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Gertrude Check:  Before political correctness, a universal navy term for requesting an underwater telephone check with another boat or skimmer.

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: 01-30-2012


Saturday, January 28, 2012 07:22 AM

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1-26-2012 Puget Soundings(Feb-Mar-Apr-2012)on line here


1-26-2012 Subvet News

Date: 1/26/2012
To: Distribution List
NEWS-01: Associate Member Procedure
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 1/26/2012
All membership applications for Associate Members of USSVI must be sent by US mail to the national Office in Bremerton, WA.
Online applications are no longer accepted nor utilized.

Due to the needs of the organization all Associate Member applications will be screened and require approval prior to being entered into the organization data base.
There are two specific reasons for this change in procedure.

1. Applications are being submitted that do not comply with the published requirements as stated in the Constitution and By-Laws.

2. It is imperative to retain the "War Veteran's Status of USSVI in order to remain eligible for the "Tax Deductible" status of all of our individual Bases.
Additionally, all Associate member applications must clearly indicate if the proposed Associate member is a US military Veteran and show their years of service, branch of service, and highest Rank/Rate/Pay grade.

All Associate Member applications must be submitted as follows:

Attn: John Gardner
USSVI National Office
PO Box 3870
Silverdale, WA 98383-3870


1-26-2012 Subvet News

NEWS-01: USS Clamagore makes her move...
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 1/24/2012
Ex-USS Clamagore, the last surviving Guppy III boat and a museum exhibit at Patriot Point Maritime Museum in Mt Pleasant SC, was moved from her long time berth inboard of the USS Yorktown to a spot where the Coast Guard Cutter Ingraham had been moored.

To accomplish the move, the park was closed until Jan 28th and the pier accessing the ships had to be partially removed to haul out Clamagore.

The boat needs some serious loving care, and will be closed for repair work now in progress. The 'Clam' will be going to drydock some time in the not too distant future for hull repair work as well.

To see pictures of the move, visit Patriot Point Facebook page at the link below...

NEWS-02: Technical Advancements for the Next Generation
Submitted by: Gil Shaddock on 1/24/2012
This is pretty innovative stuff enabled by VADM Richardson.

This is a forum for the submarine force's next generation operators and officers to collaborate and conceptualize ideas for future interfaces and information management.

COMSUBFOR YouTube Channel, Jan 17, 2011 Video link:

NEWS-03: Submarine Force Year in Review for 2011
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 1/24/2012
Uploaded by COMSUBFOR on Dec 30, 2011

updated 1-21-2012  Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV).  Canceled due to school closures preventing preparation.  Will be rescheduled. You are invited to observe a remote operated vehicle (ROV) demonstration at the Olympic High School pool on ????????,  from ???????????.   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.


1-21-2012 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), Briggs and Langeliers.


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.)


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)




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

Battle Stations

Deep Submergence Unit Citation
$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, Feb 3,  1130
Sunset Grill, 4926 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Gig Harbor

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



DOD considering base closures, cuts in subs, fighters
The CT Mirror, January 26

Washington -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's vision for a "smaller, leaner" military
could put the Naval Submarine Base New London on the chopping block and trim billions of dollars from Connecticut's defense industry.

Panetta on Thursday said the Pentagon will absorb $487 billion in defense cuts over the next 10 years by shrinking ground forces and cutting back and delaying major weapons systems, including submarines and a jet fighter with engines made in Connecticut.

Key members of Connecticut's congressional delegation said Panetta's call for a new round of base closures would be dead on arrival in Congress, but the Defense Secretary's proposals for a leaner Pentagon budget in the coming fiscal year were far broader than a politically uncertain pitch to shed military bases.

Panetta said the Army would shrink by 80,000 soldiers, from 570,000 today to 490,000 by 2017.and; the; Marine Corps would drop from today's 202,000 to 182,000.
In Connecticut, it was his forecast for a slowdown in the production of submarines and jet fighters that will raise alarms in an election year.

He said there
will be a two-year delay in a ballistic missile submarine that would be built by Electric Boat in Groton, but EB's spokesman, Robert Hamilton, said, "We don't want to comment on the budget at this stage."

Congress must approve the administration's defense budget and is likely to change it.

Panetta also said one of the two new Virginia-class submarines that
would also be built by Electric Boat would be delayed from 2014 to 2018.

But the biggest impact to Connecticut's defense industry would be the proposed cuts to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, whose engine is built by Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut.
Panetta also said the President Obama will ask Congress for another round of base closings.

"We cannot afford to sustain infrastructure that is excess to our needs in this budget environment," Panetta said.

Naval Submarine Base New London, which actually is across the Thames River in Groton, was recommended for closure by the last Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 2005. But lobbying by members of the Connecticut congressional delegation helped save the base.

Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.. and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, quickly released a joint statement in strong opposition to another BRAC. They serve on the Senate and House armed services committees.

"There is sweeping bipartisan opposition to another round of BRAC at this time. Given that the process requires congressional approval just to get off the ground, the proposal is dead on arrival," the joint statement said. '

The lawmakers may be right, said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute.

"It's really unlikely that Congress would vote on a base closing process in this election year," Thompson said.

But the Pentagon is required by law to cut its budget and there may be more pressure to vote for a BRAC next year, Thompson said.

Thompson also said the Pentagon's cuts to weapons systems, if enacted "would have a dramatic impact on Pratt &Whitney that could result in layoffs.
Pratt & Whitney did not immediately return calls for comment.

Blumenthal said he is "troubled" by the Pentagon's proposal to delay construction of the submarines but he hoped purchases from other countries of the F-35 fighter will prevent layoffs at Pratt & Whitney.

"I think this plane will be ordered by our allies," he said.

Blumenthal wass also that the F-35, plagued by delays, technical problems and cost overruns, has been recently given a clean bill of health by the Pentagon.

Former Connecticut Rep. Rob Simmons, who fought against the closure of the submarine base in Groton, is a sharp critic of the Pentagon's new budget proposal, "I am very concerned that this administration will do damage to our nationals security'" he said.

Panetta visited the submarine base and nearby Electric Boat shipyard in November, touring the USS Mississippi, a Virginia-class attack sub under construction. At the time, according to the Armed Forces Press Service, he talked about the importance of Groton and showed no appetite for base closures.

"It's the home of our submarine force, it's the original home of the Nautilus and it is, from my point of view, one of the very important elements of our national defense that you guys are doing," Panetta said told the workers. "The work that you're doing is absolutely essential to our ability to keep our country safe."

Panetta, who was a California congressman when Fort Ord, Calif., closed, also talked about his desire to avoid another round of base closings, though he complimented the Connecticut delegation for its defense of the base in 2005.

"The reality is that your delegation has put up a good fight," he said. "You're talking to somebody that went through the BRAC process."
Panetta told his audience in Groton he was aware that base closures hurt local economies.

"I went through the hell of having to figure out what do I do to try to protect the economy of my local community," Panetta said. "Fortunately, we were able to do it. We located a campus there and it's doing fine. But I wouldn't wish going through BRAC on anybody." (Then he woke up!/GC ed)


Panetta Said to Seek Cancellation of L-3’s U.S. Army C-27J Transport Plane
Bloomberg Businessweek, January 26

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
may seek a greater role for the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines by outfitting them with additional cruise missiles, according to a person familiar with plans to be announced today.

Panetta will lay out the Pentagon’s $525 billion budget plan for fiscal 2013 and also may ask Congress for authority to close domestic military bases, the person said.

The U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines, built by General Dynamics Corp. (GD) and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII), will be redesigned to carry out so-called prompt global strike missions, the person said.

Panetta also will propose reducing the Army from 562,000 personnel to 490,000 by fiscal 2017 and the Marines from 202,000 to 182,000 by that date, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity before Panetta presents his budget outline at the Pentagon.

Air Force aircraft will be reduced to match a reduction in personnel under a defense plan to be outlined today by U.S. Panetta, according to the person.

Panetta will propose canceling the C-27J transport plane made by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), and Alenia North America, a subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA (FNC), the person said. Panetta may also call for retiring some C-5 and C-130 transport planes, both made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)

The Pentagon budget will call for reducing the number of Air Force tactical air squadrons to 43 from 50, while plans for new bombers and refueling aircraft will go forward, according to the person.

The Defense Department will say it can find $60 billion in savings by reducing waste and overhead, increasing information- technology efficiency, streamlining staff and inventory management.

To contact the reporters on this story: Roxana Tiron in Washington at; Gopal Ratnam in Washington at

DoD plans smaller pay raises, benefits cuts
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jan 26, 2012 12:12:33 EST

Pay caps, reduced retirement benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs for retiree health care are in the military’s future under the Defense Department’s new strategy that will be announced this afternoon.

For 2013 and 2014, the Defense Department is budgeting for military raises that fully match the average increase in private-sector wages, according to congressional aides who have been briefed on the Pentagon’s plans. Read this> DoD plans smaller pay raises, benefits cuts - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Early retirement for some ERB separated sailors
Jan 23, 2012 06:10 pm | Navy News Service

As announced by NAVADMIN 025/12, released Jan. 20, the Navy will offer voluntary early retirement to certain Sailors separating due to the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB).
Read more here

Nations Face Off Beneath The Waves
CHANGING WORLD 2012--Japan and East Asia
By Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2012

The world has been thrust into a period of great change due to China's emergence and the geopolitical decline of Western powers. This series of articles deals with the formation of a new international order, and potential leadership changes in the United States, China and Russia this year. This first installment focuses on an underwater tug-of-war between U.S. and Chinese submarines in the Pacific Ocean.

An underwater tug-of-war is intensifying among countries such as China, Russia and the United States in the seas around Japan.

Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh, who comes from Vietnam's army, requested an inspection of a Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine when he visited Japan in October.

He visited the Makishio, a main submarine of the MSDF Submarine Flotilla 1, in the city of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture. Made in Japan, the state-of-the-art submarine boasts a displacement capacity of 2,750 tons and is 82 meters in length. It can travel underwater silently and has stealth capabilities.

The Vietnamese defense minister paid close attention to the Makishio's interior. It was rare for the MSDF to show the military leader of a non-allied country the craft's interior, which is full of secrets.

The commander of the Vietnamese Navy also visited Japan in December.

Vietnam's military leaders visited Japan and contacted the MSDF in succession because the country is now rapidly trying to build its own submarine fleet. The first of six Kilo-class Russian-made submarines Vietnam purchased in 2009 will be delivered in two years.

Because it can travel silently underwater, a submarine is a strategic weapon. It has the offensive capability to destroy enemy ships and disrupt their transportation routes. It also has spying capabilities and can collect intelligence right under an enemy's nose. The very existence of a submarine can restrict an enemy's moves.

Vietnam will employ submarines to deal with territorial disputes with China in the south China Sea. A Vietnamese source said the nation has begun receiving assistance from Russia and India to train its submarine crew members.

"We've already made a request to Japan to help us operate submarines and train crew members," he said.

When the Vietnamese defense minister visited Japan, Tokyo and Hanoi confirmed a multilateral cooperation security policy out of concern for China's ambitions to increase its influence in the south and East China seas. The two governments also signed a memorandum to promote mutual defense exchanges.

Submarines would also help counter Beijing's strategy of denying the U.S. Navy access to and intervention in seas close to China.

Beijing possesses more than 70 submarines, including state-of-the-art Jin-class nuclear submarines that can launch ballistic missiles. They have reportedly been deployed to China's Hainan Island, where the nation's largest submarine base is located.

Hong Kong media have reported that Beijing has an ambitious project to build 30 new submarines by 2020. This suggests China, the world's second-largest economic power, is seriously considering a "private" plan to divide the Pacific Ocean into two and control one of the halves. The United States would control the other half, with Hawaii at its border. A high-ranking officer of the Chinese Navy revealed the plan's existence to the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command in China as a "private proposal" in 2007.

This plan, however, is a grave challenge to the United States and runs counter to the very idea of freedom of navigation in international waters being part of its national credo.
"China's emergence as a regional power has the potential to affect the U.S. economy and our security in a variety of ways," according to a defense strategy report released by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on Jan. 5.

It declared the U.S. military will abandon its conventional strategy to prepare for large-scale wars in two regions at the same time, and "will of necessity rebalance [efforts] toward the Asia-Pacific region."

The U.S. submarine fleet, the strongest in the world, would head toward the west in the Pacific Ocean. Washington is planning to deploy 60 percent of its aircraft carriers and submarines in the Asia-Pacific region. Attack submarines would be deployed forward to hunt enemies and protect U.S. aircraft carriers from surprise attacks by Chinese submarines.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the U.S. Navy has deployed three attack nuclear-powered submarines in waters near Guam. The report also says three others of the same type and two cruise-missile submarines have been deployed in waters off the U.S. mainland's west coast. A U.S. nuclear submarine is also planned to visit the western part of Australia.

A 21st-century version of the "Great Game" has begun between the United States and China under the western Pacific. With Vietnam joining the link between the United States and its allies, a loose but broad coalition is forming against China. In the northern part of the Pacific, Russian nuclear submarines, meanwhile, are observing the United States and China's moves.

New Commanding Officer Of NUWC Keyport In August, Jan 21, 2012

KEYPORT — Capt. David K. Kohnke will assume command of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport in August.
Kohnke will relieve Capt. Stephen E. Iwanowicz, who served as the 35th commander of NUWC Keyport since September 2008. Iwanowicz is retiring after nearly 30 years in the Navy.
Kohnke is engineering and planning officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Inter-mediate Main-tenance Facility.

A native of Indiana, he enlisted in the Navy in 1980. After completing nuclear training, he served as an instructor in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and aboard USS Bremerton (SSN698). He was selected for an NROTC scholarship and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1986 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1990, and earned a master of science in electrical engineering from Arizona State University in 1997.

His career includes service as repair officer of the Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bangor, and combat systems officer aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN74).

USS Nautilus Crew Members Reflect on Launching Anniversary of the Navy's First Nuclear Powered Submarine

By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs, Jan 20, 2012


GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Former crew members of the Historic Ship USS Nautilus (SSN 571) offered their reflections of serving aboard the U.S. Navy's first nuclear-powered submarine in advance of the 58th anniversary of its launching Jan. 21.


Former submariner Al Charette served aboard Nautilus in 1957 as a first class sonarman. "Not only the first nuclear powered submarine in the Navy, it was the world's first nuclear-powered vessel. It was also the world's first ship to reach the North Pole," said Charette. "A lot of earlier exploration ships attempted it, but didn't achieve the North Pole. A lot of people visited the North Pole, some by plane, by dog sled, but our submarine will be remembered as the first ship in history to reach the North Pole."


Charette said he still possesses the 1978 National Geographic Magazine detailing the submarine's arrival at the North Pole. Nautilus is mentioned as one of the first to pioneer a route across the top of the world as it passed under the North Pole 1958.


Charette also praised the Submarine Force Museum for their maintenance and upkeep of their former submarine since its arrival at the museum.


Text Box: WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2012) In this file photo taken Jan. 21, 1954, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus (SSN 571) slips into the Thames River. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
"When I go down to that ship, any day, it is in such good condition, you wonder why it couldn't get underway this afternoon," said Charette. "I think the condition of the submarine is amazing after all of these years."


Nautilus was decommissioned from the U.S. Navy in 1980 and towed to Groton, Conn. in 1985 to become part of the Submarine Force Museum. The museum opened the submarine for tours to the public in April 1986.


"For most people who visit the Submarine Force Museum, this will be the only time they ever go onboard a Navy vessel," said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Sawyer, officer-in-charge, Historic Ship Nautilus. "The Nautilus crew works very hard to preserve the submarine and ensure it is available for generations to come. The crew also provides a chance for the public to talk to Sailors about their experiences in the Navy."


Nautilus is the only nuclear-powered submarine currently on public display.


William Engdall, a former Nautilus commissioning crew member served on board from 1953 to 1956.


"I served on board Nautilus with an exceptional crew of officers and enlisted men who were as concerned with their shipmates' careers as they were their own, and the camaraderie they displayed, directly influenced my decision to make the Navy a career," said Engdall. "The Nautilus was nothing like the two diesel boats that I had previously served aboard. The boat was unique, and a true fighting machine."


Engdall added that the Nautilus had all the creature comforts the crew needed.


"We had a washing machine, a crews' mess that was transformed into a movie theater, a coin-operated Coke machine, a juke box, private fiberglass bunks with individual ventilation and bunk lights," said Engdall.


Engdall also drew cartoons and documented life aboard Nautilus. So, when the Walt Disney Studios sent the submarine their concept of what the ship's patch should look like, it was also the version of the craft depicted in the movie, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."


"The crew thought that a different version would be more appropriate and asked me to provide a drawing representing the actual USS Nautilus. The drawing was sent to Walt Disney Studios and they embellished my drawing, and it is now recognized as the official ship's patch," said Engdall.



Engdall is extremely proud to have served on board USS Nautilus and enjoys taking friends through the boat.

"The Nautilus will always have a place in my heart," said Engdall.



Navy League Presents Awards to USS Bremerton
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, Jan 20, 2012

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League presented awards to four Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Bremerton (SSN 698), for outstanding achievement throughout 2011 at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 20.

Dr. Byron Faber of the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League presented awards to the following submariners: Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Charles Corcoran was awarded the 2011 Engineering "Go-to-Guy" award for engineering excellence. Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Bevon Drummond was awarded the 2011 Supply "Silent Specialist of the Year" for Supply Department excellence. Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SS) Christopher Beal was awarded the 2011 "Bowditch Award" for Navigation excellence and Sonar Technician (Submarines) 2nd Class (SS) Jerry Verant was awarded the 2011 "Tactical Adonis of the Year" for tactical and Weapons Department excellence.

"It is a great privilege to present these awards and recognize what a great job these Sailors are doing," said Faber. "This is our way of showing them that the citizens of Bremerton appreciate all that they do for our country."

The council sponsors USS Bremerton. The organization provides awards to four Sailors each year serving on USS Bremerton based on superior performance over the past year. This initiative was started in 2010 by Faber. He was also instrumental in the adoption of the submarine by the city of Bremerton. A ceremony commemorating this event was held in Bremerton in January 2011.

"Over the past year, Dr. Faber and the Navy League have provided outstanding support for USS Bremerton working to recognize superior performance and improve the quality of life of USS Bremerton Sailors and families," said Cmdr. Caleb Kerr, commanding officer, USS Bremerton. "This camaraderie between the city of Bremerton, the Navy League and the ship has paid big dividends in crew morale. It means a great deal to me that citizens of the fine city of Bremerton and the Navy League are supporting my Sailors and the ship particularly while we are deployed."

DARPA Awards 3rd Contract to Develop Low-Power, Non-Acoustic Anti-Submarine Warfare Technologies for UAS
UAS Vision, January 19

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts in the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Virginia, have awarded their third industry contract for a programme that seeks to develop technologies to help detect enemy submarines in shallow coastal waters and harbours without using traditional acoustic submarine-hunting technologies like sonar.

The DARPA Strategic Technology Office has awarded Cortana Corp. in Falls Church, Virginia, a $496,500 contract for the Shallow Water Agile Submarine Hunting (SWASH) programme, which seeks to develop small, lightweight, low power non-acoustic ASW surveillance and cued search capability for
unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

For the SWASH research programme DARPA also awarded a $249,735.48 to SRC Inc. in North Syracuse, New York, last October, and a $367,507 contract last September to Applied Physical Sciences Corp. in Groton, Connecticut. Cued search capability refers to a way of looking for submerged submarines using data from separate or remote sensors.
The companies will try to develop advanced ASW surveillance capability, which does not use traditional acoustics or sonar, for
UAS operating over shallow-water coastal areas and harbors.

DARPA scientists are asking experts from Cortana, SRC, and Applied Physical Sciences to concentrate small, lightweight, low power ASW sensing approaches for UAS.


Pacific Fleet change of command set for Friday
Stars and Stripes, January 19

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Patrick Walsh – who led the military response to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan – will retire on Friday after 34 years of service, the Navy has announced.

Walsh will be replaced by Adm. Cecil Haney, former deputy of the U.S. Strategic Command, during a change of command ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a Navy news release said.

Haney will become the 33rd fleet commander since the fleet was established in 1941.
At U.S. Strategic Command, Haney, who holds three Master’s degrees, was responsible for providing capabilities and options to the president and secretary of defense in regard to nuclear force operations, missile defense, cyberspace operations, and efforts to combat proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction, according to the release. He served on the USS John C. Calhoun and USS Asheville and commanded Submarine Squadron One and Submarine Group Two.

Walsh served as the 35th Vice Chief of Naval Operations prior to taking over as Pac Fleet commander, but he got his start as a pilot, flying with the “Golden Dragons” of Attack Squadron 192 and later, the Blue Angels. He commanded Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS John F. Kennedy, Carrier Group 7/USS John C. Stennis Strike Group, as well as the Combined Maritime Forces conducting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He has also served as a White House fellow.

The Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered in Hawaii, is responsible for more than half the world’s surface, from the West Coast of the U.S. to the Indian Ocean, the release said. Its commander is responsible for approximately 180 ships, 2,000 aircraft, and 125,000 sailors and Marines, as well as civilian personnel.

The change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for Friday at Pearl Harbor’s Kilo Pier with the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials as a backdrop.

“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


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

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