WHY THE SCORPION PROPELLER AND SHAFT
SEPARATED FROM THE HULL
Mr. Bruce Rule | September
2017 "The Submarine Review" | Naval Submarine
(Imagery added by ed)
Bruce Rule analyzed acoustic detections of the loss of the USS
Thresher (SSN 593), testified before that
Court of Inquiry, and subsequently
was the lead acoustic analyst
at the Office of Naval Intelligence for 42
years. In 2008, confirmed the USS Scorpion (SSN
589) was lost because the main battery exploded. (1)
In 2009, established for the first time at
any security level
that the GOLF II Class Soviet SSB (K-129) was lost
because two R-2l/D4 ballistic missile fired
sequentially to fuel-exhaustion
within in the pressure-hull, killing the
crew and causing enormous structural damage.
In 2008, Daniel McMillin (1929-2015), an electrical and
mechanical engineer who was part of the AT&T BellLabs "brain trust" involved in
and evolution of the Navy's Sound Surveillance System, provided the author with a three
minute tape recording of acoustic
signals produced by the loss
of the USS Scorpion as detected at a range of 821 nm by a single hydrophone located
near the island of Lal'alma in the
DISCUSSIONS OF ACOUSTIC DATA
Analysis of thatrecording confirmed
the Scorpion pressure
hull collapsed at a depth of 1530
feet (680 psi) at 18:42:342 on 22 May
1968 while the more pressure depths of
resistant torpedo tubes
survived within the wreckage to collapse at
3370, 3750, 3810, 3950, 4510,
and 4750 feet. (1)
2017, refined analysis of
those data identified for the first time the temporal
the compression and expansion phases of the
pulse) produced by the collapse of a
hull. The duration of the compression phase of the
((37 milliseconds (ms) or 1/27th of a second))
while the duration
of the expansion (rebound) phase of
bubble-pulse was about 190 ms.
Temporal asymmetry exists between the compression and expansion phases
of the bubble
pulse acoustic signal because the duration of thecollapse phase
is truncated by the collapse phase pressure wave encountering the compacting
of the hull and internal structures whereas
the expansion phase emanates less abruptly
when the falling pressure of
that expanding wave and its
momentum are overcome by the ambient pressure
at the collapse depth.
DISCUSSIONS OF IMAGERY OF
THE SCORPION WRECKAGE
Extensive imagery obtained of the Scorpion wreck by the US submersible Trieste confirmed the
engine room had symmetrically "telescoped" 50
feet forward when the cone to
cylinder transition junction failed between
the auxiliary machine space and the
The propeller shaft with the
propeller still attached was found to have
separated from the after section of the hull.
It fell separately to a depth of 11,100-feet.
Whether loss of the propeller shaft caused the loss of Scorpion or was
the result of collapse of the pressure
hull at great depth has been
a subject of continuing debate.
As discussed above, analysis confirmed the duration of the collapse
p1/27th of a second (0.037 seconds), a time within which
the telescoping after
hull sections traveled 50 feet, values that
require an average velocity of
about 900 mph.The velocity
of the intruding water ram which produced that
compressive force was 2000 mph.
was this enormous axially-aligned forward vector opposed (primarily)by inertial forces (a body at rest tends to stay at rest) acting on
shaft and the propeller, and
(secondarily) by the resistance of the water
acting on the effective blade area of the
propeller that tore the shaft, with
the propeller still
attached from the thrust block an out of the
submarine where it fell separately to the bottom to be imaged near the telescoped after hull sections
Imagery also showed the retention
separated from the body of the shaft. Basically,
the after sections of the Scorpion accelerated forward
(away from)the propeller and its attached shaft at 900 mph leaving the unsupported shaft to sink to the bottom.
This assessment resolves the longstanding issue: was loss of the propeller shaft the cause or the result of
the loss of the
The acoustic data
confirms it was the result of collapse of
An alternate explanation
that the propeller had lost (''thrown")
a blade and the resulting rotational imbalance separated the shaft
and the resulting
rotational imbalance separated the shaft causing
the loss of
Scorpion is disproven.
l. "WHY THE USS SCORPION
(SSN 589) WAS LOST."
Nimble Books LLC,
2. TI-IE SUBMARINE REVIEW, Spring 2012 (Pages98-105), "Russian SSBNs
A 'Dead Man' Launch Capability?"
Lots more details of Scorpion here ^
U.S. Nuclear Sub In Korea – U.S.
Lee Chi-dong, Yonhap News Agency, October 10
SEOUL – A U.S. nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine
arrived in South Korea last weekend as part of its regional
deployment, the U.S. military announced Wednesday.
Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) made
a port call in Jinhae, also known as Chinhae, in the country's
southeastern region Saturday, according to the Pacific Command (PACOM).
"With a crew of approximately 150, Tucson can conduct a multitude of
missions and maintain proficiencies of the latest capabilities of
the submarine fleet," the Hawaii-based command said on its website.
"Tucson's crew operates with a high state of readiness and is always
prepared to tackle any mission that comes their way."
It quoted Cmdr. Chad Hardt, commanding officer, as highlighting the
significance of the alliance.
"The Korean-American relationship is very important, and our visit
to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding
relationship that exists between the U.S. and the Republic of
Korea," he said.
The U.S. sailors have engaged in various activities in South Korea,
including culture experience programs, a South Korean defense source
PACOM did not elaborate when the Tucson, based in Hawaii, will
depart the peninsula.
Read more here
The Navy's four public
shipyards, including Pearl Harbor, whose oldest dry dock was built
in 1919, are in poor condition, contributing to inefficiency that is
robbing the Navy of ship and submarine time at sea, according to a
"Navy data show that the
cost of backlogged restoration and maintenance projects at the
shipyards has grown by 41 percent over five years, to a
Navy-estimated $4.86 billion, and it will take at least 19 years
through fiscal year 2036 to clear," the U.S. Government
Accountability Office said in the recent report.
The report also shows that
of the four yards, which include Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia,
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington state, Pearl
Harbor had the lowest maintenance work timeliness.
Pearl Harbor submarine
availability projects fiscal year (FY) 2012-16:
VESSEL FISCAL YEAR COMPLETED SCHEDULED
DURATION DELIVERY STATUS
USS Olympia FY16 273 days
116 days late
USS Greeneville FY15 181
days 15 days late
USS Tucson FY15 181 days
51 days late
USS Cheyenne FY14 240 days
144 days late
USS Buffalo FY14 326 days
160 days late
USS Texas FY14 619 days
172 days late
USS Columbia FY13 162 days
69 days late
USS Louisville FY13 182
days 135 days late
USS Santa Fe FY12 180 days
USS Charlotte FY12 175
days 16 days late
USS Key West FY12 731 days
16 days late
USS Houston FY12 174 days
24 days late
USS Jacksonville FY12 177
days 107 days late
USS City of Corpus Christi
FY12 334 days 108 days late
USS Chicago FY12 652 days
118 days late
Source: Pearl Harbor
Between 2000 and 2016, 14
percent of that work came out on time. Put another way, 49 of 57
maintenance jobs were delayed, according to GAO, resulting in 4,128
lost operational days for nuclear-powered submarines. Submarine
maintenance comprises over 90 percent of Pearl Harbor's work.
By comparison, Puget Sound
had a 29
percent on-time rating, Portsmouth
percent and Norfolk
meanwhile, are clamoring for submarine time. Adm. Harry Harris,
commander of U.S. Pacific Command on Oahu, in April bemoaned that
the Navy is reducing its attack submarine force to 42 from 52 in the
"From a joint commander
perspective, I need more submarines," Harris told the House Armed
To be sure, Pearl Harbor
shipyard, which also is an intermediate maintenance facility, is in
a unique situation far out in the Pacific, where it is a strategic
magnet for unscheduled ship and submarine repairs that throw a
monkey wrench into timelines on larger depot- level submarine work.
The data provided to GAO reflect the depot work.
Portsmouth, Pearl Harbor's
closest competitor, is not in a fleet concentration area and sees
less emergency work.
The shipyard is Hawaii's
largest industrial employer, with a civilian workforce of nearly
5,200 and 543 Navy personnel.
"This GAO report sheds
light on the challenges that have faced Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
for quite some time," U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from
Hawaii who is on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an
email. "While all of the
Navy's shipyards require serious improvements, the challenges facing
Pearl Harbor Shipyard are unique.
"Pearl Harbor's civilian
workforce is highly skilled and specialized to meet the demands of
maintaining the most advanced Navy in the world," Gabbard said.
"They have completed repair and maintenance projects under
challenging and unique circumstances, such as sequestration,
post-9/11 operational demands, the introduction of new
Virginia-class submarines, budget uncertainties, and aging
She added that the Pearl
Harbor workforce "will continue to overcome the challenges before
them, but must have the tools and personnel necessary to do so."
Of the 49 maintenance jobs
from 2000 to 2016 that were late, 22, or about 44 percent, were
fewer than 16 days late, shipyard officials said. They said
contributors to the delays included:
> High submarine usage
post-9/11 resulting in increased intermediate-level work that
requires greater management attention. The work on deployed or
deployable submarines "is the highest priority fleet work," the
> Introduction of the
Virginia-class submarine while maintaining older Los Angeles-class
subs. Four Virginia-class and about 16 Los Angeles subs are based at
> A changing workforce
with significant hiring coupled with an increased attrition rate has
reduced worker experience.
> Antiquated and aging
infrastructure, increased workload complexity and budget
Shipyard officials also
acknowledged it needs to continue to work on its own performance.
One problem for a past commander was the annual holiday week
shipyard closure, which saw work slack off the week before and
continue at a slow pace for a couple of weeks after.
"The Navy continuously
works to improve shipyard efficiency," officials from the Pearl
Harbor facility said in an email. That includes the use of "learning
centers" that provide mentoring and coaching relationships which
"cultivate and preserve knowledge, foster a safe-to-learn
environment, remove barriers and demonstrate the value of the
contributions of all employees," according to the shipyard.
The GAO report, "Naval
shipyards: Actions needed to improve poor conditions that affect
operations," said that Pearl Harbor shipyard, with $838 million in
funding for fiscal 2016, had $1.31 billion in facilities restoration
and modernization backlogs. Its four dry docks were built in 1919,
1941, 1942 and 1943.
"Pearl Harbor Naval
Shipyard faces historic preservation challenges that have
complicated its infrastructure planning and capital investment," the
GAO said. Eighty percent of its nearly 4 million square feet of
facilities is designated as historic. Many facilities are outdated
for modern needs.
Since 2008 the Navy has
invested more than $500 million at the shipyard for improvements
including the 2012 construction of Building 1916, which replaced
shipping containers supporting shops around Dry Dock 1, officials
said. A new submarine production and training facility was recently
completed, and construction is about to begin on a project to
relocate the shipyard's welding school with welders and shipfitters.
Naval Sea Systems Command,
to which the shipyard reports, initiated in fiscal 2017 a long-range
shipyard infrastructure optimization plan for each yard, officials
"This plan will identify
and define a vision to recapitalize and optimally configure shipyard
infrastructure to improve productivity and effectiveness," Pearl
Harbor shipyard said.^
‘I now hate my ship’: Surveys
reveal disastrous morale on cruiser Shiloh
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz | Navy Times
“It’s only a matter of time before something horrible
happens,” one shipmate warned.
“Our sailors do not trust the CO,” another noted.
It’s a “floating prison,” one said
“I just pray we never have
to shoot down a missile from North Korea,” a distraught sailor
lamented, “because then our ineffectiveness will really show.”
These comments come from three command climate surveys taken on the
cruiser Shiloh during Capt. Adam M. Aycock’s recently-completed
26-month command. The Japan-based ship is a vital cog in U.S.
ballistic missile defense and the 7th Fleet’s West Pacific mission
to deter North Korea and counter ascendant Chinese and Russian
'USS Bread and Water': Old and rare
punishment loomed over a demoralized crew Sailors aboard
the cruiser Shiloh often worried about the commanding
officer’s use of an antiquated punishment: Three days in the
brig with nothing to eat but bread and water.
These comments are not unique. Each survey runs hundreds of pages,
with crew members writing anonymously of dysfunction from the top,
suicidal thoughts, exhaustion, despair and concern that the Shiloh
was being pushed underway while vital repairs remained incomplete.
Frequently in focus is the commanding officer’s micromanagement and
a neutered chiefs mess. Aycock was widely feared among sailors who
said minor on-the-job mistakes often led to time in the brig, where
they would be fed only bread and water.
The survey reports offer a window into life in the Navy’s 7th Fleet,
a Pacific command where leadership has admitted sailors are
overworked and often insufficiently trained due to relentless
“It feels like a race to see which will break down first,” one
sailor wrote, “the ship or it’s [sic] crew.”
watchdogs have warned of such issues for
years, the Navy’s problems have come
back in to the spotlight in the wake of
this summer’s at-sea collisions
involving the destroyers Fitzgerald and
John S. McCain, disasters that killed 17
sailors. The Shiloh belongs to the same
chain of command as those two ships,
where several top admirals were recently
Despite the Shiloh’s
sailor comments suggesting a ship in
crisis, and at a time when the Navy
stresses CO accountability, Aycock was
Navy officials declined
to discuss survey details, but
acknowledged that Aycock’s superiors at
Task Force 70 were aware of problems
after the first negative survey taken
two months into his command.
Aycock’s bosses were
tracking the dysfunction and counseling
the captain, officials said, yet Aycock
remained on the job and rotated out in a
standard change-of-command ceremony on
on to back in 1972, 45 years ago,
Unraveling the Thresher's Story
On 10 April 1963, the USS
Thresher (SSN-593) sank with all hands during
sea trials off the Massachusetts coast. At the
time, I was the shipyard watch officer at
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where the submarine
was undergoing maintenance as part of a
post-shakedown availability (PSA). I had the
honor of knowing many of the crew members.
The Navy introduced the Submarine
Safety (SubSafe) Program following the
Thresher’s loss, and it has taken many steps to
ensure that neither the problems uncovered nor
the casualties are forgotten. More important,
the procedures instituted in the aftermath
continue to be rigidly followed. Nevertheless,
as the recent collisions involving the USS
Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and the USS John S. McCain
(DDG-56) show, safety at sea is an ongoing
challenge. Most people working on submarines
today were not around when the Thresher was
lost, and though SubSafe training includes
reference to the Thresher tragedy, we still have
much to learn from the details.
In the early 1960s, the Cold
War was in an active and dangerous stage.
France and the Soviet Union were conducting
atmospheric nuclear tests. The Cuban Missile
Crisis (October 1962) threatened most U.S.
cities with Soviet missiles. As a result,
construction of ballistic-missile submarines
(SSBNs) became the Navy’s top priority,
classified “Brickbat 01.” Portsmouth Naval
Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, was building
SSBNs and SSNs (nuclear-powered attack
attack boats competed with the missile boats
for the same manpower, materials, and
resources, and the missile subs usually won.
During the Thresher’s construction, the
Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) was also being
built, and during the Thresher’s PSA, the
John Adams (SSBN-620) and the Nathaniel
Greene (SSBN-636) were under construction.
The Thresher, the newest, most advanced
attack submarine in the Navy, was
commissioned on 3 August 1961, in spite of
all the frustrations associated with being a
Following delivery, the
Thresher exceeded all expectations. During
her shakedown, she made it to test depth—the
deepest for any sub in the world—more than
40 times. As the first submarine of her
class, she was subjected to severe shock
tests before returning to Portsmouth Naval
Shipyard. The Thresher performed
magnificently during these shock trials but
was subject to depth restrictions afterward,
because the Bureau of Ships advised the
shipyard to conduct inspections for any
evidence of shock damage. In addition to
some alterations, the guidance included
inspecting any accessible silver-brazed
During the Thresher’s
construction, silver-brazed pipe joints were
inspected visually and subjected to pressure
testing, but no non-destructive test was
performed, as ultrasonic testing was in its
infancy and not yet in widespread use.
Following the shock testing, the Thresher
returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a
PSA on 11 July 1962. This availability was
scheduled to last six months and consume
35,000 man-days. As workers discovered shock
damage and other problems, the PSA was
extended to nine months and more than
The Thresher was once again
competing with other construction for
manpower, talent, and attention during the
PSA. Even though the Thresher did not enjoy
high priority, commanders were anxious to
have her join the fleet. They were ecstatic
about the potential this submarine
demonstrated during her shakedown period.
As the time approached for
the Thresher to go to sea, all the normal
frustrations associated with completing a
complicated ship were in play. The so-called
fast cruise, which permits a submarine to
exercise and prove readiness independent of
the shipyard, was terminated because of
problems with both shipyard and crew. A
second fast cruise was successful and the
submarine was declared ready for sea.
Senior ships superintendent of the
Thresher’s PSA, Lieutenant Bob Biederman,
was an experienced submarine officer. He
shared with me several times his frustration
working this submarine availability. He was
concerned that in his opinion the crew
needed more time for training—an opinion
shared by the Thresher’s court of inquiry.
The Thresher got under way on
9 April 1963.
people wanted to ride the advanced
submarine, creating an overcrowding problem.
As a result, some people were told
no. One naval officer with a bag packed with
personal items was turned away as he
approached the brow to board the submarine.
Franklin James Palmer, an experienced
hydraulic expert, had a bad cold and was
instructed to stay ashore. At the very last
minute, the doctors approved him to make the
trial because of his special expertise.
The plan for this sea trial
was to check out the submarine and the crew
on day one, then rendezvous with the
submarine-rescue ship USS Skylark (ASR-20)
on day two to monitor the location while the
Thresher conducted a deep dive to test
depth. This would be the first time since
the shock trials that Thresher dove to test
At approximately 0900 on 10
April 1963, the Thresher advised the
Skylark, “Experiencing minor difficulties.”
Then at 0918, all communications were lost.
Some of the Skylark’s crew reported they
heard sounds as if a ship were breaking up.
The Thresher, the most advanced submarine of
the time and the lead ship of the new class
of submarines was lost. The entire
handpicked crew and all the guests and
talented advisers were gone. The worst
possible peacetime Navy disaster had
The Navy convened a court of
inquiry with some of the most experienced
naval officers of the time. Their report is
comprehensive and after many years has been
declassified. One of the key findings was
that a silver-brazed piping joint in a
seawater system exposed to sea pressure most
probably had failed in the engine room. The
leak would have damaged an electrical panel,
resulting in a reactor “scram”—the reactor
shutting down automatically. This action
meant the submarine was suddenly left
without propulsion or electrical power and
was operating on batteries alone.
One of the last
communications from the Thresher to the
Skylark was “attempting to blow”—that is, to
expel seawater from her ballast tanks to
ascend—but she experienced difficulty. The
court conducted some tests on the Tinosa
(SSN-606), a sister submarine under
construction at Portsmouth. The Thresher had
strainers installed in her blow system to
protect delicate valves from debris and
dirt. The court theorized that the submarine
initiated a blow, which the crew must have
stopped as they began to ascend. But when
the submarine had to reinstate the blow, the
strainers collapsed because of moisture in
the blow piping, resulting in no or limited
airflow. With no propulsion, and unable to
expel water from the ballast tanks, the
submarine sank to collapse depth.
When the first messages from
the Skylark arrived at Portsmouth, I
realized how serious the situation was. Once
the Navy recognized the submarine was lost
with all hands, the situation became
chaotic. None of us was prepared for this.
Even now, more than 50 years later, rarely a
day passes when I do not think of the
I have tried over the years
to understand the whys and wherefores of
this terrible loss. First, the attack
submarine Thresher was built at a time when
missile submarines were the top priority. As
a result, the Thresher did not always get
the best shipwrights or the proper attention
from the shipyard. For example, the Bureau
of Ships advised the yard to inspect all
accessible silver-brazed piping joints in
systems exposed to seawater pressure and to
remove the strainers in the blow system
prior to sea trials. (Silver-brazed joints
had a history of problems in earlier
submarines that were designed to operate at
much shallower depths than the Thresher.)
The shipyard discontinued inspecting for
shock damage and postponed removing the
strainers until after the sea trials.
Another contributing cause
may have been the absence of the submarine’s
most experienced reactor officer, Lieutenant
Raymond McCoole. McCoole’s wife experienced
a medical problem and the submarine’s
commander told McCoole to stay home and take
care of her. His assistant had just
completed retraining in reactor operation,
where the operating rules to safeguard the
reactor are emphasized.
The Thresher had an unusual
reactor plant configuration in that the main
steam stop-valves were designed to close
automatically in the event of a reactor
scram. We know for certain the reactor did
scram as the submarine was approaching test
depth because of sounds recorded by the
national sound surveillance system (SOSUS).
The loss of reactor function and the closing
of steam valves deprived the Thresher of
normal electric and propulsion power. As a
result, air banks two, three, and four
automatically closed, and one bled slowly.
A by-the-book reactor restart
could take between seven and ten minutes.
Overriding the rules and attempting to open
the main steam valves manually also would
take time because of their location. It took
a special decision to ignore the reactor
safety operating rules and open these
When the PSA had grown to
more than 100,000 man-days and nine months,
the shipyard began to make decisions to get
the Thresher finished. The shipyard stopped
conducting inspections for shock damage,
stopped inspecting silver-brazed piping
joints, and postponed other items, such as
removal of the strainers in the blow system.
Although the Thresher was not the highest
priority for the shipyard or even perhaps
the Navy, the operating forces really wanted
this submarine. As a result, Portsmouth Navy
Shipyard wanted to finish the Thresher and
get on with the other submarines under
construction. No one appears to have
considered that sending a submarine to sea
trials and test depth for the first time
following shock trials might put her
survival in jeopardy.
Looking back at this truly
sad state of affairs, it is clear the
Thresher’s crew needed more time to train,
and the shipyard should not have stopped
inspecting. The technology to inspect
silver-brazed joints using ultrasonic
testing was available, albeit it its
infancy. Such testing might have revealed
some of the critical joints that were not
safe. Configuring the main steam stop-valves
to fail closed during a reactor scram was
later proven by actual tests to be
unnecessary. In fact, the Thresher’s reactor
plant could have sustained dragging steam
from a scrammed reactor for more than 20
minutes without any damage to the plant. In
retrospect, we—those in charge at the
time—sent this submarine to sea too soon.
More time may have better prepared her.
What if the Thresher had
survived the casualties and returned to the
shipyard? All or at least many of the
deficiencies might not have been corrected.
probably would have continued building
submarines with silver-brazed joints and the
reactor plant configuration would not have
been changed. The SubSafe program would not
have been established, and the Submarine
Safety Center might never have been created.
The complete review of submarine design
would have waited for a future tragedy.
As a result of this loss,
submarines today are much improved and
safer. The 129 men on the Thresher did not
die in vain.
must keep this story and history alive.
, PE, is
Director of Technical Development at QED
Read comments here
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Washington joins the submarine fleet
Lessig•Contact Reporter | firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington joined the Navy’s submarine force Saturday in a
commissioning ceremony punctuated by the ship’s rallying cry, “Fear
Under sunny skies at Naval Station Norfolk, the crew heeded ship’s
sponsor Elisabeth Mabus, who uttered the time-honored phrase: “Man
the ship and bring her life.” The sailors clad in crisp white
uniforms ran onto the ship, which was pier side.
Blackfish was the name given to orca, or killer whales, by Native
American fisherman. The Washington’s crest features a submarine
emblazoned with a stylized Native American paint scheme that depicts
the orca — black “fish” being a misnomer; the orca is Washington’s
official marine mammal.
Cmdr. Gabriel Cavazos, the ship’s commanding officer, coined the
phrase “fear the blackfish” when he took over earlier this year.
Addressing the crew Saturday, he belted it out from the podium, and
the crew shouted back its response.
Fear the blackfish. Prepared for war.
The ceremony featured speeches by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and lawmakers
from Virginia and Washington state. Among those making the
cross-country trip was Washington’s Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who paid
tribute to what is often called the silent service.
“You may be unheard, but that does not mean you are silent to us,”
Read All with Video
"Fear the Blackfish." USS
Washington Creates New Traditions As It Joins Submarine Fleet
Brock Vergakis, The Virginia-Pilot, October 6
Cmdr. Gabriel Cavazos took command of the new Navy submarine
Washington during a ceremony in April, he improvised the conclusion
of his remarks with a message for U.S. adversaries: "Fear the
"Blackfish" is what Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest call
orca whales, commonly known as killer whales. "Blackfish" also is
the crew's unofficial nickname for the Washington, which will
formally join the fleet and add USS to its name during a
commissioning ceremony Saturday at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Navy is a service steeped in tradition, but the crew of each new
vessel has the rare opportunity to forge its own. Many of the
Washington's still-forming traditions revolve around the use of the
term and visual representation of "Blackfish."
When the Washington is underway, sailors who have earned their
submarine warfare pins known as "dolphins" wear a version that is
all black instead of the typical gold or silver.
"It's a point of pride amongst the crew," Cavazos
The phrase "Fear the Blackfish" quickly embraced by the Washington's
crew is now a rallying cry aboard the Navy's newest nuclear-powered
Whenever a member of the Washington's leadership triad addresses the
crew over a public address system, they end the message with "Fear
the Blackfish." The crew responds in unison: "Prepared for war."
The phrase "prepared for war" comes from the Washington's motto,
"Preserving Peace, Prepared for War." That motto was derived from a
quote by Washington state's namesake,
President George Washington,
who said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means
of preserving peace."
"Just knowing that we’re all working together and we all hear what’s
going on at the same time, and we all say it at the same time
together, gives you that little weird feeling on the back of your
neck that we’re growing as a family," said Petty Officer 2nd Class
Giovanni Garcia, a Washington torpedoman serving aboard his first
"It’s a neat experience. You know that you’re building tradition and
new things that are going to go on through decades."
The motto appears on the Virginia-class submarine's crest, which
prominently displays a submarine surging from the waters of the
Puget Sound with a paint scheme that resembles Native American art
depictions of an orca.
In the officers' wardroom, where meals are served and meetings held,
a Native American depiction of an orca carved on a wooden plaque
hangs from a wall. There are other nods to Washington state in the
wardroom, including a picture of the Seattle skyline. But whenever
Cavazos enters he said he focuses on that wooden plaque and a
corkboard near it that holds the "Blackfish" version of the
submarine warfare pins for officers who have not yet earned them.
There's no better representation of his crew's philosophy for
Cavazos than the Blackfish.
"They’re very fierce predators, and they also look out for one
another," he said. "They travel in pods and they certainly maintain
the family cohesion, and so that’s one of the things that’s big on
"Everyone on this boat is family. Everything just seemed to fit." ^
Send the Ponce!
Sitting in the harbor of San Juan, Puerto Rico right now is the
USCGC James (WMSL 754), one of the U.S. Coast
Guard’s newest, largest, and most capable cutters. The ship is at
anchor, operating as a command and control center for federal
response teams dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which
devastated the island on 20 September.
There is no doubt the James is a very useful asset in the region,
where communications have been heavily damaged and are only slowly
being restored. The systems on the cutter help coordinate government
activities on the island and help keep the Federal Emergency
Management Agency and officials in Washington apprised of what’s
While the mission is vital, keeping the James at anchor for any
extended period is a real waste—the multimission ship is capable of
doing so much more. But the need for a floating command center might
continue for quite a while.
An alternative is available—another ship already outfitted as a
floating command base, able to give multiple agencies and officials
the kind of situational awareness and communications facilities they
need. The ship can refuel helicopters, support small craft, and
provide berthing and feeding facilities for hundreds of passengers.
Even better, the ship has nothing else to do—meaning it can stay as
long as necessary—and she’s only three steaming days away.
USS Ponce (AFSB-1)—named for the Puerto Rican city—is an afloat
forward staging base, a recently-developed kind of ship intended to
support small craft, helicopters, combat teams. and commanders in a
forward operating area. She is at Norfolk, Virginia, having just
returned on 27 September from a successful five-year mission in the
Persian Gulf. The Ponce was converted to a staging base in 2012 from
an amphibious landing ship, and has been replaced by a larger,
built-for-the-purpose ship. The Proud Lion—the ship’s nickname—now
has nothing to do except be decommissioned and scrapped.
But the Ponce could be rapidly refurbished and sent to the
Caribbean, where its facilities would be highly useful for weeks and
months to come as work continues to help, clean up, and restore
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Ponce is far more
capable in the role than the James , which could be released to go
back doing what it is designed to do. The Navy used civilian
mariners to operate the Ponce in the Persian Gulf, meaning few
military personnel will be needed in the relief role. The aged ship
is not without problems—her propulsion machinery is nearly worn
out—but that will not be very important if she does not need to
All the other Navy and Coast Guard ships now assigned to disaster
relief have regular jobs to do—they are not available for lengthy
commitments without negative impacts on other mission areas. The
Ponce can go and stay as long as she’s needed.
The most important attribute for any emergency response is simply to
be on the scene. The Navy and the federal government should move
with all due speed to cancel the Ponce’s inactivation, restore its
capabilities and send her as soon as possible to the Caribbean.
Mr. Cavas was the naval warfare correspondent for
Defense News from 2004 to 2017 and is a former managing
editor of Navy Times . He has reported on Navy
issues across the globe, including aboard USS Ponce
in the Fifth Fleet and aboard National Security Cutters. He can be
U.S. Submarines Are Dying -- Will
These 2 Companies Build Our New Nuclear Attack Subs?
Will the United States government heed the Navy’s warning and
increase procurement of Virginia-class submarines?
Katie Spence (TMFKSpence) | Aug 16, 2014 at 9:46AM
The U.S. fleet of nuclear-powered attack submarines
is dying. The good news is the U.S. Navy has a plan to address this
problem, and it would directly benefit sub makers General Dynamics (NYSE:GD)
and Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII). Here's what you need
There are three types of Navy subs: nuclear-powered cruise missile
and special operations forces subs (SSGNs), nuclear-powered
ballistic missile subs (SSBNs), and nuclear-powered attack subs (SSNs).
Of these three types of vessels, it's the SSNs that make up the
backbone of the Navy's submarine force, conducting a range of
missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, covert insertion,
and covert strikes.
More importantly, at the end of fiscal 2013, there were 54 SSNs in
service: 10 Virginia-class subs, three Seawolf-class subs, and 41
Los Angeles-class subs. The problem is the Los Angeles-class subs
entered service between 1976 and 1996, which means they are getting
old. In fact, the Navy originally had 62 Los Angeles-class subs, but
22 have been retired, the latest being the USS Miami (SSN 755),
which was retired earlier this year due to extensive damage caused
by a shipyard fire. Moreover, this retirement brings the total of
Los Angles-class subs down to 40.
Because it has to phase out the Los Angeles due to age, the Navy has
been acquiring between one and two new and improved Virginia-class
attack subs each year, with the total planned procurement being 30
Virginia-class subs by fiscal 2019. The reason? In order to meet its
mission goals, the Navy says it needs a force of 48 SSNs.
Unfortunately for the Navy, a Congressional Research
Service, or CRS, report issued in June points out one big problem
with the above plan. While the existing Virginia-class submarine
procurement plan allows the Navy to maintain its goal of 48 SSNs
through fiscal 2024, starting in fiscal 2025 the service would see
its force fall below 48 SSNs due to older subs being taken out of
commission. In fact, by fiscal 2030 the Navy would only have 41 SSNs,
and it wouldn't return to its stated goal of 48 vessels until fiscal
2035. Furthermore, the CRS report doesn't take into account the
retirement of the USS Miami.
The above is an issue because the Navy states that, on average,
day-to-day operations require the deployment of 10 SSNs, and during
a peak time of war, an estimated 35 SSNs could be required for
deployment within a certain amount of time. While that requirement
might appear to be below the anticipated available SSNs in fiscal
2030, each sub can only be deployed for a certain period of time
before it must be relieved. That necessitates having a larger force
of available submarines.
The Navy weights its options Read
Sink the Great Green Fleet
In 2011, then-Secretary of the
Navy Ray Mabus announced an initiative called
the Great Green Fleet. Although wrapped in the
mantle of warfighting, it was never really about
the Navy. Instead,
it was about pursuing a
national energy agenda and using military money
to create a biofuel industry. The Great Green
Fleet became part of a broader set of
designed to put the Navy on the
front lines of the fight against climate change.
Although superficially plausible at the time
when fuel prices were high, the Green Fleet is
inappropriate, even counterproductive, at a time
of booming U.S. energy production and Navy
budget shortfalls. It is time to take a critical
look at these energy initiatives, terminate
those that do not directly help the Navy,
subject others to cost-benefit analysis, but
also look broadly at places where additional
energy investments might help the Navy.
The Great Green Fleet was the
most egregious element of the former secretary’s
energy initiatives. Biofuels—making fuel from
biological matter rather than pumping it from
the ground—were thought to be more
environmentally friendly and a way to reduce
dependence on foreign oil. The administration
committed to a half-billion-dollar initiative to
jumpstart the industry, of which the Navy was
responsible for $150 million. The Navy let
contracts to various biofuel startups and
development companies, bought developmental
biofuel, and ran tests to ensure that these
fuels were compatible with Navy systems.
said the Navy was paying $27 a gallon for biofuel when it could buy regular fuel on the
open market for under $3 a gallon (see Commander
James A. Corletta’s “
It’s Not So Easy Being Green ,” November
2014, Proceedings ). The secretary
argued that creating a biofuel industry would
expand fuel sources for the Navy in a crisis.
Critics pointed out that Navy fuel requirements
were a minor amount of national consumption (0.5
percent) and this additional source was
unnecessary. A 2010 RAND study found “no
benefit” to alternative fuels.
The drive for sustainable
energy has spawned a wide variety of wind
and solar projects on naval facilities.
Without question, these efforts produce
energy so bases no longer need to buy from
the civilian grid. Whether the savings
justify the large upfront investment costs
is unclear. (One Norfolk project had a
payback period of 448 years, according to a
Department of Defense Inspector General
audit in 2011.)
“Net zero” bases (energy,
water, and waste independence from the
civilian infrastructure) is one of those
trendy ideas that makes little sense in the
real world. Military bases do need the
ability to operate services, particularly
those supporting vital warfighting
functions, for short periods of time if
something happens to civilian
infrastructure. But making entire bases
independent of the broader economy is
expensive and unnecessary.
Creating new fuel sources
was never necessary, but it is ludicrous
now. Fracking and other technologies have
skyrocketed U.S. production of oil and
natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information
Agency expects the United States to produce
more crude oil in 2018 (9.9 million barrels
per day) than it ever has in its history.
The United States is now the largest
hydrocarbon producer in the world,
surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, having
increased its production by 50 percent in
the last decade. Global oil prices have
plummeted, from $140 per barrel to about $50
The Navy and Marine Corps
are facing severe budget trade-offs and
cannot afford to divert funds to national
energy projects. The Navy is trying to build
to 355 ships, which the Congressional Budget
Office estimates will cost an extra $5
billion per year for construction costs
alone. Readiness is unacceptably low and
needs a major funding boost.
So, what to do?
Terminate the biofuel
initiative. Let the energy market decide
whether biofuels are a viable source of
- Review all Navy
energy production projects, both past
and proposed, to determine whether the
investment justifies the savings. The
cost of photovoltaic cells has been
dropping and wind energy has been
gaining in the energy market even
- Continue efforts in
operational energy. This is about
getting energy to the right place on the
battlefield with minimum warfighting
risk, not about peacetime
cost-effectiveness. An August
Proceedings article attempts to
defend the Great Green Fleet but mostly
focuses on sensible energy efficiencies.
(see Commander Daniel Orchard-Hayes’ and
Lieutenant Colonel Laura King’s “
Realize the Great Green Fleet ,”
August 2017, Proceedings .)
- Examine the areas
where energy efficiency might have real
economic benefits. The Navy has
research-and-development projects in
this area, such as jet engine
efficiency. The classic investment,
however, is heating and air conditioning
systems. Upgrading these systems is not
as exciting as building solar farms, but
it often has big payoffs because the
systems are used heavily but are often
old and inefficient.
Drop the “Green Fleet” terminology.
There’s too much baggage with this term.
is the senior
advisor to the International Security
Program at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies. ^
DEVRON 5 Welcomes New Commodore and
Establishes New Squadron
MC1 Amanda Gray, DVIDSHub.net
|Capt. Robert Gaucher
turns over command to Capt.
Stephen Mack during a change
of command ceremony for
Squadron (DEVRON) 5. Photo:
Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (DEVRON
5), held a combined change of command and squadron establishment
ceremony at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Sept. 26. Capt. Stephen
Mack, from Silver Spring, Maryland, relieved Capt. Robert Gaucher,
from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as commodore during the ceremony
held at Barb Hall.
In addition to welcoming a new commodore, the
Unmanned Undersea Vehicle
Squadron (UUVRON) 1 was established, with Cmdr. Scott Smith, from
Hartford, South Dakota, becoming its new commanding officer.
“It’s very important to note that today is not only a
very important day for Capt. Steve Mack and me, but it is a
historical day for the Navy, Submarine Force and DEVRON 5,” said
Gaucher. “Today we are
transitioning our UUV Detachment into the first UUV Squadron. Why is
this historical? It’s because in standing up UUVRON 1, it shows our
Navy’s commitment to the future of unmanned systems and undersea
Gaucher assumed command of DEVRON 5 March 23, 2016. During his
leadership, Gaucher supported the development and launched the
Navy's first Unmanned Undersea Vehicle squadron, oversaw the
successful deployments of the Seawolf-class fast attack submarines
USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), and provided
Immediate Superior in Charge-level oversight of all three Seawolf-class
submarines during major shipyard maintenance periods.
“I have truly enjoyed this tour and hate to turn over the reins, but
if you read Steve Mack’s biography, you’ll see he has an exceptional
resume and I know that he’ll do great as commodore,” said Gaucher.
“To the team of DEVRON 5, it has been an honor to be your
Gaucher’s next assignment will be in Norfolk, Virginia, where he
will serve as the Chief of Staff for Commander, Submarine Force
“We have a strong group of devoted leaders in our commanding
officers, officers-in-charge, and staff here on the DEVRON 5 team,”
said Mack. “I am excited to be here serving with you and will
endeavor to do my best every day to mentor, motivate, lead, drive,
and work with you best to achieve your full personal and
professional potential while we strive to reach our team goals in
support of the submarine force and our great nation.”
Mack comes to DEVRON 5 from U.S. Pacific Command, where he served
with the current operations division.
DEVRON 5 is charged with multiple submarine warfare mission areas to
include submarine rescue operations and the activities of its three
Seawolf-Class submarines. DEVRON 5 is responsible for developing and
testing new submarine warfare capabilities, including the use of
Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.^
Mixed Reality for Submarine
By James D. Miller The Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Lab Submarine Warfare Program Area
Recent technology advances in high-resolution
displays, motion sensing, and compact computing/micro-processing
have changed the way people interact with computing. Immersive
environments can now be delivered inexpensively to anyone who owns a
smartphone. A small additional cost of a head-mounted display can
take that immersive presentation to the next level. This immersive
computing technology is referred to as Mixed Reality (MR).
Mixed Reality covers the spectrum of technologies
that have been maturing rapidly over the last decade. The continuum
of MR spans from the physical (real) world to the fully virtual and
includes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). MR adds
computer-generated objects/environment to varying degrees to enhance
a user’s knowledge or understanding and enable interactive behaviors
within the MR experience. DoD has long been investing in
technologies that enable the range of MR experiences. Initial
investment resulted in lab-based prototypes that supported expensive
training and held the promise of future operational use.
However, this R&D investment
is on the verge of bearing real operational fruit with the
commercialization of key components, significantly decreasing cost.
Reality (VR) is a fully immersive synthetic 3D environment where
users can explore and interact with simulated entities within that
environment. There are key advantages to using VR in military
applications. VR experiences are impactful and memorable for the end
users, making them excellent training and mission rehearsal/exercise
opportunities. VR can take people to places that are difficult to
access due to cost or physical travel limitations. Furthermore, VR
affords fewer resource constraints than those that real-world
exercises may incur. The synthetic worlds provide safety and an
analytic environment for testing relationships or procedural
interactions. VR has the advantage of providing very high fidelity
worlds that are immersive, impactful, cost-effective, accessible,
and safe to use.
Technology is continuously enhancing the state-of-the-art; however,
there are limitations to reaching the point where VR is mainstream,
even in applications for which it is well suited. Not all human
senses are fully immersed; tactile feedback is not typically
available and is challenging to integrate. For some applications,
like damage control response, smell is also critical and not fully
integrated into VR applications. Mobility is limited due to the need
to be tethered to hardware that can support high-end graphics
processing. It is also difficult to fully suspend belief as a user’s
hands and body are not natively represented in the VR world. These
last two key limiting technologies are currently being tackled and
may soon be overcome with programs like Intel’s initiative, Project
Alloy. While technology continues to advance, the understanding of
its impact on people and effects of use for extended periods of time
are not fully tested. One of the biggest challenges to getting the
technology deployed is the burden of developing quality 3D content.
West Point grad condemned for
pro-communist photos, messages
By Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News
U.S. Military Academy graduate and Army infantry officer has been
condemned after posing with a sign reading “Communism will win” and
posting pro-Colin Kaepernick messages on social media.
The messages and images posted by Second Lt.
Spenser Rapone have rocked the military community, prompting
officers to open an investigation.
of West Point shared a photo on Twitter showing Rapone at a
gathering wearing a Che Guevara shirt underneath his military
In another photo, he is seen making a fist with one
hand as he holds a cap with a sign inside that reads “Communism will
win.” Rapone tweeted the photo Sunday and captioned it with “#VeteransForKaepernick,”
in a bid to show solidarity with the NFL’s national anthem protests.
Army officials condemned Rapone and said an
investigation was opened Tuesday after his pro-Kaepernick and
pro-communist photo drew social media attention, the New York Post
“The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders
who internalize the academy’s motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who
live the Army values. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way
reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,”
an Army statement reads.
Rapone apparently embraced the outrage, sharing the
photo of himself wearing a Che Guevara shirt and writing, “In case
there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre.” The
words, known as a Guevara slogan, translate to "Until victory,
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, born in Argentina in 1928,
became a key figure in Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution in 1959.
Guevara died in Bolivia in 1967 at age 39.
Rapone’s communist sympathies are no secret, the Post
reported. He once posted photos of himself with Karl Marx's
“Communist Manifesto” and a photo of One
World Trade Center with him holding a communist red
star on the top.
Beneath the Waves
Life on a Submarine
All Hands |18 September 2017 By Austin Rooney,
Defense Media Activity
Technician 2nd Class (SS) Joshua Craig pauses for a moment to think
about the question, the steady hum of machinery filling in the
"Anything but normal," he says,
The question he was answering was simple; what does a normal day
onboard a U.S. Navy submarine look like?
The Navy's submarine force is unlike any other community in the
military, a small, tight-knit group of approximately 20,000
active-duty and reserve Sailors who spend months at a time sailing
deep below the waves. Between their secretive missions and their
lack of contact with the outside world, the submarine community is
often a mystery to those on the outside.
"Life on a submarine is unique," said Electronics Technician 1st
Class (SS) Timothy Palowski, a submariner assigned to the ballistic
missile submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742). "You live inside a biodome
that's built for sinking."
Being hundreds of feet underwater and packed into
a small vessel with approximately 150 other people at any given
time, submariners say personal space is almost nonexistent. Small
berthings are spread out throughout the submarine, with some
staggered between missile and torpedo tubes. Some submariners are
even forced to "hot-rack" due to lack of space - a practice where
multiple Sailors must split time between the same bunk to get sleep.
Working hours onboard are also unique; there is no day or night,
only a series of eight-hour rotations: eight hours of standing
watch, followed by eight hours of working, maintenance, or studying,
followed by eight hours of sleep.
"You have to get used to not seeing the sun; when you're in your
rack, that's your night time," said Palowski.
Unfortunately for those underway on submarines, those eight hours
for sleep are often hard to come by; submariners run constant drills
for fire and flooding which every crewmember must participate in.
Since submarines are unable to call in a fire department if one
breaks out, every submariner must respond to an emergency and be
proficient in that response.
Read all and see video
Royal Navy Collision Offers Lessons
for U.S. Navy
off the coast of Lebanon lies the wreck of the HMS Victoria , once
the flagship of the Royal Navy Mediterranean Squadron.
The Victoria is one of the only wrecks in the world resting straight
up-and-down , bow buried in the mud bottom, twin screws pointing
toward the surface 100 meters above, mute testimony to the speed and
violence with which she died.
The Victoria was lost during
a formation anchoring maneuver in calm seas and perfect weather.
Obeying an ambiguous and poorly understood signal,
the HMS Camperdown —fitted with a ram designed to inflict crippling
damage below the waterline—struck the Victoria in the starboard bow.
Despite the Victoria ’s setting what should have been effective
flooding boundaries, the
ship capsized and plunged in less than ten minutes. Three
hundred and fifty eight sailors, including the Fleet Commander,
Admiral Sir George Tryon, perished. The Victoria ’s loss—and its
impact on the Royal Navy—hold lessons for the U.S. Navy today as it
deals with the accidents on board USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS
John S. McCain (DDG-56).
When the Victoria tragedy
struck in 1893, the Royal Navy was the envy of the world—a
force that for decades had ensured freedom of navigation and the
safety of British citizens in every time zone. Within its wardrooms,
the Royal Navy was experiencing the natural tension found in a
peacetime navy: finding the balance between the Nelsonian tradition
of operational independence and the modern mechanisms of managing
risk in peacetime. This debate expressed itself most dramatically in
competing styles of command and control (C2). In an era when C2 at
sea meant flag hoists, the Royal Navy had developed a signal book of
monumental complexity. Mastering that signal book consumed much of
the time available for fleet maneuvers. It also created a
standard—excellence in the execution of maneuvers—that required
exacting obedience to central control. Reformers believed the signal
book was too complex to be executed with speed, especially during
major fleet engagements. These reformers tried to push the Royal
Navy to a looser, more adaptable style of maneuver that would allow
commanders maximum flexibility with minimal signals.
Admiral Tryon was the most notorious champion of the reformers. A
gruff and impatient man, he had instituted his own set of codes for
the Mediterranean Squadron designed to allow greater independence
and agility in maneuver. In the aftermath of the collision, it was
natural that the court-martial considering the accident became a
referendum on the wisdom of this approach. In the process of finding
for the acquittal of the commanding officer of the Victoria , the
court placed the burden of the collision on Admiral Tryon as the
flag officer in command. The admiral had made the signal that
confused his commanders, and the collision between the ships was, to
the court, the unfortunate but logical outcome.
This verdict was convenient for the Royal Navy at that moment. The
unwritten outcome, however, was to mark any deviation from the
standard signal book as imprudent and potentially dangerous. The
reformers retreated from the field, causing the Royal Navy to
maintain its centralized and inflexible command style. Ironically,
the Victoria was arguably a victim of the traditional school.
Tryon’s signal was unclear, yet the Camperdown executed and
maintained course, steadfastly holding to the signal to the point of
Today, the U.S. Navy faces a
similar challenge. Immediate accountability for its losses
and addressing the root causes of training, maintenance, and
readiness deficiencies demand a rigorous and penetrating look at
both individual incidents and the Navy’s overall processes.
Such accountability is not
only part of our service’s heritage; it is a key element of mission
command-style C2. As authority moves down the chain of command, so
too does the need for accountability.
The incredibly difficult task for the U.S. Navy at the moment is to
address failures in the fundamentals—the
safe navigation of its ships—without reinforcing a deeply entrenched
The last 25 years of naval power projection from unchallenged sea
bases against adversaries incapable of denying the Navy’s robust
communication and surveillance architecture have left the fleet
unfamiliar with the level of uncertainty it must accept to win
conflict at sea. The culture changes essential to high-end combat
against a peer navy just now are taking root in the fleet.
Proper acceptance of risk is deliberate and, as Admiral Chester
Nimitz would say, “calculated.” It must be based in an accurate
understanding of one’s own force—strength, condition,
capabilities—and thoughtful acceptance of the risk that a thinking
adversary and the fog of war invariably create. The natural instinct
of any institution in this environment is to attempt to eliminate
risk of all kinds. Navy leaders face the challenge of communicating
acceptable and unacceptable risk, encouraging the former and driving
out the latter. It is a nuanced dialogue that largely will be lost
to those outside the lifelines, but is critical to those inside the
Almost 125 years ago, the Royal Navy faced tragedy during routine
operations. What it took from that loss was the need for control and
obedience that would be woven into its operational culture. A
quarter century later, at the battle of Jutland, its commanders
would display that obedience in combat, waiting to be guided rather
than taking initiative and continuing to execute signals that the
speed of battle had clearly made irrelevant. The result was brutal
losses among the ships engaged and the survival of the German fleet
as a strategic menace to Britain for three more years of war.
The U.S. Navy has an
opportunity to reset its fundamentals and emerge either more capable
than before or ensure that its zero-defect instincts become the
baseline for its operations. Learning the right lessons from our
Navy’s Victoria moment will take a nuanced engagement across all
levels of command. The alternative will leave us weaker than before.
Captain Rielage serves as Director for Intelligence and
Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He has served as
3rd Fleet N2, 7th Fleet Deputy N2, Senior Intelligence Officer for
China at the Office of Naval Intelligence, and Director of the Navy
Asia Pacific Advisory Group.
For more great Proceedings
Today content, click
(Picture: Wreckage of the HMS Victoria
. Credit: Nurkowanie.) ^
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
makes under-the-radar visit to Kitsap
Josh Farley, email@example.com Published 5:28
p.m. PT Sept. 18, 2017 | Updated 5:28 p.m. PT Sept. 18, 2017
BREMERTON — When Jeff Haag, a longtime North
Kitsap School District band teacher, spotted Attorney General Jeff
Sessions among Secret Service agents and family at Keyport Fest on
Saturday, he did the only thing he felt he could.
"I just went up and started talking to him," Haag said.
Haag and his wife, Kathleen, ended up taking a picture with the
former Alabama senator, tapped by President Donald Trump to be the
nation's 84th attorney general. Haag found Sessions to be "warm and
"We steered clear of politics," added Haag. "But we did say we
appreciated the tough job he has to do."
Sessions visited Kitsap in
part to see family. His son-in-law, Paul Reinhardt, commanded
one of the two crews on the ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama
since December 2014.
Reinhardt turned over command to his successor Monday morning and is
next headed to a posting in Washington, D.C.
Sessions' official schedule
was not made available by his office by press time, but he was
spotted at several places around Kitsap. One was Bremerton's
submarine bar, the Horse & Cow Pub & Grill, which Sessions
visited with family Saturday afternoon.
Owners Mike Looby and Larry Timby even got Sessions to join them for
a ceremonial shot of the bar's patented "Nuke Waste" drink, the
ingredients of which are secret.
"He was a down-to-Earth guy," said Timby, who added the the attorney
general and his son-in-law signed a USS Alabama banner in the bar.
"It was really awesome he came to visit our little town."
Sessions is the second member of President Donald Trump's cabinet to
visit Kitsap County in recent weeks. In early August, Secretary of
Defense James Mattis stopped by Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and visited
with the crew of the USS Kentucky ballistic missile submarine based
Sessions has endured a rocky start to his tenure heading the Justice
Department. In July, President Trump complained that he would not
have appointed Sessions had he known the Alabama Republican would
recuse himself from involvement in the investigation into possible
Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Still, Sessions
has pressed on with rolling out Trump's immigration enforcement
It was during Sessions' confirmation hearings that Bremerton City
Councilwoman Leslie Daugs, who was visiting Washington D.C., uttered
an expletive that led Daugs to be charged with disrupting congress.
The charge was later dismissed.
Sessions' travel in the Pacific Northwest continues Tuesday. He's
expected to discuss immigration enforcement and so-called sanctuary
cities with federal officials in Portland, according to The
For some locals here in Kitsap County, getting to meet Sessions was
an opportunity they won't soon forget.
"It was quite the chance encounter," Haag said. "It's not everyday
that you meet the attorney general of the United States." ^