in 2029 with a new class of submarines. The Navy wants a dozen, at an estimated total cost of $100 billion. Some defense experts expect only 10 may get built, split between Pacific and Atlantic homeports.

Still, Dicks believes submarine-launched ballistic missiles have the "most secure" role in the nation's nuclear armament. He said it would make sense for the Pentagon to cut nuclear spending by reducing the number of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles first.

Future unclear for subs

Michael Krepon, a security expert who blogs at, questioned how the second wharf would fit into a downsized nuclear — and fiscal — world.
"In times of great budgetary stringency, this appropriations ought to raise eyebrows," said Krepon, who was an aide to both Dicks and to his predecessor in the 6th Congressional District, Rep. Floyd Hicks.

The Navy has talked about the need for a second and even a third wharf at Bangor for more than 30 years.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said the Trident missiles are the "crown jewels" of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Yet Kristensen said it's possible that in 15 years, Bangor may have only five or six submarines.

"The real driver is, 'How many subs are going to be operating at the base in the future?' " Kristensen said. "This has to be taken into consideration."

According to inspection numbers under the New START Treaty with Russia, the United States as of Sept. 1 had 1,790 nuclear warheads deployed. The Russian Federation had 1,566. The treaty limits deployed warheads to 1,550 by 2018.

Each Trident submarine typically carries 20 missiles, each with four or five warheads. The new-generation subs would have 16 missile launchers.

But the size and purpose of future American nuclear forces is very much under debate. Kristensen believes the results of the strategic review announced by President Obama, who has pledged to end "Cold War thinking," could fundamentally reshape the role of nuclear weapons in the nation's defense.

Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit has given new impetus to re-examine the nation's nuclear spending. The Pentagon is facing a possible budget cut of $1 trillion over the next decade, or roughly 15 percent.

In October, 65 House Democrats, including Rep. Jim McDermott, of Seattle, sent a letter to the now-defunct congressional "supercommittee" on deficit reduction calling for cuts to an "outdated radioactive relic."

"Cut Minuteman missiles. Do not cut Medicare and Medicaid," they wrote. "Cut nuclear-armed B-52 and B-2 bombers. Do not cut Social Security."

Rogers, the retired submarine officer, contends that fears of a dangerous world and ignorance keep many citizens from asking hard questions about the Trident submarines. But if they did, Rogers said, there would be no second wharf.

"The American people could certainly stop it," he said. "Because it's stupid."


Water Drones
Defense News, January 9, 2012

The announcement called for technology so new it might exist only in the minds of inventors. Prospective contractors and analysts routinely compare the endeavor to the search for the Holy Grail.

In this case, the grail is an unmanned submarine smart enough to sense and avoid obstructions, powerful enough to stay out on months-long missions without detection, and cool enough to keep computers from overheating.

Those are among the challenges facing the companies and universities vying to provide ideas to the U.S. Navy about how to power and autonomously navigate a Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV), a development project led by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Proposals were submitted to the office in late September, with winners informed Dec. 19, although they won't necessarily be publicly identified, ONR said. The Navy wants to gather up ideas and technologies from organizations that might not be equipped to build an entire vessel. A major company then could be hired to integrate the parts.

At the top of the list of challenges would be power and heat. Development of futuristic sensors and processing software will be moot if those issues cannot be managed. Complicating matters, the Navy has ruled out nuclear power because no human would be aboard to address an emergency.

"People might say, 'I've got the Holy Grail. I've got the engine and I've got the fuel,'" said Robert Nowak, an independent energy consultant who has run programs for ONR and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. But that's only true if the heat that engine puts out from that fuel doesn't play havoc with the other systems onboard.

Once those issues are solved, "sensing and avoiding a fishing net are going to be the Holy Grail," said Jeff Smith, projects manager of Bluefin Robotics, which is working on autonomous control for unmanned submarines. "The number of dolphins and seals that get caught in nets is not insignificant. Let's face it: As smart as we are with unmanned vehicles, we're never going to come close to a dolphin or a seal when it comes to their situational awareness."

Power Quest

ONR's July announcement seeks ideas for enough energy for the craft to remain at sea for 70 days or longer in open-ocean transit with operations as deep as 800 feet. The craft will need the autonomy to conduct missions in littoral waters, amid local merchant shipping, fishing boats and nets. As a steppingstone, ONR has set a goal of power and autonomy for a 30-day mission, including operations at depths down to 400 feet.

These quests, particularly power generation and storage, have become the signature problems in building a prototype of what is envisioned as a 48-inch-diameter vehicle with a fiberglass hull to defeat sonar.

The Navy's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Roadmap calls for building an LDUUV by 2014 and having it on missions by 2017. It envisions a fleet of LDUUVs by the end of the decade.

Job No. 1 will be proving the energy technologies required for such a vehicle.

"The higher-ups in the Navy are emphasizing this and saying, 'If you can't develop the energy we need, we can't do the mission,'" said Nowak, who is not affiliated with the program.
The ISR Roadmap directs funding "UUV power and Endurance first," then "sensors, C3, networks and autonomy."

Chief among those higher-ups was now-retired Adm. Gary Roughead, who was chief of naval operations until September. Roughead laid out a vision of LDUUVs as submarine-force multipliers providing persistent ISR, a capability the Navy can't get from smaller unmanned subs that measure their mission capability in hours.

"I cast the net widely in the continued pursuit of high-density underwater power," Roughead said at August's Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington. "That clearly is something that will be a game-changer for us."

As bait, he committed 50 percent of the Navy's research and development budget over the next five years to solving the energy problem for underwater vehicles, including LDUUV. The Navy is seeking $47 million for LDUUV work in the 2012 budget request.

The Navy is envisioning a different concept of operations for LDUUV compared with other robotic vehicles it has conceived of in the past, including the Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System and the Mission Reconfigurable UUV. The blueprint for those vehicles called for launching them from torpedo tubes and recovering them. The concept proved to be unworkable because, for example, the launch vehicles would have overcrowded torpedo rooms.

The Navy envisions the LDUUV leaving from a pier, doing its ISR work and returning, or perhaps being recovered by a surface ship away from the littorals. It sees a UUV that can loiter undetected long enough to map the sea bottom; track local submarine, merchant ship and fishing boat traffic; and detect mines, though a formal concept of operations has not yet been drafted.

With all of that in mind, the LDUUV will have an open software and hardware architecture to make it receptive to varying sensor suites to be replaced as missions change.
Smaller UUVs have done those missions for more than a decade, and the results have been subject to their range and payload capacity limitations. But the kind of endurance the Navy wants from the LDUUV requires the kind of energy that has remained elusive, and with cause, Nowak said.

Conventional power systems, which in the case of other unmanned vehicles means
batteries, need not apply.

"You will find that there aren't any batteries that are capable of meeting the requirements the Navy is looking for," Nowak said.

But fuel-only probably isn't the answer either. The Navy has a contract with AlumiFuel Power to experiment with smaller undersea vehicles driven by hydrogen cylinders. But while hydrogen's energy potential is widely known, its storage under compression in thick-skinned cells would present weight and volume issues in the LDUUV.

Other fuels are possible - much of industry and ONR were mum about their ideas while proposals were being evaluated - but Nowak posits that some combination of power is more likely.

The longevity issue can become complicated by problems accumulated along the way on a voyage.

"Endurance is more than just putting out power," said Antoine Martin, president of Unmanned Vehicle Systems-Consulting, who recently completed a comprehensive study of power for robotic vehicles. "It's being able to manage the power you have, being able to play with the materials in the hull of the UUV so that it doesn't develop drag by accumulating particles at sea."

Barnacles or algae growing on a slow-moving UUV could hamper its performance, as could saltwater corrosion, storm damage, ice and myriad other potential problems.
"All of this is a long step from where we are today," Martin said.


Sleep Well You Men of Indy's Crew © Bob Welsh 2011

Military to be pared, but not necessarily in Kitsap

By Ed Friedrich, Kitsap sun

—President Obama and top military brass published their guidelines Thursday to strategically cut billions of dollars from the defense budget over the next decade. It looks like the Northwest Navy could avoid most of the lopping......


"I think we're going to be fine," U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks said of Puget Sound Navy bases. "The emphasis is on the Pacific. With the problems in North Korea and China's growing military capability and our major trade commitments in that area, it's going to be a positive for our area."

Guy Stitt (base life member), longtime Puget Sound Naval Bases Association board member, thought the same thing when he read the document. It's good for the Navy overall and even better for the Pacific Navy....

Read more:


Submarines Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan win battle efficiency awards


Pearl Harbor, Hawaii —Three Bangor-based submarines received 2011 Battle Efficiency Awards, given to one boat per squadron for technical performance and combat readiness. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force announced the winners Jan. 1.

USS Connecticut won for Development Squadron 5 (comprising three Seawolf-class attack subs), USS Nebraska Blue and Gold crews for Squadron 17 (six ballistic missile subs), and USS Michigan Blue Crew for Squadron 19 (two ballistic missile subs and two guided missile subs

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Submarine Force 2011 Year In Review
COMSUBFOR Public Affairs, Dec. 31

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GC issues of the past 12 months, go to Previous Gertrude Checks

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