Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons
It was a lot of fun Saturday night to spend the evening with Josh Carter and The Resistance Podcast, talking about my beliefs about deterrence and the role of the United States in world affairs.
Some fair warning, this is an adult podcast, and I am a sailor, so there is some language. Also Josh got me fired up about some issues with Congress and I launched. So if you get offended by language or criticism of my Congressman, you might want to avoid this bonus presentation.
So here is Josh Carter and I talking about whether o not the US is a bully or building an Empire or just doing what we should be doing….
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…