Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I came across this article tonight about the sub service. Submarines are treated to the very highest category of support. Seriously, what a submarine wants, it gets. The idea that they could be Guam-bound for their entire "deployment" is a shocking testament to the failure of both their leadership and their ability. There is a Submarine Tender based in Guam. There has been one there for almost 3 generations.
"Jefferson City has been in port in Guam since June 21 for various maintenance and repairs," said Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, spokesman for Submarine Force Pacific. "Jefferson City has a very small water leak from a valve internal to the propulsion plant."
DeWalt said the reactor has a water coolant leak that isn't a safety concern and is not putting anyone or the environment at risk because it's contained inside the plant. He also emphasized that officials don't consider the boat to be "stranded" in Guam for the past five months, since it's had the capacity to get underway.
Exactly what kind of sailor cannot replace a leaking valve? Yeah, I know the answer but I enjoy asking the question. Sending a ship to sea with a propulsion system that cannot be repaired at sea is lunacy. We have been operating nuclear ships since USS NAUTILUS got underway over a hundred years ago. [I can fabricate pure shite better than SUBPAC]

This brings up the entire USN deployment plan. Why, exactly, do we have to deploy our ships and squadrons for up to a year at a time when we are a nation at peace and not formally engaged in anything even remotely resembling a war? Back in the Cold War we did it to maintain maritime supremacy but the Cold War is over. The wars a thousand miles inland in Afghanistan are over. The war in Iraq is over. Thanks to our brilliant leadership over the last 12 years we have right-sized the navy.
Right Sizing The Navy

I realize that like Britain, we are closing in on the days of being a shitty little navy. I can handle that. We've done that before and we will again. I do wonder what strategy drives massive ongoing deployments in the face of no threat at all.

If USS JEFFERSON CITY counts as a deployed asset, how much would we lose, as a nation, if half the deploying force simply emulated this "deployed" submarine and stayed at home?

Almost 30 years ago I came across a book in a used book store in San Diego. It was written by the Salvage Officer of the events above and carried on through the salvage and reopening of the Suez Canal after that war. OTOH, it would have been one of the thousands of books I gave away a couple of years ago to the Padre.

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