Around the Fleet

Sailors aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) render aid to five Bahamian nationals recovered from a capsized fishing vessel in the Atlantic Ocean. The five men were treated for dehydration.

Two thoughts…
A) Good on the skipper for taking care of some fellow mariners.

B) Thank GOD the crew doesn’t wear those damn cranials like my old boats used to. Pro-Tec helmets look much more stylish…

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12 Responses to Around the Fleet

  1. Edward says:

    I find it astonishing that a boomer would make its position known by surfacing like that. I would think that it gives an indication as to its area of operation and also certainly provides location information to any satellite.

  2. fastnav says:

    I think it all depends on what they are doing, Edward.

    If they were on a deterrent patrol…not a chance they do this. But if they’re just doing local ops and no one else can help, why not?

  3. Edward says:

    Fastnav,

    I agree with the desire to aid a fellow mariner in distress. That is one of the sacred laws of the sea.

    But a boomer is only safe as long as it is undetected. I recall a captain of a CVN was quoted in another blog a while back as telling his crew to attack any sub they detected (“if you detect it, it is not one of ours”). A CVN with 3,000 souls and state-of-the-art equipment cannot be risked. Well, a boomer is just as precious because of what it carries.

    Hard choices are made on the sea. Convoys did not pause to pick up survivors from torpedoed ships in WWII and early in the war certain old-school German U-boat skippers learned the hard way that they could not pick up or tow survivors of ships they sank.

    It was a tough choice. But given the training and sense of responsibility of our undersea fleet officers, I trust the captain made the right decision.

  4. Niall says:

    Edward –

    Those considerations might be valid during war time, but we’re not at war – at least not on the sea. And it’s unclear what threat the sub would be exposing itself to by becoming detectable for a short period of time.

  5. MTCS(SS) (RET) Cliff says:

    The Captain made the right call. We are not at war. If things got bad fast, the crew would have no trouble isolating the survivors, diving and becoming a hole in the ocean again in short order.

  6. MTCS(SS) (RET) Cliff says:

    Clarification, we are not in a war that demands the use of nuclear weapons. We are in a very serious war against terrorism. Thank You to all who serve us here at home.

  7. Niall says:

    At least our subs have to surface to be detected. Unlike those of our Russian friends, that don’t have to surface at all.

  8. virgil xenophon says:

    Tangentially OT here, but during Clinton admin, the insane decision was made to remove the GO-Codes from the boomers with the idiotic belief this would prevent accidental/rogue release by boomer Capts & crews–justifying move by stating codes could be helicoptered out in time of crisis as plenty of time would be had during initial crisis build-up. Was this insane craziness ever reversed? (Of course if not under Bush, now that we have Obama, fat chance)

  9. Niall says:

    And we can see now what horrible consequences this decision had.

    Oh. Wait a minute.

  10. virgil xenophon says:

    Niall/

    A deterrent ain’t no deterrent if the people you’re trying to impress/deterr believe that if only they can hide their intentions long enough and move fast enough, the go codes will never have time to be distributed.

  11. Niall says:

    But obviously we continued to deter, even without the codes on board.

    QED.

  12. mcgenia says:

    I am a proud alumnus of the Rhode Island, retiring off her as the Bull Nuc on the Blue crew! Way to go guys!

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