Adobe - Install Adobe Flash Player

Contacts: Nat Officers / On-Line E-board Mtgs National OfficeWR Dir / WRD4 Cdr / Base Officers> / Elected / Appointed / Committee Chairs

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: 20120326


Sunday, March 25, 2012 06:12 AM






Meeting Minutes


Puget Soundings


Previous Gertrude Checks


Ships Store


Base History


Scholarship History


Bonefish History





Deterrent Park


Join Up


Recruiting Letter



Other Stuff


Valor ar Sea




Pig Boats




Northwest Navigator


Kitsap Navy News


The Sub Scuttlebutt




National Museum of the US Navy


Puget Sound Navy Museum


Navy Undersea Museum


Navy League


Navy Submarine League


Sub Force News


Custom Checks

Orion Printing


Submarine History


Undersea Warfare


Navy Times


WWII Patrol Rpts


 B Wixom's Bit's of Wisdom


TTF Graduation Sked


Submariner Burial Site

Ivy Green Cemetery


 Silent Service Motorcycle Club


Designed for Submariners


Click  Date on Calendar to See All Base Events

Clear Water Casino, 3-23-2012, CLICK

Use Em or Lose Em

Puget Soundings Advertisers

Events scheduled, Click Date



3-24-2012 Bremerton Subvets Picnic 2012 at Elks Picnic Area, August 4, 2012 at 1200
SUBVETS will 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. COB Hank Hollis Sends.

3-24-2012 Profile | Tudor Davis one of the last USS Halibut veterans

Tudor 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.

The Halibut 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 war.  Read the rest of the Story

3-24-2012 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 Park information you may want to know about the Park and an order form are online. (And the donation is IRS deductable.)


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)"


3-22-2012 SUBVET NEWS


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 last count.

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 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.

Gil Shaddock
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 Afghanistan.

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 Submariner.

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)

3-16-2012  Subvet News

NEWS-01: USSVI Online Submarine Museum
Submitted by: Office on 3/10/2012
Base POC Manager, Please share this message with your base membership.

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 scratch.

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 construction.

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.

3-12-2012 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 I graciously await your response

Sincerely yours,


Commanding Officer
Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor

United States Submarine Veterans Inc.
Frederick W. Borgmann

PO Box 3870
Silverdale, WA 98383-3870


updated 3-9-2012


3-9-2012 SUBVETS Anniversary Celebration

From John “Gumba” Carcioppolo

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 see there.

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 or (860) 514 – 7064.


3-8-2012 AS On-line  Shipmates, 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.

2-22-2012 Gearing Up for 2012 Fireworks Sale 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 and sign up.  The fireworks sale is our primary money maker that supports base functions and our charitable donations, like scholarships. Help Please!

2-2-2012  The 2012 Lt William “Willie” Spoon Memorial Scholarship Program is in 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 e-mail at 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.





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

Lynn Ryan

Anonymous-WWII Vet

Updated: Mar 20,, 2012. Thanks Shipmates


SOUP DOWN Lunch Every Friday a Different Establishment.


Go to Calendar for schedule

Join the Fun, click for Images

Ltr of 2012 appreciation/request for 2012 gift certificate


Gertrude Check
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?

Read More

Submarine Force Museum


WWII Subvet Tudor Davis sends this: Submarine Force Museum in Groton CT

Submarine veterans group sets service USS Tullibee in Ocean Springs

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 4:59 PM Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 5:31 PM

site of Tullibee memorial.jpgThe 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 Springs. (Submitted Photo)

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.

The service will be held at the Mississippi Submarine Memorial in the Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs.

It will 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.

In January 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 survivor, Clifford Kuykendall, GM2 (SS) who spent the remainder of the war in a Japanese POW camp.

On August 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.

All local 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. Good Stuff!, and


USS Jimmy Carter Welcomes New Commanding Officer
From Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs, Mar 22, 2012

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 In 2011
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 safe.

“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 Fleet.

“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 providing schedules.

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 centennial event.

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 aerial system.
“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 spectrum.

“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, 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 week.

“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 High-Tech Arms
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 in history.

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 June."

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. 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 tanker.

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

Some really interesting view points by others at the end of this bunch of pictures...  Hank Hollis Sends


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, 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 -nuclear ¬submarine.

Three months ago Defence Secretary Philip Hammond ¬announced the lifting of the ban on females serving on subs.

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 ¬female recruits.

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 ¬essentials.

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 constantly monitored.

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 back.

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” Edward, 33.

“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 ¬laptop.

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 ladders.

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 rubber soles.

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 surface.

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 blogger.

“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 us.”

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