Category Archives: Soviet Union
On the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle raid, Dave got to visit the USS Hornet Museum. It honors the brave men who flew that daring raid as well as the generations of sailors who served in her after WWII and even today aboard ships with other names, but doing the same job of keeping the peace.
That idea of deterrence and peace through strength is the real reason, despite the apparent confusion of Trump’s Armada, that North Korea and Kim Jong-tun (get it?) decided to not test their atomic weapons last week.
Deterrence works because there is a credible and real threat of retaliation. Ships like USS Hornet and USS Carl Vinson along with their myriad of escorts and support ships provide that deterrent today.
Once you’re qualified, going to sea on a Ballistic Missile Submarine during the Cold War is a combination of boredom, stress, and trying to figure out what to do next. You’ll stand your watches, qualify your next watch stations, and do a lot of maintenance and cleaning. In fact, so much cleaning that there will be a four page memo that describes the difference between “Clean Up Ship” and “Field Day.”
Because even XO’s get bored and once they start writing…. well…
Shoved in between all of that, is eating, sleeping, showering, working out, watching movies, reading books, listening to music and trying to figure out the best prank to pull. Most of which you will never ever hear about because, frankly, they’re only funny to submariners.
There are drills galore. Division and Departmental Training. Throw in some General Military Training just for good measure.
Once in a while there’s a stop in Pearl Harbor, or a Follow On Test that gets you back home in time for opening week of the MLB Season. Even – hopefully not as often – a problem that takes you home and lets you surprise the heck out of your friends who aren’t expecting you.
Mostly though, it’s just tedious, mind-numbing, drawn out, seemingly never going to end, droning on, time flowing like cement, boredom. Much of it recorded on the pages of a green Record Notebook in the Crews Lounge and known as “The Bullshit Log.”
It just goes on and on and on. Broken by the occasional special night, or maybe a FamilyGram that lets you know that there are people back home who at least for fifty words are thinking about you. It just goes on and on. Occasionally somebody gets hurt. Maybe they cut a thumb off or some such. But it goes on and on and on. Somewhere in Russia a nuclear reactor melts down and the Chief of the Watch wants you to take an atmosphere sample “just in case” we sucked in some zoomies while snorkeling a few minutes ago. And then it goes on and on and on.
Until you hear “Alert One” over the 1MC, and the Roving Patrol (MCRP) wakes you up and says they need you in Missile Control Center. Earlier in the day, there had been a major political assassination on the Indian sub-continent. Now you’re handed a Re-target and Strike Message that is missing the traditional header:
SIERRA INDIA MIKE UNIFORM LIMA ALPHA TANGO ECHO
It’s a mistake. Just a simple printer misalignment. But for a few moments, maybe even seconds, you won’t know that.
And after 81 days underwater multiple times, for a few short moments, a blink of the eye for all the time you’ve spent down here, you’ll grasp the full meaning of what it is that you do…
I said the other day that countries throughout history, and most certainly the United States, have gone to strange and distant lengths to “interfere” in the elections – whether free and fair or not – of other countries. How odd is it that today – with absolutely NO PROOF of their accusations whatsoever – the Democrats stand accusing the Russians of doing so to us. Well… what did they think was going to happen (if it even did) after the Democrats interfered in the Russian elections?
For me, there is no doubt that Russia, along with China, North Korea, Greece, The Philippines, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Denmark and even Andorra are trying to hack us. No doubt whatsoever. Given that we know that and have known about the danger for many, many years, does it make sense for a Secretary of State to set up her own private server in her basement? And for a President who knows that she’s done that to allow it? Read the rest of this entry