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Nords - Was this one of your subs?
Old 10-22-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Nords - Was this one of your subs?

Nuclear sub crew faked inspection records - CNN.com
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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From his posts , not a chance the dude is so OCD it never would have happened on one of his subs. That IS a GOOD thing!
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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I was just about to post to REWahoo's "nuclear flyover" thread to let him know that the sub force is ready to take the media heat off their AF brethren!

Nuclear Submarine Procedures Skipped

This is truly pathetic. HAMPTON just transferred to San Diego to rebalance the fleet so perhaps the LANT bosses, miffed at losing their Cold War priority, have been cleaning their bench of the scumbags. Squadron staff must've been doing a Welcome-Wagon ride to get an idea of what training would be needed, reviewed a few logs, and oops...

This is really rotten, too. The nukes log enough daily parameters to generate a pile of 11"x17" paper over an inch high, reviewed by a half-dozen CPOs and officers all the way up to the CO. It's unheard of that everyone would just kinda forget to check and see how the primary chemistry is chugging along-- "Hey, Eng, any holes in the core spewing fission products into the primary coolant today? No? Cool. Let's run scrams." They're not just supposed to sample daily (traditionally done during the midwatch, right after the start of the day) but they're also supposed to sample after anything that could cause a shock to the core just about every engineering drill. Cracking open valves to collect a few bottles of high-temperature high-pressure reactor coolant isn't such a routine deal that you'd assume everyone knows what they're doing, either, so it's the type of thing that barely goes two days without getting someone nitpicking helpfully looking over your shoulder. Besides on some of the more mature plants you didn't dare turn your back for more than a few hours.

So I guess after HAMPTON's nukes discovered that they weren't good enough to keep an eye on something at least as routine and important as remembering to wipe their assets, then they decided that it wasn't much more of a stretch to cover it up. I hope the Eng and the XO both get fired over this one. The CO might as well retire, too... no promotion or major command screening for him!

Or maybe they just wanna go back home to Norfolk. I'm sure at least one San Diego commodore is ready to support that.

I'm glad I'm not on active duty. This one is going in the Naval Reactors Training Bulletin "Hall of Shame" section for everyone to study for the next couple decades. Only Gumby can truly appreciate how much more "help" this is gonna rain down on every nuclear watchstander for the next two years...

Sorry, overlooked the question. USS JAMES MONROE, SSBN-622 (BLUE), 1984-86 and USS NEW YORK CITY, SSN-696, 1989-92. My BS degree is in chemistry and my jobs on MONROE included being the guy in charge of the guys who do the chemistry & radiological work. It ain't rocket science.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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It will suck beyond measure to be the MPA/ELT division officer on a submarine. I foresee intensive retraining, increased inspections, sacrificial offerings of unwary Lieutenants, the whole nine yards. (ELT = Engineering Laboratory Technicians -- the guys whose job it is to monitor the primary system chemistry and keep it within specifications. MPA = Main Propulsion Assistant - the guy who is in charge of all the mechanical/liquid reactor systems)
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
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Nuclear Submarine Commander Removed

Shoes are beginning to drop. The CO has been relieved, and I'm sure there'll be a few admiral's masts for those who were directly involved.

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Portland will be replaced by Cmdr. William J. Houston, who previously was assigned as a special assistant to the Director of Naval Reactors.
Yikes, the technical ratings don't come much higher than that. OTOH having to suffer through a job like that should entitle Houston to ask for whatever he wants...
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:06 PM   #6
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Houston should be a happy guy. Following a disgraced guy after a big foul-up is a great gig. You can ask for (and get) plenty of resources and the next FITREP will look great. It's following after a tremendously successful guy/gal that stinks.

Are the skippers of these boats usually O-5s? I would have guessed O-6.

PS. Do you have to be named after a city to get a boat?
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:44 PM   #7
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I don't worry about these incidents as much as those that may not be reported. These things are like cockroaches, or icebergs.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:44 PM   #8
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Houston should be a happy guy. Following a disgraced guy after a big foul-up is a great gig. You can ask for (and get) plenty of resources and the next FITREP will look great. It's following after a tremendously successful guy/gal that stinks.
Agreed. The CO is just there to let the senior chain of command sleep comfortably at night, but they won't hesitate to shoot him if they need to. (I think USS GREENEVILLE went through five changes of command in the next two years after Waddle was fired for the EHIME MARU collision.) And the new CO already got flag sponsorship from his NR tour, so if he doesn't get surprised by the old CO's leftovers then he'll have a nice early promotion to O-6 for pulling everyone's ashes out of the fire.

It's the new XO/Eng who are gonna be perpetually miserable with all the "help" coming aboard to "look around and see how things are going", and the crew that's going to be attending a bezillion ethics & integrity training sessions. The entire crew will have been judged to be either liars or blissfully-ignorant idiots. Motivation & initiative (and re-enlistment rates) are gonna suck on HAMPTON for about three years.

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Are the skippers of these boats usually O-5s? I would have guessed O-6.
Yep. Attack subs have had O-5s since the nuclear classes started. The OHIO class boomers used to be O-6s until about the mid-90s, then they boosted more O-5s because the O-6s were whining about going to sea again on a second command tour to give the O-5s more command slots. Now that the first four OHIO boats are being retrofitted to SSGNs with embarked special forces detachments, I think the first few COs will be O-6s and then perhaps they'll back off to "senior" O-5s.

In WWII a U.S. submarine officer could have command of a diesel boat as an O-4, some of whom were barely in their late 20s. By the end of the war many O-4s had only six years' commissioned service instead of today's 9-10. The average age of German submarine COs was 23, but they tended to have short careers and die young.

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PS. Do you have to be named after a city to get a boat?
That's a funny story. The last fish class was the USS STURGEON (SSN-637) and near the end of that line Rickover started naming them for his Congressional supporters. You had steely-eyed killers of the deep standing tall aboard feared warfare platforms like the "GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB" and the "RICHARD B. RUSSELL". Kinda tough to build a reputation with monikers like that, especially if your sponsor is an alcoholic.

The LOS ANGELES (SSN-688) class was supposed to go back to fish, but Rickover changed the name. When asked why he reportedly said "Fish don't vote."

Of course the name has some influence on homeporting but not enough. USS NEW YORK CITY, in Pearl Harbor, didn't enjoy a very close relationship with the NYC politicians. That all changed for the better, however, when we managed to forge a relationship with the NEW YORKER magazine people. They threw a lot of good deals our way.

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I don't worry about these incidents as much as those that may not be reported. These things are like cockroaches, or icebergs.
I agree that the plant-sampling gundecking is just the tip of the iceberg, but most of the subsequent findings (and their reporting in the media) won't be public. There are classification issues with some of the nuclear stuff, and most non-judicial punishments are protected by the Privacy Act. Being relieved of command is not punitive, but the career-ending letter of reprimand certainly will be.

A major housecleaning & cultural change is in progress. The XO/Eng have probably already been told to hit the road, and whoever was leading the radcon technicians has probably already gone to admiral's mast to be reduced in rank and kicked out of submarines. The engineering department's senior chief petty officer should be hauled out back by his fellow CPOs and shot will no doubt have to retire since his reputation will never recover from this. Squadron has probably sent most of their staff to sniff around every other division, engineering & otherwise, looking for any other surprises. And when the boat is finally trusted to get underway, they'll have two dozen more riders keeping an eye on everybody. They'll even have a command-qualified O-5 hatchet man squadron deputy aboard whose sole job is to be ready to relieve the CO if another major problem crops up. Without that O-5, if a serious nuclear incident occurred the boat would be told to shut down the reactor and snorkel back to port.

I'm going to a shipmate's retirement in a couple weeks and I'm hoping to pick up some gossip...
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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Nords,

Just on the off-chance, you may have served with a guy who recently conducted a training class that I was in. (I never was military, and this guy no longer is, but he mentioned serving on the James Monroe (don't know the dates, though).)

Do you recall a Petty Officer Dan Thimm (pronounced 'Tim')? He was in Radio on the James Monroe. Had some hilarious stories!
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:35 PM   #10
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Nords,
Just on the off-chance, you may have served with a guy who recently conducted a training class that I was in. (I never was military, and this guy no longer is, but he mentioned serving on the James Monroe (don't know the dates, though).)
Do you recall a Petty Officer Dan Thimm (pronounced 'Tim')? He was in Radio on the James Monroe. Had some hilarious stories!
Well I'll be darned.

I was on the BLUE crew with him somewhere during 1984-86. I was Communicator (Radio division officer) roughly June-Dec 86. I remember his name (in a good way) but I don't remember any other details-- which means he must've been doing a good job!

Whatever stories he told you, it wasn't my fault. Senior Chief Jacobs was the idea guy... or our XO, John Eldridge, told me to do it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Dan'll have to register at United States Navy - Together We Served . It's a great database that's helped me find more shipmates this year than in the last decade, although Classmates.com has been pretty good. I'd really like to know what happened to some of the other crewmembers.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:42 PM   #11
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Well I'll be darned.

I was on the BLUE crew with him somewhere during 1984-86. I was Communicator (Radio division officer) roughly June-Dec 86. I remember his name (in a good way) but I don't remember any other details-- which means he must've been doing a good job!

Whatever stories he told you, it wasn't my fault. Senior Chief Jacobs was the idea guy... or our XO, John Eldridge, told me to do it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Dan'll have to register at United States Navy - Together We Served . It's a great database that's helped me find more shipmates this year than in the last decade, although Classmates.com has been pretty good. I'd really like to know what happened to some of the other crewmembers.
Is that site only for Navy personnel and veterans, or can relatives join?
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
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Heh heh.

With your permission, I'll let him know about your current contact info and vice versa. Small world, eh?

On the stories side, the ones he told me were pretty much his fault...

Let's see - he told me (keep in mind that we met after hours in a bar and both of us were drinking, so some minor details may be incorrect...) that once he was in the radio room with another PO, and he was ripping the Captain up one side and down the other. "That stupid [string of swear words], he [string of swear words], (wash, rinse, repeat)"

The captain's stateroom shares a wall with the radio room. The next day, there was an order over the loudspeaker, "Petty Officer Thimm, bring the boards to the Captain's quarters!". A routine order; however, when Dan brought the boards in, the captain took them from him and didn't read them. He just stood there, looking at Dan - until Dan realized that he could hear the conversation from the radio room!

At the point at which Dan realized that the captain knew that Dan knew that he knew, he said, "The walls are pretty thin, huh, Petty Officer?"

[snap to attention] "Yes, Sir!!!"

Captain, "That will be all, Petty Officer." [Hands back the boards]

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:32 PM   #13
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Following a disgraced guy after a big foul-up is a great gig.
Works well in the corporate world too. I made a lot of hay by taking up broken departments, screwed up programs, and stuff nobody wanted to do, then making sure everyone knew I was doing all the hard work.

Takes a little extra leadership to get whats left of the employees to perk up and get back in gear, but that extra leadership gets you noticed. And extra stock options and bonuses.

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Kinda tough to build a reputation with monikers like that, especially if your sponsor is an alcoholic.
I'd be nervous about a sunken boat full of nukes named after a boozer coming at me. Wouldnt you be a bit concerned if you saw the RFS Yeltsin coming at you, badly listing to one side, couple of missile covers off and sliding over the edge?
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:25 PM   #14
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Is that site only for Navy personnel and veterans, or can relatives join?
Here's what the site says: "For current and former serving Members of the United States Navy, TogetherWeServed is a unique, feature-rich resource enabling Naval personnel to re-connect with lost Shipmates, share memories and tell their Navy story."

I say that because clearly some non-vets have joined, but they're fairly easy to detect.

When you click their "Join" button, you get: "TogetherWeServed has a strict membership policy which is actively supported by our Members. To be eligible for membership of this website you must qualify in one of these categories:
- Active Serving US Navy Personnel.
- US Navy Veteran.
- Immediate family member of a Fallen, Deceased or MIA Navy Sailor.
We regret that the following categories are NOT eligible for membership of this site:
US Navy Cadets.
Family Members of Navy Sailors who are not deceased or MIA.
Members of the general public who are interested in the Navy."

The NTWS site is actually the second site from these guys. Their first one is the Marine Corps TWS site, and the two sites have reciprocal provisions. So I guess NTWS would also be open to Marines.

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With your permission, I'll let him know about your current contact info and vice versa. Small world, eh?
Yes please!

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At the point at which Dan realized that the captain knew that Dan knew that he knew, he said, "The walls are pretty thin, huh, Petty Officer?"
[snap to attention] "Yes, Sir!!!"
Captain, "That will be all, Petty Officer." [Hands back the boards]
Sounds more like Coughlin than Woodman, but they're both good guys who probably laughed their assets off after Dan left...

It took me a long time to figure out how the COs always seemed to know where they needed to be before you knew they needed to be there.
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:01 PM   #15
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Sounds more like Coughlin than Woodman, but they're both good guys who probably laughed their assets off after Dan left...

It took me a long time to figure out how the COs always seemed to know where they needed to be before you knew they needed to be there.
I don't recall the COs name, but Dan said his nickname was Mad Dog - because he got --- aggressive --- with Angles & Dangles when the sub first left port. That help?
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:08 AM   #16
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I don't recall the COs name, but Dan said his nickname was Mad Dog - because he got --- aggressive --- with Angles & Dangles when the sub first left port. That help?
Ah yes, that would be "All Ahead Frank" Coughlin. He wanted to do a 40-degree angle but lost the argument when the Engineer was able to document that the main engine's thrust bearings were only warranteed for 35 degrees.

He was a frustrated attack-submarine sailor who couldn't stand being put in command of a broken-down old boomer. Luckily I was too blissfully ignorant to know any better, and I didn't understand his attitude until after I got to my own attack boat.
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