Monday, March 20, 2017

Answers to Submarine Q.O.T.W. from 17 MAR 17

Related information and links for questions are found in the original posting here

Questions of the Week (Q.O.T.W.) with ANSWERS

1- Was current President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin's father a submariner?  ANS: Yes , Putin's father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, serving in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s.

2-  Did the U.S. navy require Cold War submarine volunteers to have their sound wisdom teeth extracted in order to prevent the possibility of mission interference / interruption?

ANS: Yes, authors here were some of them.

3-  Is it true that submariners are superstitious and as so unable to cope with deviations from daily routine for their fear of tempting fate?  ANS: Certainly NOT.  Just consider the number of subs sunk during WW2. By necessity and selection, submariners are among the least superstitious and most cerebral of any branch in the armed forces. As Juan Caruso says in the first line of his poem Extreme Creatures, “... (they) Who suffer no attrition upon news their kind are sunk”. More Examples.

4- How recently was the snow-flakey assertion in question 3 published? ANS: On March 17, 2015 an author remarked, "Submariners are a superstitious lot at the best of times and any deviation from this routine is an unacceptable risk in tempting fate."


Submariner's Quote of the Week
... [F]ood rationing at that time was a challenge because it got to the stage where breakfast was just one sausage with a teaspoon of beans and dinner was pasta and tomato sauce, but we had to get on with it as there was an important job to carry out.
 
5- The man quoted above received his fleet's commendation for (inter alia) "excellent work in difficult circumstances".
-a) Is he a culinary specialist? ANS: No, he was a communications and information systems engineering technician.
-b) i - In what navy does he serve? ANS: The U.K.'s Royal Navy.

-b) ii - Name the type of commendation awarded.  ANS:  The award was a Fleet Commander Commendation.
-c) For service aboard which sub (ship's prefix and name) was his coveted commendation awarded? ANS: The commendable service was rendered aboard HMS Torbay.
-d) During what period of time (approximate) did the underlying submarine mission take place?  ANS: His commendable efforts were performed in late 2015 and the first half of 2016. 
NOTE:  Excerpts leave no doubt that he fully deserved his commendation, in our opinions he performed far above expectations at critical times: 
"‘During this prolonged and uncertain period of operations, Blackburn’s leadership, mentoring, guidance and development of his team was instrumental to delivering the communications capability of the submarine and contributed significantly to HMS Torbay’s effectiveness. ‘Despite facing numerous technical and procedural challenges throughout a number of operations, he worked effectively to deliver this key operational capability, displaying characteristics expected of a far more experienced and longer serving individual. ‘Indeed his performance, attitude and ability matched and often exceeded that of his qualified and more senior peers despite the high intensity and challenging operations the Torbay was conducting at that time, which included the adoption of food rationing to prolong her endurance in response to continued tasking.’"  source
Blackburn

Read more at: http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/special-fleet-award-for-daniel-1-8442241

in late 2015 and the first half of 2016.

Read more at: http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/special-fleet-award-for-daniel-1-8442241
What is slightly troubling is journalism's unfamiliarity with some privations of submarine service. For instance, outages of potable water and food limitations have been experienced more widely than some journalists may be aware.  Generally, one survives without food for 3 weeks; and even without drink for 3 days. Submarine service has never been acceptable for  'snowflakes'.

 -e) - What is the official ship prefix used by Russia's Navy?  ANS:  Neither Jane's Fighting Ships nor the International Institute for Strategic Studies list a ship prefix for Russian Navy vessels.  The Russian Navy does not use a ship prefix convention (e.g. HMS, USS).







Submarines are always silent and strange.

 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Submarine Quotation & Related Questions of the Week - 17 MAR 17

Background

Should "snowflakes" or prima donnas ( = very temperamental people with inflated views of their own talent or importance) be recruited for submarine duty?  That decision is up to each navy. Vladimir Putin's navy does not think so. The U.S. Navy once agreed and even administered psychological tests to eliminate the patently unsuitable among its less suitable submarine volunteers.

The Center for Naval Analysis had found that the "unplanned loss" rate (23 to 25 percent) for female sailors was more than two-and-a-half times the rate for men (8 to 10 percent). Proportionate loss rates on submarines, combined with surfacings and evacuations made necessary by disciplinary problems, can obviously compromise stealth missions typical of submarines. 

Since the Fall of 1999, however, new submarine designs have been required to include berthing and privacy arrangements appropriate to mixed gender crews. The gender example does NOT serve to dismiss all women as unsuitable sub sailors, but illustrates convincingly that our U.S. Navy now finds itself compelled to marginalize some of its once prized recruiting standards despte the Russian Federation Navy's trend toward the opposite.  Either way, the inevitably in such stark choices seems bound to result in grit for future notes.  Loosely related QOTW follow.

Q.O.T.W.

1- Was current President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin's father a submariner?

2-  Did the U.S. navy require Cold War submarine volunteers to have their sound wisdom teeth extracted in order to prevent the possibility of mission interference / interruption?

3-  Is it true that submariners are superstitious and as so unable to cope with deviations from daily routine for their fear of tempting fate?  

4- How recently was the snow-flakey assertion in question 3 published? 

Submariner's Quote of the Week

... [F]ood rationing at that time was a challenge because it got to the stage where breakfast was just one sausage with a teaspoon of beans and dinner was pasta and tomato sauce, but we had to get on with it as there was an important job to carry out.
  
5- The man quoted above received his fleet's commendation for (inter alia) "excellent work in difficult circumstances". 
-a) Is he a culinary specialist?
-b) i - In what navy does he serve?
-b) ii - What is the official ship prefix used by Russia's Navy?
-c) Name the type of commendation.
-d) For service aboard which sub (ship's prefix and name) was his coveted commendation awarded?
-e) During what period of time (approximate) did the underlying submarine mission take place?

Submarines are always silent and strange.





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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

China Confirms Likely Answer to a Superficial Submarine Question

The Submarine Question:

[13 FEB 2017]  "Does China Have a Nuclear Submarine That Could Beat the U.S. Navy?"  

China's Simple Answer:

[20 FEB 2017]  "China wants foreign submarines to stop traveling below the surface in the vast waters it claims"

*************

 So much for the U.S.'s technical superiority, then? NOT

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Submarine Mysteries: Each Not Telling (Yet)

Molten Eagle"Submarines are always silent and strange." 
 

MYSTERY #  1 (Enduring)

Background
"Top Secret Data on India’s New Stealth Attack Submarine Leaked ... French defense contractor DCNS suffered a massive leak of secret documents."  click here for a few details revealed by those leaked documents


(AUGUST 24, 2016) India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar seeks submarine data leak report, navy says no need for alarm.  

"The navy also made it clear that the leak did not take place in India. The data, which comprises over 22,000 pages, was leaked, the Australian media reported. It contained documents on the Scorpene submarines, designed by French company DCNS and being built in India by the Mazagaon Dock Limited in Mumbai (Maharashtra) at a cost of around $3.5 billion. The news created ripples in India soon after the report in the Australian media came out."

 (AUGUST 25, 2016France and India Claim Submarine Data Leak Is No Big Security Problem
 
"France and India on Thursday played down the security risk posed by leaked data on French-designed submarines that a source told Reuters was probably stolen by a French former employee and that has raised concerns over a $38 billion contract with Australia. More than 22,000 pages of data about six submarines that France's DCNS is building for India's navy looked to have been stolen in 2011 by a subcontractor who was fired while providing training in India, the source said."


(SEPTEMBER 3, 2016) Scorpene leak: India shelves plan to expand French submarine order after data breach

"Details of the Scorpene submarine were published in the Australian newspaper last month, triggering concerns that it had become vulnerable even before it was ready to enter service." 


M.E.'s Rhetorical question: Which nation is responsible for the submarine data leak (Australia, France, India, none of the foregoing)?


****

MYSTERY #  2 (Enduring SSBNs; Temporary SSNs)

Background
"US Naval think tank: The US needs more submarines and smaller aircraft carriers" 

(FEBRUARY 10, 2017) Navy says more money needed to address submarine maintenance shortfall
"Five attack submarines could be decertified this year if Congress fails to provide more money to the Navy to address maintenance and readiness shortfalls, according to government officials.

The Navy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on which submarines are at risk of decertification."


M.E.'s Rhetorical questions (those serving aboard already know):  

  • Which 5 U.S. submarines are at risk of "decertification"?  

  • Is 5 actually the correct number?

****

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Friday, February 17, 2017

What is Wrong with These Images?


PHOTO  1

Explanation (An Upset Condition masquerading as business as usual):  CVN 77 was ordered 15 years ago (26 January 2001) and it has been only 7 years since its commissioning (10 January 2009).  Would not a better ordnance staging and handling system have been provided?  Is it really necessary for our sailors to be mired in such clutter aboard a relatively new aircraft carrier unlike on our submarines?

MENTAL IMAGE  2
 Quotation:  "In short, submariners will no longer be as exceptional as before. They’ll have to learn new habits. They’ll be more like surface officers, forced to train for active defense and counterattack for survival rather than trusting to invisibility. They’ll have to be more like aviators, operating squadrons of offboard craft to extend their combat reach. And subs will no longer be loners, sent forth to do great things in independent operations. In short, not just a technological but a cultural revolution is afoot." - James Holmes, Professor of Strategy U.S. Naval War College, February 16, 2017, The National Interest,  "Is the Age of the Submarine Over?" 

Explanation (A long lead-time forecast masquerading as a near-term paradigm shift) : What has really been afoot is a grand naval deception designed to encourage exhorbitant enemy spending just to maintain yesteryear technologies while the U.S. widens advantages in the superior performance of tommorow's technologies and tactics.  

Submarines are always silent and strange.
 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to RN's Sub Base

Background 


From HMS Astute's unfortunate series of casualty prone sea trials M.E. had offered this  Interview with grounded sub's CIVILIAN fathometer operator from October 24, 2010. The
interviewee selected the disguise shown below.

Update: January 25, 2017

HM Naval Base Clyde will become the UK’s single integrated submarine base after 2020, with all operational UK’s subs based out of Scotland.  As currently planned, Astute-class attack boats will be based there in the mid-2020s and the new Dreadnought class of deterrent subs from the early 2030s.   

The Royal Navy’s Submarine Service unveiled its new official tartan yesterday.  The tartan was commissioned to celebrate more than a century of links between the submarine service and Scotland, ahead of HM Naval Base Clyde becoming the UK’s only submarine operating base.  The official submariner tartan, is available to all qualified submariners (RN dolphins required) past and present.  Below it is modeled by a submariner.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Life on a Small North Korean Submarine

Background

Living in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is strictly regulated under a legal system based on the Prussian Legal System the Best (according to 19th c. Japan) and Communist legal theory. Credible facts about everyday life in North Korean have not flowed as freely as cheerful claims by its leaders.  Credible facts about the DPRK's military have been even more cloistered.  According to the CIA's The World Factbook [color emphasis mine], 18 is presumed to be the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 16-17 is the presumed legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012).

We wonder what crewing may be like for North Korea's submarine sailors.  Intriguing clues are available from public sources outside of the DPRK in two rare cases that came to the attention of external authorities and news media.

Example One:  Penalty for participation in spy sub's failure

SEOUL— The bodies of nine North Korean sailors and agents were discovered Friday inside a captured North Korean midget submarine, shot and killed in what South Korean officials called an apparent murder-suicide.

Officials said there were signs of a struggle inside the submarine, as four North Korean agents apparently shot themselves to death after first killing five sailors.

South Korean authorities also said there were indications that the vessel, which was captured after becoming entangled in a fisherman's net off the South Korean coast Monday, had been on a spy mission, leaving them divided about how much of an issue to make of this latest North Korean incursion. 


North Korea's Version of Events
The submarine sank as it was being towed into port, it was unclear if this was as a result of damage or a deliberate scuttling by the crew.[3] On 23 June the Korean Central News Agency admitted that a submarine had been lost in a training accident.

Later, 
On 25 June the submarine was salvaged [not by North Korea] from a depth of approximately 100 feet (30 m) and the bodies of 9 crewmen were recovered, 5 sailors had apparently been murdered while 4 agents had apparently committed suicide.[5] The presence of South Korean drinks suggested that the crew had completed an espionage mission.[6] Log books found in the submarine showed that it had infiltrated South Korean waters on a number of previous occasions.[7]  The bodies of the members of submarine crew were subsequently buried in the Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers.[8]
 

Example Two:  Death benefit to families of submariners 

March 11, 2016 - USNI NEWS |  U.S. Official: North Korean Submarine is Missing, Presumed Sunk

Subsequently, a South Korean news outlet has claimed the sub was sunk and "improved housing" awarded to the families of the sailors lost. (This news has subsequently been removed from the internet). Draw your own conclusions.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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