Arrival of USS Bremerton (SSN 698) for
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USS Bremerton (SSN 698) Will
Arrive in Bremerton for
BREMERTON, Wash. (April 17, 2018) The
Los Angeles-class fast-attack
submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698)
will arrive at Naval Base
Kitsap-Bremerton to commence the
inactivation and decommissioning
process, April 27.
Bremerton is currently the oldest
active duty submarine. Under the
command of Cmdr. Travis Zettel,
Bremerton will be departing Joint
Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii for a homeport change
to its namesake city. Bremerton has
been homeported in Hawaii since
Bremerton completed their most
recent deployment April 6, 2018.
During the six-month deployment, the
boat and her crew steamed more than
42,000 nautical miles and conducted
five foreign port visits.
The submarine's ability to support a
multitude of missions, including
anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface
ship warfare, strike warfare,
surveillance and reconnaissance,
made Bremerton one of the most
capable submarines in the world.
During the inactivation process,
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and
Intermediate Maintenance Facility
will de-fuel the submarine and then
retain the hull in safe storage
until the boat is recycled.
Commissioned March 28, 1981,
Bremerton is the 11th boat of its
class. She is the second U.S. Navy
vessel to be named Bremerton. The
boat's mission is to seek out and
destroy enemy ships and submarines
and to protect U.S. national
interests. At 360-feet-long and
6,900 tons, Bremerton can be armed
with sophisticated MK48 advanced
capability torpedoes and Tomahawk
For more news from the Pacific
Submarine Force, visit
If you are interested in attending
the arrival of Bremerton, please
contact LCDR Michael Smith,
Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs
Officer, no later than 1200 on April
25. He can be contacted at
360-396-5482. Thank you for your
interest and continued support. Have
a wonderful day.
MC1 (SW/AW) Amanda Gray
Commander, Submarine Group Nine
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Incredible Moment US Fast-Attack Submarine
Launches A Tomahawk Missile To Join Air Strikes Against Syria
Danielle Zoellner, Daily Mail,
Footage revealed the incredible
moment the US fast-attack submarine launched a tomahawk missile
from the Mediterranean Sea as part of the multi-national strike
against the Syrian government.
The Virginia-class USS John
Warner submarine launched the missile on Friday during the
United States' air strikes in collaboration with France and
England to retaliate against Syria's use of chemical weapons.
The video shows the submarine
launch the missile straight up into the sky before it curves and
heads towards its intended target.
The missile was one of more than
100 others that were used during the air strikes to target three
military sites in Syria.
The USS John Warner operates in
the Mediterranean Sea as a routine deployment to support the
allies in the region. The submarine's placement is why it was
used during the missile attack.
Trump hailed a 'perfectly
executed strike last night' Saturday just hours after launching
a series of attacks on Syria.
The USS John Warner operates in
the Mediterranean Sea as a routine deployment to support the
allies in the region. The submarine's placement is why it was
used during the missile attack.
After the attack, US ambassador
to the UN Nikki Haley vowed that the Trump administration was
'locked and loaded' for another attack if needed against Syria.
strikes were in retaliation to the poison gas attack that killed
an estimated 75 people on April 7.
Syrian state-run TV said three
civilians were wounded during the attack on a military base in
The organization also said that
several of the missiles were intercepted by the Syrian
government during the air strikes. But Chief Pentagon
spokeswoman Dana White said the strikes 'successfully hit every
Another country besides Syria
that was under attack by the three nations this weekend was
Russia for allowing 'the use of chemical weapons (in Syria) to
Depending on the US and its
allies' next course of action involving Syria, the USS John
Warner could be used again for another strike if needed.^
Strikes on Syria:
we know so far
Graham Russell and Patrick Greenfield |
Sat 14 Apr 2018 11.18 EDT
US, UK and France have launched a joint military strike. Here is
a summary of what has happened
launched military strikes
alongside UK and French forces aimed at reducing Syrian
regime’s chemical weapons facilities in the wake of last
weekend’s gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma. 105
missiles were fired in total, the Pentagon said.
Moments after Donald Trump
finished his address on Friday night, reports emerged of
explosions in Damascus at about 2am BST. A Pentagon briefing
later confirmed three sites were hit: in Damascus and in
Homs. The sites were all regarded as linked to the storage,
or testing, of chemical weapons. Syrian air defences
responded to the strikes but the US said it had suffered no
losses in the initial airstrikes.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has described the
strikes as an “act of aggression” and said the attack would
worsen the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Anatoly Antonov,
Russian ambassador to the US,
“such actions will not be left without consequences” and
that Moscow was being threatened.
Syrian state TV has shown a
video of Bashar al-Assad arriving at work on Saturday
morning after the coalition strikes. Syria’s air defence
systems intercepted 71 out of 103 cruise missiles fired as
part of the US-led strikes, claims the Russian military. The
Pentagon has denied any interceptions were made. Russian air
defence systems did not respond to the missiles, it added.
Trump said the attack in Douma a
week ago represented “a significant escalation in a pattern of
chemical weapons use” by the Assad regime, adding: “We are
prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops
its use of prohibited chemical agents.” On Saturday, the US
president tweeted that the strike was “perfectly executed”,
adding it was “mission accomplished!
ARIZONA SILENT SERVICE
P.O Box 86155 Phoenix,
Arizona Silent Service Memorial Project
Dear Shipmates & Friends,
The Arizona Silent Service Memorial Foundation (ASSM) invites
you to join us in building this important monument.
The Arizona State House and Senate unanimously approved this
project which was then signed into law. The monument will be
erected in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza which is the "front yard"
of the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.
We solicit your support of our endeavor which will honor ALL
submariners of ALL nations, past, present, and future.
See the information links below.
Click on the ASSM brochure link below:
Click on the ASSM promotional flyer link below:
This memorial will serve to honor ALL submariners, past and
present. For more information, please visit our website at:
Tim Moore, Chairman
Arizona Silent Service Memorial
P.O. Box 86155
Phoenix, AZ 85080
Surprise Visit to Fleet in South China Sea Drill
Agence France Presse |12 Apr 2018
President Xi Jinping Thursday stressed the "urgent" need to
build a powerful navy during a surprise visit to observe naval
exercises in the disputed South China Sea, state media reported
as the country prepares for live-fire drills in the Taiwan
The region has become a potential flashpoint, with the US saying
China's activities in the area pose a threat to freedom of
navigation in the strategically vital waterway, where Beijing
has built an archipelago of artificial islands capable of
hosting military equipment.
Footage of Xi's visit on
state broadcaster CCTV showed the president watching jets taking
off from China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and
joining sailors for a meal.
In a speech to the assembled troops,
Xi said China's task to build a powerful navy "has never been as
urgent as it is today".
His visit comes as Washington engages in its own muscle flexing
in the region, where the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
gave a demonstration Tuesday for members of the Philippine
China's own naval drill -- involving the Liaoning and dozens of
other vessels -- began at the end of March, with US officials
saying the two exercises are separated by several hundred
Some 48 warships, 76 fighter jets, and more than 10,000 navy
personnel took part in the drill at an undisclosed location,
said China Military, a newspaper affiliated to the People's
Beijing asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich
South China Sea despite rival claims from several of its
Southeast Asian neighbours.
China regularly protests when US warships' carry out "freedom of
navigation" operations near its islands.
Xi's visit came as China announced plans to hold live-fire naval
drills next week in the narrow strait separating the mainland
from Taiwan, an act that could ratchet up tensions with the
manoeuvres will take place... in the Taiwan Strait on
(Wednesday) April 18, 2018 between 8am and midnight," the
maritime safety administration of Fujian, the province that lies
opposite Taiwan, said in a statement.
China, which regards self-ruled Taiwan as its territory -- to be
reunited by force if necessary -- has stepped up air and naval
patrols around the island since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai
Ing-wen came to power in May 2016.
She refuses publicly to accept the "One China" formula agreed
between Beijing and Taiwan's previous government.
Chinese warplanes conducted 25 drills around Taiwan between
August 2016 and mid-December last year, according to Taipei.
The Liaoning and other vessels passed through the Taiwan Strait
on March 20 -- the day Xi warned against any attempts to divide
Taiwan's defence ministry said it would keep a close eye on the
"The defence ministry stresses that the military can
comprehensively monitor and respond to the regional situation to
ensure national security. We ask the public to rest assured," it
said in a statement.^
Returning To Namesake City For Decommissioning
Julianne Stanford, K5 News, April 11
The USS Bremerton will return to its namesake
city later this month for its final stop as the fleet's oldest
active duty submarine.
Navy spokesman Lt. Seth Clarke could not confirm the date of the
submarine's arrival in Bremerton, but he said the sub is
scheduled to make a homeport swap from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
to Bremerton within the next few weeks. The submarine is
scheduled to begin the inactivation process at the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard in July.
The 37-year-old Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack
submarine is the 11th submarine of its class. The sub's keel was
laid in May 1976 in Groton, Connecticut. It was commissioned on
March 28, 1981, under the command of Capt. Thomas Anderson.
"The Bremerton is one of the most impressive engineering marvels
in human history," said Master Chief Wade Jacobson, Bremerton’s
chief of the boat. "It is truly incredible for a warship to be
operational at such deep and strenuous depths for nearly 40
The Bremerton recently returned to its homeport in Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, on April 6 from a six-month-long deployment in the
western Pacific Ocean under the command of Cmdr. Travis Zettel.
While underway, the ship made port calls to Singapore and the
Philippines. This was the ship's final deployment before
"The entire crew performed with excellence," Jacobson said. "In
six months we took the nation’s longest-serving submarine more
than 42,000 nautical miles, executing multiple missions in some
of the toughest and busiest environments in the world and
conducted five foreign port visits."
The Bremerton has a crew of about 130 sailors. Los Angeles-class
fast-attack submarines are designed for a wide variety of
missions, such as seeking and destroying enemy submarines and
surface ships; conducting intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance missions; supporting aircraft carriers and
engaging in mine warfare.
After arriving in Bremerton, the submarine will go to the Puget
Sound Naval Shipyard, where all Los Angeles-class subs go to
meet their fate at the end of their service lives. The shipyard
is the only place where the Navy inactivates and recycles
"The USS Bremerton has a very special connection to us and our
community," said shipyard Commanding Officer Capt. Howard Markle.
"We look forward to working with her current crew and the local
community to retire from service this great warship that has
done so much for our Navy and our nation."
The inactivation process usually takes about a year and costs
roughly $58 million, said shipyard spokesman J.C. Mathews.
During inactivation, a submarine’s reactor is shut down and all
nuclear fuel is removed from the vessel alongside classified
materials and cryptographic equipment. Industrial gases are
offloaded, electrical and lighting systems are de-energized and
hydraulic systems and fuel tanks are drained.
It takes another 18 months to separate the reactor compartment
from the submarine and pack it up for recycling, at a cost of
about $24 million.
Subs undergo the inactivation process in preparation for
decommissioning, which marks the vessel's official retirement
from the fleet. After a decommissioning ceremony, the sub's crew
is released and the submarine is turned over to the shipyard for
Once shipyard crews have removed all hazardous materials from
the vessel, the Navy will sell the sub's remaining metal to a
recycling company, Mathews said.
Shipyard crews are currently inactivating the USS Dallas, the
submarine made famous in the Tom Clancy novel "The Hunt for Red
October." The USS Buffalo is up next to begin the process once
work on the Dallas is completed.
The shipyard has already recycled 11 Los Angeles-class subs, and
crews are currently in the process of taking apart the USS Salt
Lake City, Naval Research Vessel 1, USS Indianapolis and USS
There's a slew of submarines currently awaiting recycling,
including the Narwhal, Philadelphia, Memphis, Portsmouth,
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Hyman G. Rickover, Augusta, Miami,
Norfolk, Albuquerque, Houston, City of Corpus Christi and Long
Once the Bremerton is decommissioned, there will be 30 Los
Angeles-class submarines still in active service out of the 62
total subs built of that class, Clarke said.
The USS Ohio, a nuclear-powered guided missile submarine, will
take over the title of being the oldest active duty submarine in
the fleet with 36 years of service.
In keeping with Navy tradition, once the Bremerton is
decommissioned, the submarine will pass on late Rear Adm.
Richard O'Kane's legendary personal cribbage board to the
33-year-old USS Olympia, the longest-serving submarine based in
Pearl Harbor. The Bremerton has had O'Kane's cribbage board for
almost eight years, after receiving it from the Los Angeles
after it was decommissioned in 2010.
O'Kane's cribbage board is believed to be a good luck charm for
crews underway in the depths.
While serving as the executive officer aboard the USS Wahoo in
the Pacific in 1943, O'Kane beat Lt. Cmdr. Dudley Morton, the
sub's commanding officer, at a round of cribbage with an
unbelievably lucky hand of cards. The following day, the Wahoo
sank an enemy freighter and damaged another. Two days later,
O'Kane won another against Morton with impressive odds. Moments
later, the crew spotted another freighter and sank the vessel.
Many on the crew came to believe that O'Kane's cribbage
victories were signs of their impending success at sinking their
The Bremerton is the second U.S. Navy vessel named after the
city where the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Base Kitsap
are located. So far, no plans have been made for another vessel
to be named after the city, Clarke said.
The first USS Bremerton was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser that
was named after the city after Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
workers won a war bond drive contest against employees at Mare
Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California.
Although the ship was commissioned just after the end of World
War II, the cruiser saw combat action during the Korean War.^
Course: the U.S. Needs an Arctic Fleet
The Arctic Council’s
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program suggests the
possibility that the Arctic Ocean may be virtually ice free by
mid-century. In 2014, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, then-Chief
of Naval Operations (CNO), endorsed this position when he signed
the “U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap, 2014-2030.” This document
outlines policy guidance, U.S. national interests in the Arctic,
the regional security environment, Navy missions in the region,
and the Navy’s strategic objectives for the Arctic.
More important, the “Navy Ways and Means for the Near-Term,
Mid-Term and Far-Term” section and Appendix 3 form what is
essentially a plan of action and milestones for addressing at
least the near term (2014-20) in this effort. Unfortunately, in
all of this there is no organization beyond the Office of the
Chief of Naval Operations, which is charged with a structural
execution of the plan but with no timeframe.
The Northern Command (NorthCom) is attuned to this absence of
structure and the attendant inactivity. More specifically, the
Alaskan Command (AlCom), a joint subordinate unified command
element of the NorthCom, is increasingly concerned with Navy
inaction in the Arctic. To date, the AlCom has not been able to
attain the few Navy ships necessary to demonstrate U.S. interest
in the region. Certainly this is a reflection of the Navy’s
declining ship numbers at a time when the demand for ships is
Normally, a combatant commander (CoCom) would route requests for
forces (such as Navy ships) through its naval component
commander (NCC) and then on to U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)
for annual disposition. As it turns out, however, USFFC is
NorthCom’s NCC. It seems fair to say that this creates a
difficulty for NorthCom because USFFC is senior and reports
directly to the CNO. Frankly, USFFC is more interested in
providing the very limited number of ships available to Navy
commands such as the Fifth Fleet and Pacific Command.
This logjam must be broken. In this effort, there are two key
steps. First, USFFC is too big, senior, and unresponsive for the
task. This is doubly true if plans to remove major Pacific Fleet
authorities and place them under USFFC go forward as is
recommended. A new, separate, more junior and flexible flag—one
directly responsible to NorthCom—needs to be established.
What is needed is an
Arctic Fleet, and the template for this exists. In 1950, Fourth
Fleet was disestablished. In 2008 the fleet was reestablished
and merged with Southern Command’s naval component commander to
address growing interests in the Caribbean and South America.
While naval forces are not permanently assigned to Fourth Fleet,
the organizational structure remains in place both to support
force assignment and to represent Navy interests in the region.
The same can be true in the Arctic.
This new Arctic Fleet can be established in a step-wise fashion,
tailored across time and married to changing force structure. A
sensible first step would be to augment the small Navy staff
assigned to AlCom. Subsequently, in the mid-term, a joint
inter-agency task force (JIATF) could be established out of the
AlCom office, as resources and activity grew. Certainly, this
JIATF would include the Coast Guard, but it also should include
liaison officers from Canada, Norway, and other key allies.
Ultimately this fleet would be stood up and merged with the
NorthCom’s NCC. The Arctic Fleet could be commanded by, for
example, either a Navy reserve admiral or a Coast Guard admiral.
In the interim, it seems imperative that forces be sent north to
demonstrate U.S. intention and seriousness, not only to allies
but also to potential adversaries. In the near term this could
be a mission for LCSs, but by 2020, the start of the mid-term, a
small task force should be deployed north on an annual basis to
operate with Coast Guard assets and allies. That is, if the Navy
is serious in its desire to gain the high ground in the far
served in seven cruisers, commanding three Aegis cruisers: the
USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51), Shiloh (CG-67), and
Years After Thresher Disaster, Navy Still Keeps Secrets on Sub
Military.com 9 Apr 2018 By Marty Callaghan
worst submarine disaster in U.S. Navy history happened on the
morning of April 10, 1963, when the nuclear-powered USS Thresher
(SSN 593) was lost with 129 crew members and civilian employees
A Naval Court of Inquiry (NCOI)
convened to investigate the disaster concluded the probable
cause of the Thresher's loss was "major flooding" -- a finding
that has since been challenged by naval and submarine experts.
After more than a half-century, all but 18 pages of testimony
from key witnesses remains closed to the public.
Retired Navy Capt.
Jim Bryant, who served on board three Thresher-class subs
and commanded the USS Guardfish (SSN 612), recently authored a
new analysis of the submarine disaster, highlighting
discrepancies between the NCOI's findings and evidence available
for its investigation at the time. He raises concerns about the
court's accuracy in recording the last understandable message
sent by the sub, at about 9:12 a.m., pieced together from the
testimony of several witnesses:
"Experiencing minor difficulties. Have positive up angle. Am
attempting to blow. Will keep you informed."
In his analysis, Bryant said, "Thresher's difficulties were
anything but minor by the time Skylark received that message."
The USS Skylark (ASR 20) was the submarine rescue ship that
accompanied the Thresher for its sea trials about 200 miles off
the Massachusetts coast.
Bryant's paper, excerpted and paraphrased below, faults the Navy
for not being forthcoming enough regarding the historic
"The NCOI report cannot be accepted verbatim. It is not an
acceptable reference for defining the sequence of events that
occurred as the Thresher lost control and sank," Bryant said in
"The boat was below test depth of about 1,300 feet and its
nuclear reactor had just shut down. The Thresher had negative
buoyancy and there was no power to drive it back to the
surface," he continued.
The Thresher tried to blow its main ballast tanks with no
effect. According to Bryant, it would take the crew at least
another 20 minutes to restore main propulsion -- time they did
The Thresher kept sinking until its hull imploded at a depth of
about 2,400 feet, releasing energy equivalent to the explosive
force of about 22,000 pounds of TNT. The hull collapsed in 47
milliseconds, about one-twentieth of a second.
The Thresher's crushed and shattered hull was later found just
off the Continental Shelf, at a depth of more than 8,000 feet.
Bryant said the Thresher's final descent and implosion was
recorded on paper time-frequency plots in great detail by the
Navy's underwater Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS).
"All of the data
recorded by SOSUS was available to the Naval Court of Inquiry,"
he said. "But it wasn't used effectively because the court
didn't trust it. If the NCOI had thoroughly understood the
acoustic data, it could have ruled out major flooding as a cause
of the disaster, since the resonances created by such an event
were not detected."
Bryant said the court did hear the testimony (in closed session)
of a single acoustics
expert: Navy Lt. Bruce Rule, analysis officer for the
SOSUS Evaluation Center in Norfolk, Va. He went on to become the
lead acoustic analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Rule analyzed the acoustic data from the Thresher during its
final dive. Not only did he discount a major flooding incident,
Bryant said, he indicated that the sub's nuclear power plant
shut down completely at a critical moment -- from an electrical
failure -- when all the main coolant pumps stopped.
Rule said the NCOI
softened his conclusion by stating that the Thresher’s main
coolant pumps "slowed or stopped," a phrase that would deflect
blame from Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, who created the Navy’s
nuclear propulsion program.
"In fact, I was aggressively confronted by a couple of Navy
commanders who challenged my data," Rule said. "I don't recall
their names, but I do remember their vicious -- and unsuccessful
-- attempt to get me to change my testimony."
Because the court of inquiry didn't trust the SOSUS data, Bryant
said, it relied heavily on the Skylark's underwater telephone
communications log and testimony from crew members in defining
the tragic sequence of events.
The NCOI interviewed many witnesses about underwater
communications with the Thresher during its final dive, he said.
Yet the Navy has released only a small portion of that testimony
"We have no way of comparing the original words from witnesses
with the language of the NCOI's final report on the Thresher's
loss," Bryant wrote.
As far as Bryant is
concerned, it is time for the Navy to release all remaining
documents related to the Thresher disaster.
"The entire NCOI report, especially all of the testimony, should
be made available to scholars and the public at large," he
wrote. "That report is sitting in a federal records center,
waiting for more than a decade to be transferred to the National
In other words, he argues the Navy should comply with the spirit
of Executive Order 13526, issued in December 2009. It created
the National Declassification Center to facilitate the timely
and systematic release of classified material.
Bryant said that even a small gesture, such as releasing the
unclassified Sea Trial Agenda, would demonstrate a concern for
transparency and provide greater insight for historians.
"To date," he said, "formal requests for Thresher's Sea Trial
Agenda have been repeatedly and systematically deferred by the
For more information,
see "Thresher Disaster: New Analysis" by Capt. Jim Bryant, USN
(ret.), a research paper currently under review for publication
by the Naval Engineers Journal. A 3,000-word article based on
this paper is tentatively scheduled for publication in U.S.
Naval Institute Proceedings magazine.
-- The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the views of Military.com. If you
would like to submit your own commentary, please send your
firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.^
Bremerton Returns to Pearl Harbor for Final Time
MC1 Daniel Hinton,
SUBPAC Public Affairs, April 7
ARBOR, Hawaii – Friends and families of the crew gathered on the
pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to welcome back the Los
Angeles-class fast-attack submarine
USS Bremerton (SSN 698 as
she returned from deployment, April 6.
Bremerton successfully completed a six-month deployment while
conducting operations in support of national security.
“The entire crew performed with excellence,” said Master Chief
Fire Control Technician (SS) Wade Jacobson, Bremerton’s chief of
the boat. “In six months we took the nation’s longest-serving
submarine more than 42,000 nautical miles, executing multiple
missions in some of the toughest and busiest environments in the
world and conducted five foreign port visits.”
During the deployment, 25 Sailors earned their submarine warfare
qualification, and 19 Sailors achieved advanced supervisory
“I want the American public to know that they should be
incredibly proud of every single person on this boat,” said
Jacobson. “Each one has sacrificed something to do the job, and
it can sometimes be stressful, but through grit and
determination, each one has come through successfully. “
The completion of her Western Pacific deployment marks the end
the ship's active service in the Pacific and will soon head to
Bremerton, Washington for deactivation.
“The Bremerton is one of the most impressive engineering marvels
in human history,” said Jacobson. “It is truly incredible for a
warship to be operational at such deep and strenuous depths for
nearly 40 years.”
While deployed, Bremerton made port calls to Singapore and the
Philippines, and some of the crew used the visits to volunteer
and interact with host countries.
“The best part of deployment for me was getting the chance to
play soccer with children we visited in the Philippines,” said
Electronics Technician 3rd Class (SS) Daniel Kim, a Sailor
assigned to Bremerton. “It was a great opportunity to see and
interact with the local community. Everybody had a good time out
on the field, and I know the kids took pride in beating everyone
from the boat.”
Jacobson extolled the crew for their flexibility during the
“Every curveball thrown our way was hit out of the park,” said
Jacobson. “It took a lot of work to keep our classic submarine
in fighting condition be we executed every assignment as
requested with zero lost mission days.”
Bremerton is the tenth
ship of the Los Angeles class and the oldest commissioned
submarine in the U.S. Navy.
Her keel was laid by
General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut
in May 1976. She is named in honor of the city of Bremerton,
Washington, home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and a city with a
long association with both the Navy and the Submarine Force.
New Cloud Tech Chief Amid
Trump's Feud With Amazon
Military.com |6 Apr 2018
|By Richard Sisk
Pentagon named a cloud technology expert as its new chief
information officer (CIO) and probable point person in the award
of a major contract that figures in President Donald Trump's
ongoing feud with Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.
Dana Deasy, former CIO for the J.P. Morgan investment bank, is
expected to start at the Defense Department in early May, just
as the DoD enters the
final stages of awarding a cloud technology contract worth up to
$10 billion. Amazon is considered a frontrunner for the
In announcing Deasy's appointment Thursday, Dana
White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, said there will be a
"full, open and transparent competition" for the cloud
technology, which uses a network of remote servers hosted on the
Internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local
White said there will be a single award for the contract, but it
will not be sole-source and will involve firms besides the prime
contractor. "We want people to be as creative as possible" in
the competition for the contract, called the Joint Enterprise
Defense Infrastructure initiative, she said.
"This is important. This is not business as usual," White said.
“This is the first of many competitions with respect to the
cloud. And I'm excited that people are excited about this cloud
because we are, and because we want to get the best deal for the
American people, and we want to get the best technology for our
Despite Trump's attacks on Amazon and Bezos in recent weeks,
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday the
president is staying out of negotiations for the cloud
She said Trump "is not
involved in the process," adding the Pentagon "runs a
competitive bidding process."
However, Amazon Web Services is believed to be the only
commercial cloud company with the necessary certifications to
host classified data.
In recent weeks, Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize Amazon
and Bezos, accusing the company of failing to pay its share of
taxes and taking advantage of the struggling U.S. Postal
Service. He has also continued to single out The Washington
Post, owned by Bezos, for allegedly spreading "fake news."
Trump continued his attacks aboard Air Force One on Thursday
"Amazon is just not on an even playing field,” he told
reporters. “You know, they have a tremendous lobbying effort, in
addition to having The Washington Post, which is, as far as I'm
concerned, another lobbyist."
Although the White House earlier said Trump is staying out of
the Pentagon's cloud contract award, the president said he plans
to “take a pretty serious look" overall at Amazon because "the
playing field has to be leveled."
Amazon spokesmen have said that neither Bezos nor the company
will comment on the president's criticisms.
In a Washington Post article Thursday, Frederick J. Ryan Jr.,
the Post's CEO and publisher, said Trump "appears to view
ownership of a newspaper as a way to assert influence."
"Jeff sees the value of a strong, independent press," Ryan said.
"Jeff has never proposed a story. Jeff has never intervened in a
story. He's never critiqued a story. He's not directed or
proposed editorials or endorsements. The decisions are made
As CIO at the Pentagon, cloud technology specialist Deasy "will
be responsible for how we manage and use information,
communications and cybersecurity," White said. "This is
particularly important as we adopt cloud technology to make more
informed and timely decisions on the battlefield."
She said Deasy "will also bring greater accountability to the
department's information security posture."
His "extensive enterprise-level experience and leadership will
ensure the department drives a culture of performance," White
As CIO at J.P. Morgan, Deasy presided over an information
technology organization of 40,000 members worldwide with a
budget of more than $9 billion. He also oversaw J.P. Morgan's
first use of public cloud technology last year.
Deasy joined J.P. Morgan in late 2013 after serving as group CIO
of BP PLC. He has also held CIO or senior IT positions at
General Motors Co., Tyco International PLC and Rockwell
‘Sea Hunter,’ a
drone ship with no crew, just joined the U.S.
Mark Austin | Digital Trends
prototype autonomous ship known as the Medium Displacement
Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV) has officially been transferred
to the U.S. Navy from the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA) after a two-year testing and evaluation program.
Hunter,” the Office of Naval Research will continue to
develop the vessel from this point forward.
Although there’s no specific timetable for when the Sea Hunter
would join active naval operations, the statement from DARPA
indicated that it could happen as early as this year. The
anti-submarine warfare vessel could be the first of an entirely
new class of warship.
“[Sea Hunter] represents a new vision of naval surface warfare
that trades small numbers of very capable, high-value assets for
large numbers of commoditized, simpler platforms that are more
capable in the aggregate,” said Fred Kennedy of DARPA. “The U.S.
military has talked about the strategic importance of replacing
‘king’ and ‘queen’ pieces on the maritime chessboard with lots
The collaboration between the Navy and DARPA began in 2014, with
the ship designed
and developed by Virginia-based defense company
Leidos, and christened
in April 2016. A rigorous series of
tests followed, including surveillance and mine
According to Newsweek, the
ship got its
name from the mission the Navy envisions for it —
stalking foreign submarines at sea. It’s relatively cheap to
build at $20 million, and it’s far less expensive to run than a
similar manned vessel.
“This is an inflection point,” former Deputy Defense Secretary
Robert Work said in an
Reuters in 2016. “This is the first time we’ve ever
had a totally robotic, trans-oceanic-capable ship.”
“I would like to see unmanned flotillas operating in the western
Pacific and the Persian Gulf within five years,” he added.
The Navy hopes that ships of the future will be able to stay at
sea for months at a time and travel thousands of miles without
any crew. The Sea Hunter is currently a surveillance platform
and has no weapons onboard. It’s 127 feet long and can reach
speed of 27 knots, using cameras and radar to track its location
and spot other ships.
Work went on to emphasize that if robot ships like Sea Hunter
were outfitted with weapons in the future, there would always be
a human at the controls. “There’s no reason to be afraid of a
ship like this,” he said.
Disaster Still Matters
Capt. Jim Bryant,
USN (Ret), Fosters, April 3
On April 10, 1963, the American nuclear submarine USS Thresher (SSN
593), the world’s most advanced hunter-killer submarine crushed
at a depth of 2,400 feet killing all 129 onboard during a
routine test dive.
more than a half-century later, details of the Thresher disaster
remain poorly understood. Its shattered hull resides at the
bottom of 8,400 feet of water east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The underlying cause of the Thresher sinking 55 years ago and
the collisions last summer involving the USS John S. McCain (DDG
56) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) that killed 17 sailors was the
failure to effectively integrate emerging technology into the
training, procedures, planning and maintenance programs.
The world situation of then and now are similar as America
rushes to maintain naval superiority with new weapons systems
like the Littoral Combat Ship, Ford class nuclear aircraft
carrier, and the Virginia class nuclear submarine. Insufficient
crew training, manning and inadequate operating procedures and
shipboard maintenance continue to cause avoidable, recurring
By 1963, Soviet submarines were a serious challenge to America’s
national security. Thresher offered innovative improvements over
earlier submarine designs. It was faster, quieter, dived deeper,
and with advanced sonar and weapons systems, a significant
threat to Soviet submarines.
Built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Thresher was commissioned
Aug. 3, 1961, and spent the following year testing weapons and
new equipment, measuring radiated sound, shock testing and
conducting exercises with other submarines with outstanding
results. The ultimate test was to challenge Soviet submarines
would have to wait until after a lengthy maintenance period.
After shock testing using close-aboard explosive charges in July
1962, Thresher returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a
series of upgrades and repairs.
On April 9, 1963, Thresher departed for sea trials, escorted by
the submarine rescue vessel USS Skylark (ASR 20). After a
shallow dive in the Gulf of Maine, the ships rendezvoused the
following morning in deep water for a two-hour dive to
Thresher’s deepest operating or test depth (1,300 feet, nearly
twice as deep as previous classes).
View photos all the men who died aboard the Thresher in our 129
Lives Lost, Part 1 and 129 Lives Lost, Part 2 photo galleries.
Thresher sank below its crush depth and imploded – raining its
shattered hull, nuclear reactor and occupants onto the seabed
below. The Navy’s investigation concluded that major flooding
from ruptured piping in the engine room was the probable cause.
The sounds of the Thresher’s death throes were recorded by sound
surveillance system (SOSUS) underwater hydrophones located
around the world tuned to pluck machinery sounds of submarines
out of all the noise in the ocean. SOSUS was a highly secret
system designed to track Soviet submarine movements at long
ranges. SOSUS hydrophone array Fox was located only 30 nautical
miles from the site of Thresher’s sinking.
Bruce Rule was a top naval acoustic and SOSUS expert who
analyzed Thresher’s death sounds and testified at the disaster
inquiry. After leaving the Navy in September 1963, Rule spent
his next 42 years as the lead acoustic analyst for the Office of
Naval Intelligence. Though Rule’s testimony and findings remain
classified, Rule recently revealed them in his book, “Why the
USS Thresher (SSN 593) was lost,” which helps us understand this
mystery beyond the obvious, that Thresher slowed, and
uncorrectable negative buoyancy caused it to sink to crush
Rule is positive there was no flooding because the sounds of
high pressure water hitting the inside of the submarine were not
detected. Low pressure steams or sprays of seawater (excessive
leakage) from multiple sources would be quiet to SOSUS, increase
negative buoyancy, and cause concern to the crew trying to
Main coolant pumps (MCPs) moving heat from the reactor core to
the steam generators were in fast speed and then stopped. Fast
speed MCPs are required to reach maximum speed, but Thresher
stayed at slow speed. Running MCPs in slow speed would have been
SOSUS detected compressed air blowing seawater from the main
ballast tanks (MBTs) twice. The MBT blow system that should have
surfaced Thresher failed because of poor design and the
unauthorized installation of strainers with a metal backing
plate with a small hole, or orifice, that severely restricted
air flow. Ice formed on the strainers as high-pressure air
instantly cooled when released into a lower pressure environment
through this orifice and strainer. This ice intermittently
blocked the compressed air to the MBTs and the strainers, and
orifice plates, restricted air flow preventing removal of enough
seawater from the MBTs to surface the ship.
Slow speed MCPs would have been a more reliable lineup as they
had an alternative source of power. Fast speed MCPs were run to
use the tremendous power of the reactor plant to drive to the
surface if there was a problem, but why did Thresher stay at
slow speed? There is plausible, circumstantial evidence that
Thresher’s stern planes used to control the angle of the ship
for depth control likely became stuck in a dive position that
required Thresher to stop to prevent a downward angle and depth
excursion. Control surface failures were a fleet-wide concern on
high-speed nuclear submarines.
Rule’s analysis of Thresher’s recorded acoustic signature and
underwater telephone communications with the escort ship Skylark
provides the following timeline of Thresher’s loss.
At 0853, Thresher descended from 1,000 to 1,300 feet (test
depth). Possibly already negatively buoyant from not taking the
time to adjust trim as the dive proceeded, increasing sea
pressure on Thresher’s seawater systems boosted leakage.
Somewhere between 0853 and 0909, Thresher experienced the stern
plane problem, stopped to counter its effects, and started to
At 0909, SOSUS detected an electrical bus line-frequency
instability, a symptom of an ongoing problem in the engine room,
such as crew actions to stop excessive leakage from seawater
Shortly after the electrical bus started to waiver, SOSUS
detected the sounds of compressed air blowing into the MBTs.
This means the primary means of going shallow, main propulsion
was not usable. The blow stopped after 90 seconds due to ice
blockage. This MBT blow did not remove enough seawater from the
MBTs to reverse Thresher’s descent.
The submarine’s fate was sealed at 0911 when SOSUS detected main
coolant pumps stopping. This caused an automatic reactor
shutdown (reactor scram) and by procedure, steam to be isolated
to the main propulsion and power-generating turbines in the
engine room. Even if the stern planes had become operational,
shutting the steam stops prevented steam generated by decay and
residual heat in the reactor from being used in the main
propulsion turbines to drive to the surface. As Thresher
continued to sink below test depth, SOSUS did not detect the
sounds expected for the reactor being restarted.
The Navy’s investigative report describes communications at
about 0913 using the conflicting testimony of four witnesses on
Skylark, “Experiencing minor difficulties. Have positive up
angle. Am attempting to blow up. Will keep you informed.” The
“experiencing minor difficulties” phrase is an enigma because
Thresher had exceeded test depth, by as much as 600 feet, the
reactor had scrammed, main propulsion was lost, the ineffective
MBT blow failed to stop the downward acceleration, and the crew
could hear the guttural sounds of the pressure hull compressing.
As the ice blockage dissipated, Skylark and SOSUS detected
another 30-second MBT blow before ice reformed and the blow
stopped again, all while Thresher’s rate of descent increased.
The garbled transmission at 0917 was interpreted to contain the
phrase “900 North,” understood to mean 900 feet below test depth
or a depth of 2,200 feet. This is reasonable given that Thresher
was reporting depth relative to test depth in case a Soviet
submarine was listening.
SOSUS and Skylark detected hull collapse 0918.4 at a calculated
depth of 2,400 feet with an energy pulse equal to the explosion
of 22,500 pounds of TNT.
The 129 men did not die in vain. Their loss resulted in
immediate changes to how the Navy built, maintained and operated
its nuclear fleet.
Justifications for costly
safety improvements are written in blood. In this case the Navy
created the Submarine Safety (SUBSAFE) program that mandated the
redesign of and strict quality control procedures for the
manufacture, repair and testing of critical systems on
New SUBSAFE systems, like a separate emergency MBT blow and
emergency, remote, hydraulic seawater hull valve closure
systems. On Thresher, SUBSAFE would have prevented the
unauthorized installation of the strainers and orifice plates.
These critical systems include hull, seawater piping, high
pressure air and stern plane. Until a submarine was SUBSAFE
certified, it is restricted to operating at half its test depth.
New reactor plant scram recovery procedures allowed residual and
decay heat from the reactor to create steam for main propulsion
to drive the ship to the surface and a faster restart of the
No SUBSAFE-certified submarines have been lost despite terrible
accidents like the San Francisco (SSN 711) striking an
underwater ridge in January 2005 at top speed that killed one
sailor. The only other American nuclear submarine loss was
Scorpion (SSN 589) in May 1968, which had not completed SUBSAFE-certification
and suffered a main battery explosion before it sank and
USS Topeka returns to Guam
Pacific Daily News, email@example.comPublished 5:51 p.m. ChT
March 30, 2018
The Los Angeles-class attack
submarine USS Topeka returned to Guam Friday following three
months at sea.
Topeka conducted routine patrols
throughout the region, according to a news release from the
Family and friends were on the
pier to welcome the sailors back to Guam.
“I flew out to Guam from
Timberland, North Carolina, to surprise my son,” said Sonia
Her son, Petty Officer 2nd Class
Nate Carver, “has no idea I’m here. This is my first
time to Guam and the first time anyone in our family has met
Nate on the pier,” she said.
Topeka is under the command of
Cmdr. Steven Tarr III.
While at sea, Topeka had 10
sailors and two officers become submarine qualified, and two
officers were promoted.
Topeka was commissioned Oct. 21,
1989, and is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for the city
of Topeka, Kansas. Measuring more than 360 feet long and
displacing more than 6,900 tons, Topeka has a crew of
approximately 140 sailors. Topeka is capable of supporting
various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface
ship warfare, strike warfare and intelligence, surveillance and
See 30 pictures of home coming
here plus video.^
are coming to Retiree Dental
USSVI Bremerton Base Member Don
currently have TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) coverage
need to know that the TRDP will end on Dec. 31, 2018. However,
anyone who was in TRDP this year or would have been eligible for
the plan will be able to choose a dental plan from among 10
dental carriers in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision
Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
Retirees may begin
reviewing program options now at
Enrollment in EDVIP will be available during the 2018 Federal
Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10.
Coverage will begin
on Jan. 1, 2019.
wasn’t available to Department of Defense beneficiaries, but it
will now be available to those who would have been eligible for
TRDP. As an added bonus, they will also be able to enroll in
FEDVIP vision coverage, along with most active-duty
More than 3.3
million people are currently covered by FEDVIP. Retirees may
choose from dental plans offered by 10 different carriers. To
enroll in FEDVIP Vision, one must be enrolled in a TRICARE
health plan. There are four vision plans designed to meet one’s
needs. Retirees may only enroll in a FEDVIP plan outside of
open season if a Qualifying Life Event allows it. Any election
in a FEDVIP plan remains in effect for the entire calendar year.
information, visit the FEDVIP website at
www.tricare.benefeds.com and sign up for e-mail
notifications when new information is available and as key dates
approach. Future updates will include eligibility information,
plans, carriers, rates, educational webinars and more.
Air Force May
Approve Enlisted Pilots for First Time in 75 Years
Military.com |31 Mar 2018 |By
Taylor remembers how eager enlisted airmen like him were to fly.
Taylor, who enlisted in 1968 and deployed to Vietnam, first
worked as an avionics technician. Nearly a decade later, Taylor,
a tech sergeant, became a T-37 and T-38 flight simulator
instructor with the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force
Base, Oklahoma. He became so adept that he was occasionally
given the chance to fly the T-38, with permission from the
pilot, during stateside flights.
It has been decades since
enlisted airmen had the chance to sit in the cockpit. But as the
Air Force faces the greatest pilot shortages since its
inception, service leaders are contemplating a return to a model
that includes enlisted pilots. A Rand Corp. study, set to be
completed this month, is exploring the feasibility of bringing
back a warrant officer corps for that purpose. And another,
separate Air Force study is examining, in part, whether enlisted
pilots could benefit from new high-tech training that leverages
artificial intelligence and simulation.
With these moves, the Air Force is inching just a few steps
closer to someday getting enlisted airmen back in the cockpit,
on a formal basis, for the first time since World War II.
“We have enlisted airmen in our Guard and reserve component who
have private pilot’s licenses and fly for the airlines. So it’s
not a matter of can they do it, or hav[ing] the smarts or the
capability, it’s just a matter of us, as an Air Force, deciding
that that’s a route that we want to take,” said Chief Master
Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright, the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air
Dead Date for
Ordering Engraved Bricks for Deterrent Park Semi-Annual Installation
Posted March 18,
New engraved bricks are
installed semi-annually in the missile deck of the full scale top
side model of the USS Woodrow Willson (SSBN 624) at
Deterrent Park on the
NBK, Bangor. Newly ordered bricks are
installed in May and November.
Since day one, over 2400 engraved
bricks have been installed.
In less than two months, the
drop dead date for
bricks for May 27th installation
May 10th, 2018.
The price per brick is $40.
Half of that goes for bricks & engraving, while the other half goes
into the base treasury tagged for charitable functions such as
scholarships for Subvets children and grandchildren.
more info about Deterrent Park.^