Picnic 2012 at Elks Picnic Area, August 4, 2012 at
provide Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Buns, Mayonnaise,
Mustard, Ketchup, Pickles, Knives, Forks,
Spoons, Cups, Plates, Paper Towels & etc.
All you have to do is bring yourself and provide
a salad, a desert or etc to share. BYOB or cans.
Davis, 88, is one of the last six, living
crew members who served aboard the USS
Halibut SS-232, the Gato-class submarine
which was damaged beyond repair during its
10th patrol off the coast of the
Philippines, Nov. 14, 1944.
became the 52nd U.S. submarine lost in World
War II though it was not sunk. The early
morning attacks were described as “one of
the most devastating” against a submarine
during the war by Clay Blair, Jr. World War
II historian and author of “Silent Victory,”
a chronicle of submarine combat during the
the rest of the Story
Deterrent Park Update
Since the October 2011 brick installation,
eight sponsors have donated 19 engraved bricks to Deterrent Park.
They will be installed, with other donated bricks, in May 2012.
These sponsors are Barton, Davison, Aiello(2),
Kolbeck(2), Briggs, Langeliers, Roth(10) and Sullivan.
Bremerton Base E-board and the
Pacific Northwest Submarine Heritage Association have approved
special engravings the on missile deck of the full scale replica
of USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN 624)'s sail and upper rudder
honoring the World war II Submarine Force Medal of Honor
recipients. It will be enclosed and centered in 5 rows,
the middle row will be M1. Those engravings, brick
applications/donations on order, plus any others received by
April 15, 2012 are planned for installation in May, 2012.
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 gifts
for other occasions. All the
information you may want to know about the Park and an
are online. (And the donation is IRS
Recently, Kenny Roth
donated 10 engraved bricks honoring those of his family that
served in the military. Some of you may have known his deceased
Dad, FTCM(SS) Roth. Kenny was kind enough to permit
me to print part of his correspondence that may give you
food for thought.
"As a personal note to you Red,
there is a VERY SPECIAL event occurring this coming June. In the
list of 10 there are 3 officers. Technically there really is 2
right now, my Grandfather LtCol Wenzel Roth and my Uncle LCDR
Mike Nigro, both of whom are limited duty officers. This June my
little sister DT2 Linda Roth's daughter, Justine Sands, will
become the first line officer in the Roth family. Her
commissioning will be at San Diego St. University and she will
be commissioned a 2ndLt. in the US Air Force. It is so sad that
my Mom and Dad, FTCM/SS David Roth and Sherryl D. Roth, who both
passed within a year of each other 2 years ago, could not be
there to witness such an earth shattering news. I know you would
like for me to write a paragraph on what "motivated" me to do
this. Are you kidding. I thank you and everyone associated with
this Memorial for allowing me the total honor of showing the
privilege of serving the greatest country in the history of
mankind. Thank you Red and if there is anything I can do to help
just say the word. Sincerely, Kenny Roth(ET2)"
NEWS-01: Base Parade
Floats - Got one?
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/17/2012
Quite a few of our bases have parade floats. At least 50, at
Below is a link to USSVI Photo albums, including pictures of
many base floats.
If your base has a float and it is not pictured here, please
email a photo to
email@example.com and it
will be added to the collection.
Please pass on the link to the USSVI Virtual Museum on Facebook
and all the base floats (that we know of) and other sub albums
as well to your base members.
NEWS-02: Boat Reunion Notification in American Submariner
Submitted by: Gil Shaddock on 3/18/2012
"Ahoy Shipmates", the cut off date for getting your submarine
reunion published in Volume 2012 Issue # 2 of the American
Submariner is 7 April, 2012. If you have NOT previously sent me
the information on your next boat reunion and would like to have
it published in the American Submariner, send an E-mail to me at
and give me as much of the following information that you have:
1. Hull number and/or name of your boat.
2. Name of your Association.
3. Contact person's name, title, street address, city, state,
zip code, phone number, fax number, and E-mail address.
4. Association website, if you have one.
5. "Start" and "End" dates of your reunion.
6. City and State where reunion will be held
Any reunions that I receive after the April 7th "cutoff" date
will appear in Volume 2012 Issue # 3 of the American submariner.
USSVI and Decklog Reunion Webmaster
NEWS-03: Submariners relish opportunity, special bond
Submitted by: Office on 3/18/2012
It takes a special person to do this job...
Short Video about modern submariners...
NEWS-04: USS Missouri ready for Navy's new mission
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/18/2012
Aboard the USS Missouri - For the last decade, submarines have
been gathering intelligence and patrolling the world's oceans to
make sure the Navy's fleet could get where it needed to go,
while the Army and Marines fought ground wars in Iraq and
But military strategists believe the next battleground will be
the sea. In the last year, the submarine force has ordered its
sub commanders to aggressively ready their boats.
"We're returning to our roots," Lt. Cmdr. David Rogers, the
executive officer on the Missouri, said. "We're going to sea and
we're practicing for war."
Go to the link for the story...
Click on the link for the story
NEWS-05: William R Charette, HMCM(SS) and Medal of Honor
recipient on eternal patrol
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/19/2012
William R. Charette, a member of Sea Poacher Base, departed on
Eternal Patrol today, March 19, 2012.
William Charette was the 9th Submariner to receive the Medal of
Honor, but he earned his Medal of Honor before he became a
The other 8 recipients are: Henry Breault, John Cromwell, Sam
Dealey, Eugene Fluckey, Howard Gilmore, Richard O’Kane, Lawson
Ramage, and George Street.
On March 27, 1953, during a Chinese attack on Marine outpost
Vegas, Charette faced a growing number of casualties exposed to
hostile small-arms and mortar fire. When a grenade landed near
him, he threw himself over his patient, absorbing the blast with
his own body.
In another instance, he removed his battle vest and placed it on
a patient. In addition, he tore parts of his uniform to dress
battle wounds and later stood up in a trench, exposing himself
to incoming rounds, to aid a wounded comrade. He sustained many
painful wounds during the battle.
After the end of the war, Charette was still serving in Korea
when he learned that he would receive the Medal of Honor. All
five enlisted sailors to receive the medal for actions during
the Korean War were hospital corpsmen serving with the Marines.
Charette, the only one living of the five, received his Medal of
Honor in Washington, D.C., from President Dwight D. Eisenhower
on January 12, 1954.
In 1958, aboard USS Canberra, he had the honor of selecting the
World War II remains that would be placed in the Tomb of the
Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
He eventually moved into the Submarine Force, becoming one of
the first hospital corpsmen to serve on nuclear submarines. He
qualified aboard USS Quillback in 1957, then served aboard USS
Triton, USS Daniel Webster and USS Grayling.
After 26 years of service, he retired as a Master Chief Hospital
Corpsman, HMCM(SS) in 1977.
(Thanks to Bill Andrea for reporting)
NEWS-01: USSVI Online
Submitted by: Office on 3/10/2012
Base POC Manager, Please share this message with your base
Did you know that USSVI has an extensive museum of submarine
related photos online?
This page is created as a internet museum for United States
Submarine Veterans. Est 1964, USSVI is the largest association
of U.S. submarine veterans in the world.
There are two ways to see this collection.
If you are a FACEBOOK member, search out USSVI Virtual Museum
and "LIKE" the page, then read the historical info and look at
the extensive photo collection.
To keep track of museum updates as they happen, click the LIKE
button at the top of the page.
If you are not a FACEBOOK subscriber (and don't want to be) just
follow the link below which will take you to the photo portion
of the online museum.
Each picture represents a separate album, so click on the
picture to see the rest in the album
NEWS-02: Yakima Base (WA) Commissions new Parade Float
Submitted by: Office on 3/12/2012
USS Yakima (SSN509), the Yakima Base's float was on display at
their meeting March 10th, 2012. Base members built her from
Congratulation Commander Bobby Rains and Yakima Base. Base
Member Bill Millard has been commissioned Captain and COB,
recognizing his diligent efforts, time and talents during her
What an excellent addition to the USSVI fleet!
NEWS-03: Cheyenne Sub Vets Base Chartered
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/12/2012
Congratulations to Danny McHugh, Base Commander of the new
Cheyenne Sub Vets Base and to his crew, located in Cheyenne, WY,
with a shout out to Ron Martini, Base Cdr of Wyoming Base in
Sheridan WY for his assistance in getting it up and running.
This was Dist Cdr Ron Star's first new base, and Western Region
Director Jim Dunn must be mighty pleased.
BZ to all!
NEWS-04: Doug Smay Base Chartered in San Diego CA
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 3/12/2012
Congratulations to Rocky Rockers, Base Commander and his crew of
the newly chartered Doug Smay Base, meeting at the Sub
Base at Ballast Point, San Diego, CA.
This new base has a number of WWII Sub Vets in it, and the
active force members at Ballast Point treat them very nice.
Also appreciation for helping with the startup goes to T Michael
Bircumshaw, Natl Cdr, Len Heiselt, District Commander, and Bob
Bissonette, BC of San Diego Base.
Western Region Director Jim Dunn sends a BZ out to District Cdr
Len Heiselt for a job well done.
Submarine Officers’ Birthday Ball
in the Pacific Northwest
1 March 2012
Dear Mr. Borgmann,
I would like to extend an invitation for you and the United
States Submarine Veterans Inc. to join the 2012 Submarine
Officers’ Birthday Ball in the Pacific Northwest.
The ball will be held on 21 April at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor,
Bangor Plaza. Social hour begins at 1700 with the event
officially starting at 1800.
My point of contact is LT Chen Chang. He can be reached at (360)
396-6761 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I graciously await your
E. J. NEMETH
Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor
United States Submarine Veterans Inc.
Frederick W. Borgmann
PO Box 3870
Silverdale, WA 98383-3870
Each year during the first weekend in May, SUBVETS
Groton Base Celebrates the Anniversary of the
incorporation and birth of USSVI. The three day
event is about camaraderie, good times with
Shipmates, and returning to your roots in the
Submarine Capitol of the World, Groton CT.
The 48th Anniversary Celebration is scheduled for 3-
5 May 2012. The weekend’s events are open to all
SUBVETS and their guests. SUBVETS come from all over
the country, and you never know who you are going to
Here is the schedule of the weekend’s events:
Scholarship Golf Tournament is scheduled rain or
shine for Thursday 3 May. (See Attached Flyer)
SUBVETS Anniversary Luncheon is scheduled for
Thursday 3 May
Return to Submarine School Is scheduled for Friday
04 May 08:30 am, and includes a Basic Submarine
School Graduation Ceremony, Submarine School tours,
and lunch at SUBSCHOOL.
Welcome Aboard Reception The Welcome Aboard
Reception will be Friday 04 May starting at 6:00 pm.
Submarine Tour is scheduled for Saturday morning 05
May 09:00 am and is strictly dependent on SUBASE
security conditions and Submarine availability; it
can be cancelled without notice.
Tolling of the Boats Ceremony Saturday afternoon 05
May 1:00 pm. SUBVETS WWII National Submarine
Memorial East, Groton CT. There is no cost and this
is open to the general public..
Anniversary Banquet Dinner Dance will be held at the
Port and Starboard Banquet Room in New London and
will begin with a social period and cash bar at 5:30
pm on 05 May.
All information about the SUBVETS 48th Anniversary
Celebration is located at
or by contacting Groton Base Commander John
“Gumba” Carcioppolo at
email@example.com or (860) 514 – 7064.
Your new edition (2012-1) electronic American
Submariner is posted on line at
Select "USSVI Magazine" and read or download after
you log in. I wish you all a great read.
Gearing Up for 2012 Fireworks
Base Fireworks Sale Manager
Mike Sullivan suggests that we join the
TNT club to help
the base make the most out of our hard work,
selling fireworks. No matter whether you work
the sale or buy fireworks, or not participate, you
can still help. Join the
TNT Club on-line. Besides their literature
you will be sent a $10 discount certificate by snail
mail and also one by e-mail for purchases totaling
over $50. If you do not use them, turn both of
them over to Mike and he will ensure that those
credits are made to people that are buying at the
fireworks stand, and it will not effect our bottom
line, but will be used to encourage buyers to purchase over the $50
mark. Go to
http://www.tntfireworks.com/tntclub.php and sign
up. The fireworks sale is our primary money
maker that supports base functions and our
charitable donations, like scholarships. Help
The 2012 Lt William “Willie” Spoon
Memorial Scholarship Program
progress. Eight $1000.00 scholarships will be awarded to
high school seniors & college students who are children
or grandchildren of local submarine parents,
grandparents or members of the Bremerton Base. The
awards will be made at the June 19th General Membership
Meeting. Applications are available at the National
Office in Silverdale (open 6-to noon weekdays) or by
contacting Scholarship Chair John Gardner via
firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be submitted
by 5 May 2012.
Also the annual Lt William “Willie” Spoon Memorial
Scholarship raffle is underway and members should
receive their tickets soon. SELL EM! The Grand prize is
$300 and will by drawn on June 19th. Other prizes will
also be drawn during the following week.
BREMERTON BASE BOOSTERS for 2012
The following Members are recognized
for their generous donations to the Base
Updated: Mar 20,,
Every Friday a Different Establishment.
Go to Calendar for schedule
Fun, click for Images
* Ltr of 2012
appreciation/request for 2012 gift certificate
Founder & Editor
Other News of Interest to Submariners
What benefit? | Rant
By Clayton McCrary, Army infantry
veteran of the Persian Gulf War
I think about my experiences seeking benefits through
the regional Veterans Affairs medical center where it
seems to me that they care to not care for anyone.
“Thanks for coming in,” they say. “Now what is your
problem?” they ask. Whatever ails the veteran had better
be pharmacologically treatable or they’ll sure to hear,
“Sorry, we can’t help you.”
Slow to care or too slow to care, if they care at all,
Veterans Affairs workers seem to always ask, “why we
come in?” I tell them that I was told this is “the
place.” Then, do they care?
The system. Do I get it? Do you get it? Do we veterans
get it at all?
It’s my benefit, but I care to come here why? Why do I
seek care in an uncaring place? How do the government
drones work? “Do you still want to come here,” they ask?
Submarine Force Museum
WWII Subvet Tudor Davis sends this:
Submarine Force Museum in Groton CT
veterans group sets service USS
Tullibee in Ocean Springs
Published: Wednesday, March 21,
2012, 4:59 PM Updated:
Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 5:31
United States Submarine
Veterans Inc. will hold
a memorial service for
the USS Tullibee SS 284
at 3 p.m. Saturday. The
memorial is on the
grounds of the Ocean
Springs Civic Center on
U.S. 90 in Ocean
SPRING, Mississippi - The
United States Submarine
Veterans Inc. Tullibee Base
of Mississippi will conduct
its fourth annual
memorial service for the USS
Tullibee SS 284 at 3
p.m. Saturday, March 24.
will be held at the
Memorial in the Mississippi
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Park on U.S. 90 in Ocean
consist of tolling the bell
for each of the crew members
lost on the USS Tullibee SS
284 during World War II,
followed by tolling the bell
for each of the Tullibee
Base Members lost since the
base was charted.
1960, each Submarine
Veterans of WWII State
Commander was requested to
select one of the 52 boats
lost in WWII. Once this was
accomplished, it was then
the responsibility of the
state chapter to hold
memorial services on the
date that the boat was lost,
If none were chosen, a "Lost
Boat" would be assigned to
those states that failed to
choose one of their own.
As there was
no Chapter of Submarine
Veterans of WWII in
Mississippi at the time, the
USS Tullibee was assigned to
the state of Mississippi. A
circular run torpedo sank
the Tullibee during a night
surface attack on March 26,
1944. There was one
Kuykendall, GM2 (SS) who
spent the remainder of the
war in a Japanese POW camp.
25, 2001, the USSVI Tullibee
Base of Mississippi was
chartered. On March 28,
2009, the first memorial
service for the crew of the
Tullibee was conducted.
Cliff Kuykendall, the sole
survivor of the Tullibee
sinking, was in attendance
to honor his lost shipmates.
submarine veterans and
interested personnel are
invited to join Tullibee
Base for the remembrance of
these lost shipmates, said
member Herb Edmonds.
U-Boats for You?
WWII Subvet Bill Hipp sends along German U-Boat Links.
USS Jimmy Carter Welcomes New
From Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs, Mar
KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Brian Elkowitz relieved
Cmdr. Brian Davies as commanding officer of the Seawolf-class
attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) during a
ceremony March 2 at the Naval Undersea Museum.
During Davies' command tour, which began in June 2009,
Jimmy Carter completed two missions vital to national
security and captured the Battle Efficiency Award, or
Battle "E", for 2009. In addition, Jimmy Carter was
honored with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence
Award in 2010.
Davies' next assignment will be on the staff of the
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower,
Personnel, Training and Education in Arlington, Va.
Elkowitz reports to Jimmy Carter from the staff of the
Office of Legislative Affairs. He previously served as
executive officer aboard the Virginia-class attack
submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) and was also assigned to
the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733)
and the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Oklahoma
City (SSN 723).
Jimmy Carter is the third and last of the Seawolf-class
attack submarines and is currently homeported at Naval
Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.
San Diego's Submarine Fleet Kept Busy
By Tierney Plumb, The Daily Transcript, Mar 21, 2012
The six U.S. Navy submarines that call San Diego home
had a busy 2011: One helped fight the drug war while
another traveled to Australia to test out a
next-generation aerial system.
They also embarked on the kind of classified missions
that underwater movies are made of and the public will
never hear about.
Rear Adm. James Caldwell, commander of the U.S.
Pacific fleet's submarine forces, spoke at the San Diego
Military Advisory Council's monthly breakfast Wednesday
about deep sea adventures over the past year.
He also addressed the looming defense budget — the
elephant in the room at many military events these days
— and assured the local community that its fleet is
“In the near term, I know of no plans to change the
submarine force here in San Diego,” he told attendees, a
smorgasbord of companies and individuals tied to the
local defense industry.
Based in Hawaii, Caldwell is in charge of operating subs
that go to sea from the West Coast to the International
Date Line. From there, they go into the hands of the 7th
“We have a small number of surface ships in Hawaii, but
in San Diego we get to interact with 3rd Fleet folks and
[Naval Base] at 32nd Street," he said. "It’s important
for us to be part of that strike group interface and
training that goes on here.”
Half of the U.S. Navy’s fleet of 54 nuclear powered
attack subs (SSNs) were deployed in 2011, and most (15)
of those ships were in the Pacific.
Caldwell's job includes manning, training, equipping and
certifying submarines that go to sea, as well as
Around 50 percent of Naval submarines are at sea on any
given day, and 30 percent are deployed, with duties that
range from collecting intelligence, surveillance,
reconnaissance and working with allies.
Submarines participated in 27 international exercises
last year with India, Australia, Korea and Japan, and
visited 70 ports around the world.
Many of the six boats based at Squadron 11, or Point
Loma Submarine Base, didn't spend much time at home last
year and conducted 18 highly classified missions of
“national importance,” he said.
USS Asheville deployed to Southern Command, or the
region that includes Central America, South America and
the Caribbean, to work with counter drug forces. USS
Topeka also deployed to the same area for lighter
reasons: to celebrate 100 years of the Peruvian Navy's
Submarine Force, leading a parade of ships during the
USS Jefferson City just returned from a deployment to
the Central Command, where it participated in some “very
important missions of national importance,” he said,
with lots of port calls. USS Albuquerque completed a
Western Pacific deployment and traveled down under to
operate with Australian forces and test an unmanned
“A little vehicle they can shoot out of the submarine
that can fly around and provide an extended view of the
horizon and tell us what was going on beyond the line of
sight,” he said.
Two other ships, USS Hampton and USS San Francisco,
completed maintenance at their home port in San Diego.
“Hampton is undergoing one of our most demanding
modernizations in the submarine force,” he said.
Locally, Caldwell is responsible for manning, certifying
and readying forces on North Island’s Deep Submergence
Unit, which have the capability to rescue a downed
submarine anywhere in the world.
The Naval submarine fleet's core business is nuclear
deterrence, which is the sole mission of the Ballistic
Missile Submarine (SSBN) since its inception in 1960.
Those ships hang out in the Atlantic and Pacific,
carrying long-range missiles capable of hitting targets
thousands of miles away. The challenge these days, he
said, is that the decades-old force is aging.
That means those Ohio-class SSBNs will start going away
in about 2026.
“We are thinking ahead about how to recapitalize our
force," he said.
The replacement ship is being designed now and
construction will start in 2021, with a delivery slated
for seven years later.
In addition, the popular Los Angeles-class of
nuclear-powered fast attack submarines is also nearing
the end of its lifespan.
“As we think about the force getting older, and some of
our numbers will dip a little bit, we know that every
submarine has to bring more to the fight and has to be
more capable,” he said.
That means looking to invest in unmanned vehicles, both
underwater and on the surface; a diversity of weapons to
deploy in both lethal and nonlethal realms; and diving
into the cyber space to exploit the electromagnetic
“We are looking to be more involved and integrated with
folks who are experts in the cyber realm, to learn what
we don’t know,” he said.
HMCS Victoria Conducts Successful
Torpedo Trials Off Vancouver Island
Defpro.com, Mar 19, 2012
Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarine (HMCS) Victoria
conducted a series of successful weapon system trials,
including multiple firings of the exercise version of
the MK48 Heavyweight Torpedo at Canadian Forces Maritime
Experimental and Test Ranges in Nanoose Bay, B.C. last
“As the submarine fleet achieves steady-state it will be
ready to act decisively at sea in defence of Canada,
when and where needed,” said Captain (Navy) Luc Cassivi,
Director Canadian Submarine Force. "These trials
represent a major milestone for the Victoria-class
submarine program as Victoria is the first submarine in
the fleet to fire a MK48 Heavyweight exercise Torpedo."
These torpedo firings are part of the technical and
operational tests of Victoria’s weapons systems and
additional weapons system trials are scheduled for the
spring of 2012. In the exercise version of the torpedo,
the warhead module is replaced with electronics for
gathering test data.
Victoria also participated in training with a naval task
group while off the west coast of Vancouver Island,
focussing on coordinated anti-submarine warfare tactics.
Equipment and crew trials will continue throughout March
as part of Victoria's program to being declared fully
operational later this summer.
The submarine fleet will achieve steady state in 2013;
at which point Canada will have three of four submarines
continuously available for operations. As part of the
ongoing submarine operational cycle, the fourth
submarine will be with industry, undergoing necessary
deep maintenance. Submarines are an essential component
of a modern, first-class Navy with a balanced set of
capabilities that can act in defence of Canada and
Canadian interests above and below the sea.
RIMPAC's Naval War Games Will Feature
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 18
Rim of the Pacific war games scheduled to start in late
June off Hawaii will bring thousands of sailors, tests
of a submarine-launched unmanned aerial vehicle and
blue-laser underwater communications, and a "green"
emphasis with the largest government purchase of biofuel
Hoteliers are expecting an influx of business, with past
RIMPAC exercises adding more than $40 million in
contracts and spending on shore, the Navy said.
"RIMPAC will bring a much-needed boost to our economy
and Hawaii is fortunate to host these exercises," said
Jerry Gibson, area vice president of Hilton Hawaii. "We
definitely will see a huge influx of patrons to our
restaurants, lounges and retail shops during the
exercises and we look forward to welcoming them in
David Carey, president and CEO of Outrigger Enterprises
Group, said companies like his do several million
dollars worth of business as a result of RIMPAC, but
that business is unpredictable due to security concerns
and limited information disclosed as to when ships will
be at sea and in port.
NavalToday.com reported that this summer's RIMPAC, from
June 29 to Aug. 7, will have representation from
Australia, India, Indonesia, Canada, Colombia, South
Korea, Malaysia, Tonga, Japan and Russia. Russia says it
will send a destroyer (the Bystry), a rescue tug and a
A New Zealand press report said that nation also had
been invited to RIMPAC.
RIMPAC is held every two years in Hawaii waters.
In 2010 about 25 Navy ships and submarines were involved
in the world's largest multinational maritime exercise,
including the carrier Ronald Reagan. Fourteen nations
participated, with 20,000 personnel, 32 ships, five
submarines and more than 170 aircraft.
An official with the Navy's 3rd Fleet in San Diego,
which runs RIMPAC, said details of this summer's
exercise won't be released until April 23.
However, officials have talked about some aspects of the
upcoming war games, while contract awards have given an
indication of some of the testing.
The Pentagon announced in December the largest
government purchase of biofuel in history - 450,000
gallons for $12 million - to fuel RIMPAC ships and
aircraft in a large-scale test of the cleaner-burning
alternative to petroleum.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said during a news conference
that the biodiesel would be used during RIMPAC for
what's been dubbed the "Great Green Fleet" aircraft
carrier strike group.
"We're going to have the entire strike group, aircraft
and ships, sailing on a 50/50 blend of biofuel and
diesel for the ships, biofuel and (aviation) gas for the
aircraft," Mabus said.
The Navy said in December that it was awarding a
contract to test submarine "over the horizon"
surveillance capabilities during RIMPAC, using an
unmanned aerial vehicle launched underwater via the
sub's trash disposal unit.
A "submerged launch vehicle" is ejected underwater,
rises to the surface and releases a Switchblade remotely
piloted or autonomous UAV.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
meanwhile, wants to test at RIMPAC an underwater
bluelaser system allowing submerged submarines to
communicate with aircraft.
A 2010 announcement by DARPA said the Tactical Relay
Information Network, or TRITON, would be tested to
validate improvements in blue laser communications at
speed and depth.
Second-Hand Subs A Bad Deal For
Canada, Says British MP
The Chronicle Herald, Mar 15, 2012
A British MP says the U.K. knew there were problems with
the submarines it sold Canada in 1998.
Mike Hancock, the Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth
South, has told the CBC that Canada got a bad deal on
the four Victoria-class submarines.
The member of Britain's coalition government has tabled
questions in the Westminster Parliament about the deal.
Canada spent $750 million on the second-hand,
glitch-prone submarines, which have faced a series of
costly setbacks since their purchase.
Technical hurdles converting British systems, a fatal
fire aboard one vessel and accidents have meant the
country currently has no combat-ready submarines.
Hancock told the CBC he's appalled the U.K. went through
such a deal with an ally.
He added that Canada might want to consider asking for
its money back.
The Royal Canadian Navy is currently conducting a
submarine life-extension analysis to see what it would
take to keep the current boats operating.
The Civil War
really interesting view points by others at the end
of this bunch of pictures... Hank Hollis
What It's Like To Live On Nuclear
Submarine HMS Victorious
As Royal Navy subs prepare to let women join crew, our
reporter takes her maiden voyage
Mirror.co.uk, Mar 11, 2012
The sailor stands in front of me... looking his new
shipmate up and down.
Then, pointing at my handbag, he says: “Ma’am, I’m
afraid I need you to give me your perfume please. And
your deodorant. And your mobile phone. Thank you.”
Bag emptied, he glances at my shoulder-length locks and
adds: “And your hair really needs to be tied back.”
It sounds like a robbery at sea. In fact I’ve just
-become the first ¬woman to receive orders aboard a
Three months ago Defence Secretary Philip Hammond
¬announced the lifting of the ban on females serving on
And the first woman captain will take ¬command of a
Royal Navy frigate in just eight weeks.
The Sunday Mirror was given exclusive access to a
submarine to see what lies in store for the new wave of
I join the 160-strong male crew on HMS Victorious, one
of four Royal Navy subs that carry Britain’s nuclear
deterrent, Trident ballistic missiles.
She spends three months at a time sneaking around the
ocean at walking pace, her exact position known to only
a ¬handful of ¬people. If another ¬vessel comes near,
she is undetectable and slinks off into the abyss.
Within minutes of boarding, I am left in no doubt of the
life-or-death nature of the crew’s job.
After being led to the control room, senior members of
the sub’s crew point me towards a safe.
Inside it is another safe. And ¬inside that it is a
handwritten letter from David Cameron to the boat’s
captain, Commander John Livesey.
It can only be opened if the PM dies in a nuclear attack
and contains his orders for what to do next. No one
knows what they are...
Hardly surprising, then, that safety is an obsession.
And I soon learn why I was “stripped” of all my girlie
Sailors cannot use aerosols ¬because they release
chemicals that cannot be removed by its
air--conditioning unit. Lashings of perfume and aerosol
deodorants would contaminate the atmosphere, which is
My phone is locked away because if there was a gas leak,
a spark from a mobile could light it.
My hairstyle comes under ¬scrutiny when I learn how to
put on a huge rubber oxygen mask and plug it into the
sub’s ¬emergency air supply.
The sailors were concerned the hair might slow down
putting on a mask in an emergency, so I must tie it
There’s no make-up or nail varnish either. You’re there
to fight for your country, not fiddle with eyeliner.
HMS Victorious is a ¬claustrophobic warren of corridors,
messes and cabins, with steep ladders -linking the
decks. It’s a war machine, not a cruise liner, so
nothing is signposted.
Messes are far too small for ¬everyone to sit down at
the same time, so sailors grab their meals then move on.
It’s no surprise not everyone on board knows each other.
“You see someone towards the end of a patrol and think,
‘who on Earth are you?’” says Able Seaman John “Neep”
“You can start a ¬conversation with a friend at the
-beginning of a patrol, not see them for five or six
weeks, then pick it up again where you left off.”
The only ¬contact the crew have with the ¬outside world
is in the form of two 60-word “family gram” -messages a
week from home. They cannot reply as a transmission
could reveal the sub’s position.
“You have to treat a family gram like a postcard. It’s
more to help morale. It’s to know life’s still going
on,” says Petty ¬Officer Michael “Knocka” White, 41.
No one is told if a loved one dies until HMS Victorious
returns to port. She ¬cannot surface to let them leave
for fear of being detected. “It’s a 24/7 commitment,”
says Lieutenant David Boulton, 28. “You just have to get
on with it.”
In the sleeping messes, dozens of bunks are stacked
three high, with an aisle just wide enough to walk down.
Drawing the narrow bed’s curtain is the only privacy the
junior ranks get.
A 15-bed ¬female mess with two toilets and a shower will
be built in HMS ¬Victorious by 2015, when ¬women will
make up about 10 per cent of the crew.
As the only woman on board I get a spare -officer’s
¬cabin with two bunks, a sink and a desk the size of a
The ¬conditions are so cramped I have to do a
three-point turn to get from the sink to the ¬doorway.
During my three days on board with no sunlight I soon
slip into this top- secret world. There is no TV and
both alcohol and cigar¬ettes are banned, as is -touching
a member of the opposite sex.
Lying in my bunk at night I ¬constantly hear people
quietly ¬moving and working around me.
There is the distant laughter of the night watch, early
morning ¬intercom broadcasts as the boat surfaces and a
clatter from the ¬galley as chefs bake the day’s bread.
To keep up with demand for clean uniforms, two washing
machines churn non-stop, getting through 160kg of
Navy-issue washing ¬powder per patrol.
Crew often pack their own floral conditioning tabs “to
make ¬everything smell a bit ¬sweeter” – a bit
optimistic given the vessel’s stench of machinery.
To purify sea water for drinking it is heated into steam
by the ¬nuclear reactor which powers the sub, then
cooled, with the salt ¬removed.
A submarine the size of HMS Victorious can make up to
10,000 gallons of water a day. Dirty water is stored in
bilge tanks which are regularly emptied.
But on one of my days on board, the water purifying
process has to be halted. All I get to sort out my
armpits is a small basin of water... a shame given that
my smellies are still under lock and key.
But in the end it isn’t missing home comforts that gets
to me. It’s all those steps. To reach the hatches to get
outside you have to climb ¬terrifying-looking cold metal
And using them requires the use of shoulder and leg
muscles no exercise class has ever reached.
Luckily I’d been warned to bring big sturdy boots with
They come in handy to meet the men with one of the most
important jobs on the submarine... the watch keepers,
who stand on the bridge when the submarine is on the
To reach them I climb a long slog of three ladders. My
¬reward at the top is an icy blast of wind and a
360-degree view of the sea with white-topped waves and
small ¬Scottish islands in the distance.
“If it’s really bad and waves are crashing over the top
of the conning tower, we have to be harnessed in or we
could be swept away,” says watch navigator Lieutenant
¬Anthony “Ginge” ¬Drummond, 28.
Nearly everyone works defence watches of six hours on,
six hours off, seven days a week without breaks.
Sitting with the crew, I ¬immediately feel part of the
team. Before ¬boarding I’d read comments suggesting
¬women might not be ¬welcome.
“Hope they don’t ask them to reverse a ¬sub,” said one
“Not sure how they will cope ¬without a Tesco at the
¬bottom of sea,” ¬another wrote.
But the men on HMS Victorious are all relaxed about the
arrival of women.
What matters to people like Chief Petty Officer Robert
“Rab” Burns, 46, is that the job gets done... safely. “I
don’t have a problem with women starting, they’re
entitled to do the job,” he says.
“They’ll be just as good – and just as bad – as
Commander Livesey, 40, points out that women already
serve in US, Norwegian, Danish and ¬Spanish boats: “I
think it will only be an issue if we make it one.”
Any concerns that these guys might not quite be telling
the truth is dispelled as I leave the boat.
As I scramble up the ladder my leg gets caught and I
fall flat on my face at the feet of the commander.
But my Bridget Jones moment isn’t met with laughs or
mickey-taking. Instead he simply puts his head to one
side, smiles politely and ¬salutes me on my way...
“Safe onward journey, Ali.”
GC issues of the past 12 months, go to
Previous Gertrude Checks
Back To Top