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Former USS McCain Commander Pleads Guilty in Plea Deal, Will Retire

The only submarines built by PSNS

USS Scorpion SSN 589 50 years

Russia's Borei-Class Test Fires 4 Su

bmarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles

The Leadership Lessons I Learned From Managing a Crisis on a Navy Submarine

The Super-Secret "Research" Sub That Helped Win the Cold War


In 1970, a Russian Atomic Submarine Sank. It Was Armed with Nuclear Weapons

Navy Embedding Mental Health Teams with Submarine Squadrons

Missing Nimitz sailor found dead in Olympic National Forest

Doolittle Raid

USS Fitzgerald Combat Team Unaware of Approaching Merchant Ship Until Seconds Before Fatal Collision

Ex-NASA Engineers Build Unique Underwater Transformer

US Sailor loses hand in submarine accident, has it reattached by Spanish surgeon

Former USS McCain Commander Pleads Guilty in Plea Deal, Will Retire

WASHINGTON -- The commander of the USS John S. McCain when it collided with a commercial tanker last year in the Straits of Singapore pleaded guilty Friday to dereliction of duty and acknowledged his role in the deaths of 10 sailors.

Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez appeared somber and tearful during a special court-martial at the Washington Navy Yard for the criminal charge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Sanchez pleaded guilty as part of an agreement reached earlier this year and has yet to be sentenced, but could face a letter of reprimand and forfeiture of a portion of his pay for three months.

Sanchez, who has spent more than 20 years in the service, said he will retire as part of the agreement.

"I failed to set" the appropriate crew needed for the crash, Sanchez said. "I should have directed more rigorous training."


A day earlier, Chief Petty Officer Jeffery D. Butler, who was charged with training and use of a navigational system on the McCain, pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty and also acknowledged his role in the deaths.


Friday's hearing, which was attended by several relatives of the sailors who died Aug. 21, is one of a series of courts-martial resulting from the McCain collision. For about two hours, relatives read searing and emotional victim impact statements.


"This is a tragedy that should have never happened," said Karen Doyon, mother of Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin Doyon, 26, of Connecticut.


In January, Navy officials said Sanchez had been charged with negligent homicide, dereliction of duty and hazarding a vessel.

A charge sheet released Wednesday said Sanchez was facing "a dereliction in the performance of duties through neglect resulting in death." The charge sheet went on to say that Sanchez knew of his duties as commanding officer and was derelict in the performance of those duties.


"He negligently failed to ensure the safe navigation of the said vessel," the charge sheet said, "as it was his duty to do as Commanding Officer to ensure a proper watch was set for transiting a high-density contact environment; take proper action and control of the vessel during system casualty; follow operational Standing Orders during a conceived system casualty, and that such dereliction of duty contributing to the death" of the 10 sailors.


The new details didn't mention the homicide charge or hazarding a vessel. The Navy didn't respond Thursday when asked why the charges details had changed.^


The only submarines built by PSNS

Contributed by USSVI Bremerton Base Life Member Gary "Dutch" Kaiser

USS H-4 (SS-147) was a H-class submarine originally built for the Imperial Russian Navy. Six of these were not delivered pending the outcome of the Russian Revolution of 1917 before being purchased by the United States Navy on 20 May 1918.

The H-class submarines had a length of 150 feet 4 inches (45.8 m) overall, a beam of 15 feet 10 inches (4.8 m) and a mean draft of 12 feet 5 inches (3.8 m). They displaced 358 long tons (364 t) on the surface and 467 long tons (474 t) submerged. The boats had a crew of 2 officers and 23 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).


For surface running, they were powered by two New London Ship & Engine Co. 475-brake-horsepower (354 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 170-horsepower (127 kW) Electro Dynamic Co. electric motor. They could reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface and 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) underwater. On the surface, the boats had a range of

2,300 nautical miles (4,300 km; 2,600 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) and 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.


The boats were armed with four 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes.

Six H class submarine 147 - 152 were built in the Puget Sound Navy Yard.

USS O-2 (SS-63) was one of 16 O-class submarines built for the United States Navy during World War I.

The O-class submarines were designed to meet a Navy requirement for coastal defense boats. The submarines had a length of 172 feet 3 inches (52.5 m) overall, a beam of 18 feet 1 inch (5.5 m) and a mean draft of 14 feet 5 inches (4.4 m). They displaced 521 long tons (529 t) on the surface and 629 long tons (639 t) submerged. The O-class submarines had a crew of 29 officers and enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet.


For surface running, the boats were powered by two 440-brake-horsepower (328 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 370-horsepower (276 kW) electric motor. They could reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface and 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) underwater. On the surface, the O class had a range of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph).


The boats were armed with four 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes. The O-class submarines were also armed with a single 3"/50 caliber deck gun. ^


USS Scorpion SSN 589 50 years

Posted, Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Russia's Borei-Class Test Fires 4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles


This marks the first time that a Borei-class boomer launched four Bulava ballistic missiles in rapid sucession.

By Franz-Stefan Gady | May 23, 2018 | The Diplomat


The Project 955 Borei-class (“North Wind”) aka Dolgoruky-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Yuri Dolgoruky test fired four Bulava (RSM-56) intercontinental-range ballistic missiles from a submerged position in the White Sea off the northwest coast of Russia on May 22, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced in a statement.


According to the MoD, all four submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) successfully struck their designated targets at the Kura Missile Test Range located in northern Kamchatka in the Russian Far East (see video).  The four missiles were launched in rapid succession within 20 seconds.


“The missiles were fired from a submerged position, successfully completing the mission,” the MOD said. “The test confirmed [the] combat readiness of the Project-955 Borei SSBN and the Bulava missile system. It was the first-ever salvo fire from this type of submarine. The SSBN crew demonstrated high professional skills in preparing for the test launch and in the process itself.”


Borei-class SSBNs can carry 12 to 16 Bulava (NATO reporting name SS-NX-30 or SS-N-32) SLBMs each armed with six to ten nuclear MIRV warheads yielding 100 to 150 kilotons apiece, as well as 10 to 40 decoys. “4 SLBM can deliver total of 24 MIRV warheads with 2,400 kilotons = 160 Hiroshimas,” Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists tweeted earlier today. The Bulava is a derivative of the Topol-M SS-27. The three-stage solid propellant (with a liquid head stage) Bulava purportedly has a range of over 8,300 kilometers (5,157 miles). The SLBM constitutes the new backbone of the sea-based component of Russia’s nuclear triad.


The Yuri Dolgoruky last fired a Bulava SLBM from a submerged position in the Barents Sea off the northern coast of Russia in June 2017. The missile reportedly hits its target at the Kura Missile Test Range. Prior to that, the Yuri Dolgoruky launched two Bulava SLBMs from a underwater position in the White Sea in September 2016. The test was only partially a success with one missile successfully striking its target, while the second missile self-destructed shortly after takeoff.


Overall, the Bulava SLBM has officially been test fired 27 times with 15 tests classified as successful, although it is unclear whether some test launches were successful or not.  The Russian Navy last test fired four SLBMs (likely R-29R/R-2S) in October 2017.


The Borei-class is the first new class of Russian SSBNs inducted into service with the Russian Navy since the end of the Soviet Union. The new sub class will gradually replace the single remaining Project 941 Typhoon-class boomer as well as Soviet-era Project 667BDR Kal’mar (Squid) Delta-III  and Project 667 BDRM Delta IV-class SSBNs.


The Russian Navy currently operates three Borei-class SSBNs. The Yuri Dolgoruky is in service with Russia’s Northern Fleet, while the remaining two – Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh — are deployed with the Russian Pacific Fleet. Russia has also been working on an improved Borei-class variant, designated Project 955A Borei II-class, the first of which is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2019.


The Russian MoD “has plans to build six additional Borei II-class (also designated Borei-A) SSBNs in addition to (…) five already ordered, which eventually will bring up the total number of Borei-class ballistic missile subs to 14,” I explained earlier this week.^


The Leadership Lessons I Learned From Managing a Crisis on a Navy Submarine
John DeVine,, May 18

Before joining the corporate world, I spent eight years as a U.S. Navy submarine officer. Looking back, those early years served as a "leadership laboratory" where I learned critical skills on how to build, manage and inspire strong teams. At times, the lessons I learned were hard ones. In such tight confines and many feet beneath the ocean's surface, the stakes are high and every decision can impact the safety of the crew. There was one particularly formative experience that stands out and helped shape me into the leader I am today.

When you're on a submarine, one of the most dangerous scenarios can be resurfacing, because there's limited visibility right above you. During one of my stints, I heard a noise while the submarine was surfacing and realized we were coming up beneath another ship. I knew I had to act fast to keep the crew out of danger. I needed to sound the alarm, but as a more junior officer, I was hesitant. Despite those feelings of uncertainty, I immediately went for it, sounded the alarm and was able to restore safety. In hindsight, this experience taught me leadership lessons I've carried with me ever since.

Here are three vital leadership lessons from the deep that will help you become a more effective leader and build stronger, more dynamic teams:

1. Trust your instincts.

Naval training prepared me for many scenarios aboard a submarine, but when put to the test in a moment of crisis, I had to deeply trust my instincts. As executives in the business landscape, we're often taught that numbers and facts are the most important when it comes to decision-making, but trusting your instinct is critical, too. When you learn to trust yourself first and stop second-guessing, it's one of the first steps that allows you to become an effective leader. It enables you to tackle a problem head-on, without hesitation. Decisiveness can also translate into confidence. And when you're confident that your decisions will lead you to positive results, your team will be more inclined to put their trust and confidence in you as well.

2. Use your voice, no matter your level.

Going back to my time on the submarine and realizing we were coming up beneath another ship, I immediately sounded the alarm for the crew to descend, knowing that my actions would remove us from danger. Although I held a junior role as a submarine officer, I knew I had to speak up and do something to keep the team out of harm's way.
Regardless of how junior you are on a team, there will be moments when you have more information than others or you receive it first. This is the time to step up, take the initiative and be a leader -- no matter your title. Although speaking up and taking a stand can be challenging, it's a critical skill for all growing leaders. Whether you have an idea to bring to the table, a comment, suggestion or even a criticism, using your voice -- your unique perspective -- is essential to being an effective leader and ultimately, moving toward success.

3. Take responsibility.

When I made the decision to sound an alarm, I knew immediately that regardless of the outcome, I would take responsibility. This can be one of the hardest lessons to learn. Luckily for me, the decision to sound the alarm was the right call to make, but that's not always the case when it comes to being a leader (or anyone for that matter). At times, you might make the wrong decision or even fail. It's important to take those missteps, own them and turn them into opportunities or learning lessons. This is also a great way to lead by example and show your team that while mistakes can happen, there's still growth and success that can come out of it. Part of leadership is making the best decision possible with the information at hand and taking responsibility for the results.

I learned invaluable lessons as a U.S. Navy submarine officer that undoubtedly transformed me into the person and leader I am today at Oath. While not every leader will have an experience like I had, the lessons I learned along the way can be applied to anyone looking to be a more effective leader and build and manage stronger teams. Never be afraid to speak up, always trust your instincts and own your decisions and choices in life.


The Super-Secret "Research" Sub That Helped Win the Cold War

Andrew Tarantola | 11/15/13 11:40am |

Quests for scientific knowledge and military superiority often go hand-in-hand. And nowhere is that more exemplified than in the nuclear-powered NR-1 research vessel. When it wasn't busy exploring the wonders of the deep ocean, its crew engaged the Soviet Union in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game of sub-sea espionage—much of which is veiled in secrecy even today.

Officially known as the Deep Submergence Vessel NR-1—but "Nerwin" to its crew—this diminutive submarine began as a pet project of Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy. It launched from General Dynamic's Groton facility in 1969, and while a majority of its functions were for legitimate scientific research—underwater search and recovery, oceanographic research, and installation of underwater equipment—the NR-1 was built with black ops in mind. To that end, the vessel was never officially named or commissioned, allowing Adm. Hymann to avoid congressional committee oversight and commission limits.


At just 140 feet long with a 12 foot beam and 15 foot draft, the 400 ton NR-1 is the smallest nuclear submarine ever put into service. Powered by a custom-built miniaturized nuclear power plant, the Nerwin could achieve a sustained top speed of about four knots and dive as far down as 3000 feet (or 1000 meters).

It housed a crew of about 11 sailors—quite uncomfortably—for up to a month. Granted, the nuclear engine theoretically gave the vessel unlimited dive time, the quarters were so tight that the crew still had to eat and sleep in shifts despite their modest numbers. The galley consisted of a sink and a small oven, the shower facilities were a bucket you got access to once a week, the meal plan was strictly TV dinners, and the oxygen came from burning chlorate candles. Of course, the crew could always pop to the surface and resupply from the sub's dedicated tender ship, which also acted as a tow boat to drag the sub out to remote locations.

The NR-1 was so small that it was continually buffeted by currents. "Everybody on NR-1 got sick," Allison J. Holifield, who commanded the sub in the mid-1970s, told Stars and Stripes. "It was only a matter of whether you were throwing up or not throwing up."

Being a research vessel, the NR-1 lacked weapons—but it made up for that with some of the most advanced electronics, sonar, and computers on the planet at the time. It also came with a boom-mounted manipulator, equally helpful when retrieving an F-14 and its prototype missile from the seabed, collecting bits of the Challenger after it exploded upon liftoff, or tapping into Trans-Atlantic communications channels to spy on the Soviets.



After nearly 40 years of secret service, the NR-1 was finally decommissioned and disassembled in 2008. However, the Navy has re-collected a few of the vessel's components and used them to establish a submarine museum in Groton, the NR-1's birthplace and base of operations. (Note. The NR-1control room equipment will be on display at the Keyport Museum in the near future.)

NR-1 - The US Navy's First Nuclear Powered,
Deep Submergence Submarine

NR-1 Roster from 1966 to 1977
(with the rate and rank held when reporting aboard)

Initial Crew: 1966 - 1970

Officer-in-Charge......................LCDR Dwaine O. Griffith
Executive Officer/Engineer..........LT J. Stephen Perry
Ops/Navigation Officer...............LT John H. (Jack) Maurer Jr.
Sperry Field Engineer................Roger M. Sherman
Sperry Field Engineer................Fred DeGrooth
Sperry Field Engineer................Brian F. Wruble
Nav/Comms/Deck.....................ET1 Robert T. Lunt
Reactor Controls......................ET1 Dean Paine
Reactor Operations...................ET2 Danny O. Gunter
Ship’s Electrician.......................EM2 James Turner
Interior Communications............IC2 John Claytor
Sonar/Food Service/Photo.........IC2 Lee H. Vyborny
Mechanical Division....................MM1 Larry L. Kammerzell
Reactor Laboratory...................MM2 David Seaton
Auxiliary Division.......................MM2 Donald E. Marks
Supply.....................................SKC Robert A. Steinsiffer

1971 - 1973
Officer-in-Charge......................LCDR Toby G. Warson
Executive Officer/Engineer..........LCDR Bernard D. Greeson
Ops/Nav/Pers Officer.................LT John F. “Dugan” Shipway
Sperry Field Engineer................Roger M. Sherman
Sperry Field Engineer................Fred DeGrooth
Electronics Material...................ET1 Merrill Holden
Reactor Controls......................ET1 Jeffrey A. Davis
Reactor Operations..................ET1 Michael Barrett
Reactor Operations..................ETR2 Bruce G. Arbogast
Sonar/Nav Division...................EM1 Jeffrey L. Consolatti
E Division................................EM1 John D. Harritt
IC/Food Services......................IC1 Thomas L. Hall
Electrician................................EM1 Chris H. Finehout
Electrician................................EM2 Harold F. Dicer
Mechanical Division...................MM1 William R. Willis
Reactor Laboratory..................MM1 William M. Glidden
Auxiliary Division......................MM1 George O. Smith
Mechanical...............................MM1 David F. Britt
Mechanical...............................MM2 Alan Demerath
Supply....................................SKC Henry Linster
Supply....................................SK1 Peter K. Clanton

1974 - 1976
Officer-in-Charge:.................LCDR Allison J. Holifield
Executive Officer/Engineer......LT Richard G. Furest
Ops/Navigation Officer...........LT Joseph Nolter
Sperry Field Engineer.............Roger M. Sherman
Sperry Field Engineer.............Fred DeGrooth

Crew Members Added
During Period
.......................................... EM2 James M. Condon
.............................. ............MM1 Gary W. Pehling
.................................. ........ETR2 Joseph A. Hansen
.............................. ............MM1 Harry N. Tenaro
............................... ...........EM2 Michael J. Mann
............................ ..............ET1 Gary L. Wade
............................. .............ET1 Gary L. Willis
........................... ...............MM1 David R. Bates


In 1970, a Russian Atomic Submarine Sank. It Was Armed with Nuclear Weapons


The Novembers (627):

The November (Type 627) class was the Soviet Union’s first effort at developing nuclear attack submarines. The 627s were rough contemporaries of the Skate and Skipjack class attack boats of the U.S. Navy (USN), although they were somewhat larger and generally less well-arranged. Displacing 4750 tons submerged, the thirteen 627s could make thirty knots and carry twenty torpedoes (launched from eight forward tubes). Visually, the 627s resembled a larger version of the Foxtrot class diesel-electric subs; the Soviets would not adopt a teardrop hull until the later Victor class. The Novembers were renowned in the submarine community for their noise; louder than any contemporary nuclear sub, and even preceding diesel-electric designs.

The Novembers were initially designed with a strategic purpose in mind. The Soviets worked on a long-range nuclear armed torpedo (dubbed T-15), which could strike NATO naval bases from ranges of up to 40km. The torpedo was so large that each submarine could only carry a single weapon. However, increasingly effective Western anti-submarine technology quickly scotched the first mission. The Novembers were too loud to plausibly find their way into close enough proximity to a NATO port to ever actually fire a nuclear torpedo in wartime conditions.

The Soviet Navy (which did not have much interest in the strategic mission at that point) reconfigured the 627 class for a more conventional anti-ship role. Despite their noisiness, the Novembers had the range to threaten NATO surface vessels, especially transport convoys. A small number of nuclear torpedoes (configured with smaller warheads compatible with conventional torpedoes) could wreak havoc on such a convoy, despite the likely loss of the sub to any surviving escorts. The 627s were never regarded as particularly effective sub hunters, in part because they were louder than any foreign contemporaries, and in part because of deficient sonar technology.


K-8, the third November boat, entered service in the Soviet Northern Fleet in late 1960. In one of her first cruises, she suffered a coolant incident that almost resulted in the loss of the ship; many of her crew members were exposed to high levels of radiation. Drastic action saved the boat, and she returned to port for repairs.

In early spring 1970, K-8 participated in the Okean 70 naval wargame, an exercise intended to display the reach of the Soviet Navy, as well as to work out problems associated with operations distant from Soviet bases. This exercise was enormous; the largest the Soviet Navy had ever undertaken, and really the biggest naval operation that the Russians had attempted since the ill-fated transfer of the Baltic Fleet to the Pacific in the Russo-Japanese War. Ships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea, and Pacific fleets participated, roughly two hundred in all. The Soviet Northern Fleet deployed sixty surface ships and forty submarines in support of the operation. As per normal procedure, K-8 was carrying four torpedoes armed with nuclear warheads.  Read All

Navy Embedding Mental Health Teams with Submarine Squadrons

The San Diego Union-Tribune 17 May 2018 By Carl Prine


Commanders are calling it the "year of change" for Navy medicine but Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen is excited about what the reforms promise, especially for submariners.

The commander of San Diego-based Navy Medicine West, a health network that's concentrated in the Pacific Rim but extends globally from Peru to Egypt and Vietnam, Pearigen sees 2018 as a transition from the way the armed forces traditionally treated patients to one based more on hiking readiness in deploying units and ships.

"This is really about the transition of management and administration of the military treatment facilities, all those hospitals across the Navy, Army and Air Force, from the services' medical departments to the Defense Health Agency ," Pearigen told members of the San Diego Military Advisory Council during a Wednesday address at Naval Base Point Loma.

Called "DHA" by the troops, it's a joint agency that's consolidating the business and clinical wings of the Army, Air Force and Navy medical services.

By Oct. 1, it's supposed to release new policy guidelines that increasingly shift key portions of retiree and family heathcare to DHA along with control of more than 400 hospitals and clinics now run by the military services.

The plan is to provide better but cheaper care and the agency already manages the Tricare medical program for retirees and families of the troops, not to mention Walter Reed National Military Medicine Center in Maryland and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.

That helps Navy to deliver more direct care to sailors and Marines, like what Pearigen is providing to the submariners.

Pearigen's command is pairing mental health treatment teams with submarine squadrons to make the medical professionals -- many of them civilians -- organic to the boats, becoming almost like the rest of the crew.

The psychologists, social workers and other mental and behavioral health specialists will learn the unique culture of the submarine fleet but unlike similar teams on aircraft carriers and surface warships they'll likely never deploy for long underwater tours.

"They might go out on some local patrols to get to know the environment and to get to know the sailors, but they're not deploying with them," Pearigen told the San Diego Union-Tribune after his address.

Pearigen foresees them riding on the boats for short visits and greeting sailors along the piers to sniff out problems as they arise instead instead of forcing submariners to leave their boats or the waterfront to attend clinics, which is how the military traditionally has treated them.

Their mantra is "close, quick and known" -- stationed inside or near a sub squadron, providing services within a week and with the care delivered by people the sailors already trust.

That concept isn't new to the Navy -- carriers have used a similar model for two decades -- but it is for the underwater fleet.

When the flattops adopted it, commanders saw emergency evacuations drop by 85 percent and administrative separations for misbehavior plummet by 93 percent.

A starter program in a Norfolk squadron in 2013 cut unplanned losses from 22 annually to only two by 2016, according to the Hawaii-based Submarine Force Pacific.

Worldwide the Navy counts 85 attack, ballistic or guided-missile submarines on station, at sea or under construction.

"We're embedding them now in Marine units and special operations settings as well now, too," said Pearigen.

This article is written by Carl Prine from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to ^


Missing Nimitz sailor found dead in Olympic National Forest

Julianne Stanford, jstanford@kitsapsun.comPublished 12:16 p.m. PT May 13, 2018 | Updated 2:51 p.m. PT May 13, 2018


A missing USS Nimitz sailor has been found dead in the Olympic National Forest following a week-long search in the forest's Buckhorn Wilderness.


Nuclear Electrician's Mate Second Class Jeremiah Adams, 24, was reported missing last Monday morning after he didn't show up for work.


Adams was last heard from Friday, May 4, before he left for a day hike on the Olympic Peninsula. He did not specify to friends which trail he planned to hike, but reportedly told them it would take him about an hour and a half drive to get to the trailhead.


Adams' vehicle, a silver 2013 Ford Fiesta, was found Monday parked at the Lower Greywolf trailhead, which is south of Blyn, near Sequim in Clallam County.


Nimitz sailor reported missing after not returning from day hike in Olympic National Forest


Authorities believe Adams followed a primitive trail that continued beyond the washed-out bridge near the end of Lower Greywolf trail. He likely fell over the edge of the trail, where his body was discovered 300 feet down in a ravine.  


Authorities believe Adams followed a primitive trail that continued beyond the washed-out bridge near the end of Lower Greywolf trail. He likely fell over the edge of the trail, where his body was discovered 300 feet down in a ravine.   


A group of hikers reported to authorities around 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon they had seen a glimpse of something that looked like clothing through the densely forested canopy of the ravine, Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said.


Crews from Clallam County Search and Rescue hiked to the bottom of the ravine and recovered the body late last evening. 


"It's heart-wrenching," King said. "At least we do have some closure, because that's not always the case, especially in the Olympic Wilderness."  


Authorities believe Adams died as a result of the fall. No signs of foul play were detected. 


His body is being held at a local funeral home pending an autopsy.^


Doolittle Raid

18 April 1942

Naval History and Heritage Command


Conceived in January 1942 in the wake of the devastating Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the “joint Army-Navy bombing project” was to bomb Japanese industrial centers, to inflict both “material and psychological” damage upon the enemy. Planners hoped that the former would include the destruction of specific targets “with ensuing confusion and retardation of production.” Those who planned the attacks on the Japanese homeland hoped to induce the enemy to recall “combat equipment from other theaters for home defense,” and incite a “fear complex in Japan.” Additionally, it was hoped that the prosecution of the raid would improve the United States’ relationships with its allies and receive a “favorable reaction [on the part] of the American people.”


Originally, the concept called for the use of U.S. Army Air Force bombers to be launched from, and recovered by, an aircraft carrier. Research disclosed the North American B-25 Mitchell to be “best suited to the purpose,” the Martin B-26 Marauder possessing unsuitable handling characteristics and the Douglas B-23 Dragon having too great a wingspan to be comfortably operated from a carrier deck. Tests off the aircraft carrier Hornet (CV-8) off Norfolk, and ashore at Norfolk soon proved that while a B-25 could take off with comparative ease, “landing back on again would be extremely difficult.”  


The attack planners decided upon a carrier transporting the B-25s to a point east of Tokyo, whereupon she would launch one pathfinder to proceed ahead and drop incendiaries to blaze a trail for the other bombers that would follow. The planes would then proceed to either the east coast of China or to Vladivostok in the Soviet Union.


However, Soviet reluctance to allow the use of Vladivostok as a terminus and the Stalin regime’s unwillingness to provoke Japan compelled the selection of Chinese landing sites. At a secret conference at San Francisco, Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, USAAF, who would lead the attack personally, met with Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., who would command the task force that would take Doolittle’s aircraft to the very gates of the empire. They agreed upon a launch point some 600 miles due east from Tokyo, but, if discovered, Task Force 16 (TF-16) would launch planes at that point and retire.


Twenty-four planes drawn from the 17th Bombardment Group, USAAF, were prepared for the mission, with additional fuel tanks installed and “certain unnecessary equipment” removed. Intensive training began in early March 1942 with crews who had volunteered for a mission that would be “extremely hazardous, would require a high degree of skill and would be of great value to our defense effort.” Crews practiced intensive cross-country flying, night flying, and navigation, as well as “low altitude approaches to bombing targets, rapid bombing and evasive action.”


Lieutenant Henry L. Miller, USN, oversaw the carrier take-off practice at Eglin Field, Florida, work that elicited praise from Doolittle for Miller’s “tact, skill and devotion to duty.” With everything not deemed essential stripped from the planes, Hornet loaded 16 B-25s (all that could be shipped) on board at Alameda (31 March–1 April 1942) and sailed to rendezvous with the carrier Enterprise (CV-6) to form part of Halsey’s TF-16.


The Japanese, monitoring U.S. Navy radio traffic, deduced that a carrier raid on the homeland was a possibility after 14 April 1942 and prepared accordingly. TF-16 approached to within 650 miles of Japan on 18 April 1942. Lacking radar, the Japanese “early warning” capability lay in parallel lines of picket boats—radio-equipped converted fishing trawlers—operating at prescribed intervals offshore. One of these little vessels, No.23 Nitto Maru, discovered the task force on the morning of 18 April and radioed a sighting report. Although Halsey had agreed to take TF-16 within 400 miles of Japan to ensure maximum success, as Doolittle had requested while en route, the admiral recognized the potential threat of Japanese land-based air assets (indeed 80 medium bombers had been massed in the Kanto area) to half of the U.S. Navy’s carrier force in the Pacific. The exigencies of war dictated that Halsey order Hornet to launch the 16 Mitchells earlier than planned. Read All ^


USS Fitzgerald Combat Team Unaware of Approaching Merchant Ship Until Seconds Before Fatal Collision
By: Sam LaGrone| May 10, 2018 8:52 PM | USNI News

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – The sailors who were manning the combat nerve center of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) did not know they were on a collision course with a ship almost three times their size until about one minute before impact, according to new information revealed in the preliminary hearing for two junior officers accused of negligent homicide for their role in the collision that resulted in the death of seven sailors.

Lt. Natalie Combs, the tactical action officer, and Lt. Irian Woodley, the surface warfare coordinator, were both on duty in the windowless combat information in the belly of the guided-missile destroyer on early on the morning of June 17 as the ship moved southwest from the coast of Japan less than a day out of port.

“[Based on the interviews] the general consensus was it was a quiet night in CIC with four to five tracks and nothing within 10,000 yards,” said Rear Adm. Brian Fort, the lead investigator into the admiralty investigation following the collision, said at Woodley and Combs Article 32 hearing on Wednesday.

Then, shortly after crossing into a busy shipping channel, the merchant ship ACX Crystal popped up on the CIC’s commercial ship automatic identification system dangerously close to Fitzgerald. The container ship was bearing down on the warship, bow pointed toward the middle of the warship. Woodley ordered the camera used to spot targets for the ship’s 5-inch gun toward the bearing of Crystal. Fire Controlman Second Class Ashton Cato, who manned the camera, saw the flared bow of the ship fill up his monitor just seconds before the fatal crash.

Prosecutors argued during the Wednesday hearing that the fact that Woodley and Combs did not know the ship was at risk from Crystal, did not see other nearby contacts and were not in contact with the bridge crew was evidence of criminal negligence and hazarding the ship.

During the course of the hearing, prosecutors called witnesses to outline that the role of sailors in the CIC was to assist the bridge watch in understanding the surface picture around the ship, to make the point that Woodley and Combs failed to live up to that standard.

In combat, the TAO fights the ship, coordinating attacks on air, subsurface and surface threats. But the role is different during a peaceful transit.

“The TAO has other areas of focus, but if they aren’t worried about the [air] or subsurface threat, they can truly focus on the surface picture,” retired Capt. Bud Weeks, an instructor at the service’s Surface Warfare Officer School, testified on Wednesday.

He said CIC and the team on the bridge needed to be in constant communication to develop a good understanding of what’s happening around the ship.

However, that communication was non-existent during the late night watch, Fitzgerald officer of the deck Lt. j.g. Sarah B. Coppock admitted on Tuesday when she pleaded guilty to a single count of dereliction of duty as part of a plea deal in a special court-martial.

While Coppock admitted she should have talked with CIC during the watch, she “had low confidence in certain [CIC] watch standers.”

“Coppock did comment that she had received poor information from [Woodley] before,” Fort said in testimony.

However, the ship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, admitted to the Coast Guard during its safety investigation that he didn’t completely trust Coppock and that the inclusion of Woodley in the CIC was to provide backup for a bridge watch team he said wasn’t the strongest.

Woodley and Coppock had very different pictures of what was happening around the ship, and it would have taken communication to reconcile the differences. While the bridge had almost 200 contacts on its SPS-73 radar, the CIC’s SPS-67 radar had an only a handful due to an overall “poor radar picture,” Operations Specialist Second Class Matthew H. Stawecki said at the hearing.

“There was a lot of clutter,” he said.

Part of the reason the picture was muddy was the radar had been set to a long-range so-called “long pulse” mode that made contacts close to the ship difficult to see. The setting couldn’t be directly adjusted from CIC, and Fort’s investigation found there was no effort to contact the ship’s electronics technicians to adjust the radar picture.

“They accepted the fact they had clutter, and they didn’t do anything about it,” Fort said.

“It was the world in which they were living in, and it was the world that was accepted.”

But according to Fitzgerald’s former combat system officer, the circumstances of broken equipment and lapses in crew training were commonplace for a warship that was part of Forward Deployed Naval Force in Japan.

Lt. Cmdr. Ritarsha Furqan, who reported to Fitzgerald in 2014 and left the ship a few months before the collision, said deploying with missing crew, insufficient spares or systems that didn’t work, under the direction of U.S. Pacific Command or Pacific Fleet was the norm — even if what was broken or who was missing violated a deployment redline, she said.

“[Redline issues] were a much bigger deal with U.S.-based ships. They weren’t showstoppers in 7th Fleet,” she said.

“We would find the body, find the part or just make do. … Sometimes I thought it was unsafe.”

The pressure to deploy at a moment’s notice made it difficult for the crew to be proficient in all the tasks they needed to accomplish, and training time was cancelled with no notice for operational tasking, she testified.

For example, following a longer-than-anticipated repair period, the ship had planned for two weeks of independent steaming to get the crew used to being back at sea. Instead, they were ordered to participate in an exercise and spent four months underway, moving from task to task at the expense of training time. Along the way, the ship suffered casualties they couldn’t fix, including the loss of both their unclassified and classified NIPR and SIPR networks.

“I know I’ve stood in my boss’s office and told [previous Fitzgerald commander] Cmdr. Shu, ‘we’re not ready to execute.’ I was told ‘they know,’” Furqan said

“We were told to go. We had to go.”

During the hearing, the defense and prosecutors largely agreed on the facts of the collision but were split on where to place the blame.  (FUBAR!/ed)

Prosecutors said Combs and Woodley shared the blame with executive officer Babbitt and then-ship’s commander Cmdr. Bryce Benson – who faces his own Article 32 hearing on similar charges later this month.

Defense attorneys said to look higher.

“The Fitz was a wreck. A wreck of a ship,” Combs’ defense attorney, David P. Sheldon, said during his closing arguments of the hearing.

“The blame? It lies with the Navy for putting its head in the sand, with putting a ship to sea that wasn’t ready. But the Navy wants only to hold these officers accountable.”

The hearing official will now craft a recommendation on how to proceed and provide it to Adm. James Caldwell, director of Naval Reactors. Caldwell is the Consolidated Disposition Authority who was appointed to oversee accountability actions related to the Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collisions. Caldwell, who was not present for the hearings this week, will decide how to proceed with the case later this summer based on the recommendation.


Ex-NASA Engineers Build Unique Underwater Transformer

May 8, 2018 12:42 pm by Zachary Riley |


A new underwater transformer has been developed that may be able to improve the efficiency of the oil industry and military.


Houston Mechatronics is a small company led by a team of former NASA robot engineers, and they just announced a major step forward towards building an underwater transformer known as “Aquanaut.” This 2315-pound unmanned underwater vehicle will be able to transform itself to operate in two different modes – a submarine-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle mode and an unfolded two-armed remotely operated vehicle mode for work.


Houston Mechatronics spokesperson Sean Haplin told, “When Aquanaut moves through the water, we want as little drag as possible to extend the maximum range of what the vehicle can do on battery power…By enclosing the limbs, we’re able to operate the vehicle over great distances, up to 200 kilometers.”


One of the biggest ways in which the underwater transformer is helpful is that it has long arms and a long range. The long arms are a large part of the Aquanauts length – actually measuring 9 feet and 6 inches in AUV mode and 11 feet 6 inches in ROV mode.


These arms are also designed with dexterity in mind – lending it the ability to accomplish any sort of task you throw at it. While the arms are only a small part of the overall design, they were the most difficult to get right – and this recent breakthrough leads us one step closer to a commercial underwater transformer that may be able to make the tasks in a number of industries significantly easier.


The goal of Houston Mechanics with the creation of the underwater transformer was “elegance,” as the team did their best to come up with a design that was both fully transformable and highly functional in ROV mode while using very few parts. “As you can imagine, things that move may break,” said Haplin.” “Now, if you see the Transformers in the Michael Bay movies they have a million little parts that are moving when they transform. That would not be how a normal robot would do it.”


It’s obviously important that the underwater transformer be able to transform seamlessly, but the second main consideration with the design of the robot was intelligence. The Aquanaut had to be able to function miles away from home base, with a connection speed that could be just a “fraction of dial-up.”


With such a little amount of data being transferred at incredibly low speeds, it has to be possible for the underwater transformer to be able to make most of the decision-making on its own. The Aquanaut is actually designed to inspect itself for any form of damage, as well as with the capability to make fine motor adjustments under its own guidance – making controlling the robot much easier than it would be without these features.


The Aquanaut is being funded mostly with the assistance of the Defense Department and the oil industry – two fields that would definitely benefit from an underwater transformer with intelligence and an elegant design. Haplin told LiveScience that the first fully-assembled underwater “tank test” will occur in the next few months, with marketing to individual clients starting in 2019.^


US Sailor loses hand in submarine accident, has it reattached by Spanish surgeon

Geoff Ziezulewicz , Navy Times, May 8

A U.S. submarine sailor lost his right hand in an at-sea industrial accident in March, but the appendage was saved after the sailor was rushed to a surgical team in Spain that was able to reattach the hand, the Navy’s 6th Fleet confirmed Tuesday.

Command officials declined to identify the submarine involved or offer further details regarding the harrowing accident, but Spain’s Maritime Rescue agency posted a video of the sailor’s evacuation on YouTube and stated that the sailor was evacuated from the guided-missile submarine Georgia.

The accident occurred March 27 as the submarine steamed in 6th Fleet’s waters.

The unidentified 21-year-old lost the hand while the boat was about 70 miles off Cartagena, Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a report by the Spanish newspaper ABC.

He was treated by medical personnel onboard the boat, airlifted to a Spanish coast guard vessel and on to Hospital de Manises in Valencia, Spain, according to 6th Fleet.

It took 10 hours to get the sailor to the hospital, making the operation more complex because of blood flow issues, according to a report on, a news and real estate site for expatriates in Spain.

During the five-hour operation, Dr. Pedro Cavadas, a renowned Spanish surgeon, first had to place a catheter between the wrist and hand to get blood flowing, ABC reported.

A skin graft from the sailor’s leg was then used to help reattach the hand, according to ABC, which reported that Cavadas expects the sailor to make a full recovery.

The sailor was transferred to a military hospital in the states on April 10, according to ABC.

Adm. James G. Foggo, the head of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, presented Cavadas and his surgical team with awards on May 4.

Foggo said in a Navy release that the surgical team’s efforts were a “testament to enduring partnership between the U.S. and Spain.”

Cavadas praised his team in the Navy release.

“It seems that normal, well-trained and motivated people doing routine things, when they come together, can do remarkable things,” he said.^


Strikes On Syria Are A Game Changer


Navy Boosts Number of Women on Submarines
William Cole, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 8

Eight years after the Navy announced a policy change allowing women to serve on submarines, there are 93 women aboard Pacific Fleet vessels, including nine officers on two Virginia-class submarines at Pearl Harbor, the undersea service said.

"The submarine force's women integration efforts in the Pacific to date have gone smoothly," said Cmdr. Corey Barker, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force. "Looking forward, the intent is to maintain a deliberate process while expanding officer and enlisted integration into the submarine force."

The longer-term Navy goal is to have women make up 20 percent of submarine crews.

Six females are part of the crew of more than 130 on the USS Texas at Pearl Harbor, including the head of the engineering department. Three junior officers are in the engineering department, and a junior officer is in the weapons department.

The USS Mississippi has three women aboard, including a department head who is the navigation operations officer. In late 2015 two women became the first to be assigned to submarine duty in Hawaii on that same vessel.

On the bigger guided missile sub USS Michigan out of Washington state, which has two crews that rotate duties, four female officers and 29 enlisted women are now on the "blue" crew, and six female officers and 29 enlisted are on the "gold" crew, the Navy said.

The Navy in March celebrated Women's History Month, noting that women were part of the sea service as nurses dating back to the 1800s. It would take many more years to get aboard combat ships and submarines.

Women arrived on auxiliary ships beginning in 1978 and on combatant ships in 1994. In 2016 the Defense Department said it was opening all occupations to women.

Women just want to be "submariners," not "female submariners," The Associated Press said in a March story.
"That'll be a great day when it's not so new that everyone wants to talk about it," Suraya Mattocks, who was on the guided missile sub USS Michigan out of Washington state, said in what the AP called a "rare interview."

"Females on my crew, they really and truly just want to be seen as submariners. That's it," said the 34-year-old petty officer first class, who was planning to retire from the Navy.

Colorado Springs, Colo., native Lt. Cmdr. Amber Cowan returned to Pearl Harbor in February on the USS Texas after the sub completed a six-month Western Pacific deployment, making port calls in Guam and Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan. In 2012 Cowan received her submarine "dolphins" as part of a different vessel.

Cowan was required to qualify as officer of the deck and engineering officer of the watch, perform damage control functions and demonstrate leadership qualities, the Navy said in late 2012.

Pearl Harbor has six newer Virginia-class subs and about a dozen older Los Angeles-class vessels -- the greatest concentration of submarines in the Pacific. The current integration plan calls for three to five female officers per Virginia-class crew, and eventually 22 female enlisted per crew, the submarine force's Barker said.

Navy plans seek enlisted women on a future Virginia-class submarine in Hawaii in 2024. Space is tight on any submarine, and especially so on the smaller 360-foot Los Angeles subs. The Navy does not have women on that sub type, which is being retired in favor of the newer Virginias.

Hawaii is the only home port in the Pacific for Virginia-class subs, which are 377 feet long and have berthing that is modular with three officers per stateroom, making it easier to accommodate women. A timeshare sign is used for bathrooms.

In the Pacific, women also are aboard the biggest submarines in the Navy: 560-foot ballistic missile subs, and former ballistic missile "boomers" that were converted to carry commandos and launch up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, all out of Washington state.

Construction of some future Virginia-class and other submarines "will be designed to fully support an integrated crew to include berthing spaces," the sub force's Barker said.

Privacy -- or lack thereof -- is a challenge on any submarine, and more so on the cramped Virginia subs. The USS Missouri, which arrived in Hawaii in January, spent 163 of 181 days on a past deployment underwater, news organization CNN said in a story in October.

The submarines have about 94 beds for 130 to 135 crew, necessitating what's known as "hot-racking" or "hot-bunking" -- the sharing of beds on different shifts, CNN said.

Working out is one way to pass free time. "Sometimes you go find a quiet corner and read a book" or watch a movie in the crew's small mess area, a sailor told CNN. A reconfigurable torpedo room can accommodate exercise equipment or extra berthing.

Qualification in submarines, an all-volunteer force, was a "personal achievement," Cowan said in a 2012 Navy release. "Ultimately, it is a monumental mark of the confidence my command and crew has in me. And earning that respect and acceptance is a feeling that I will hold with me for my entire life."

2017 Tested The Naval Profession


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