Wednesday, November 23, 2005

UPDATED: USS Scranton (SSN 756) Whereabouts

This is curious. Bubblehead jovially posted USS Scranton At The Pole this morning, and says: Obviously, USS Scranton (SSN 756) isn't at the North Pole; she's currently hosting Good Morning America off Norfolk.

Okay, we all know subs are stealth objects that often have their identifying numbers painted out to thwart foreign intelligence. Moreover, other measures are taken routinely to assure operating areas are undisclosed. (One might even paint inaccurate numbers on a fairwater to confuse foreign intelligence about two subs in the same class just as easily, right?). Well, the Scranton and the Oklahoma City (SSN 723) are both Los Angeles class subs, but not in the same league. USS Scranton, one of the 688I (for improved class), is quieter, incorporates advanced BSY-1 sonar suite, and ostensibly has torpedo tube mine laying capability. Configured for under-ice operations, its forward diving planes have been moved from the sail structure to the bow and the sail has been strengthened for breaking through ice. Are you with me so far?

From Los Angeles came this report: (Excerpts) Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN) of Miramar, Florida, has equipped the USS Oklahoma City with cellular phones installed below deck. The ship will also be outfitted with a CDMA PICO Cell and cellular telephones provided by Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture between MTN and Cingular Wireless....In addition to the cellular services that are provided aboard the submarine, the USS Oklahoma City was part of a live, real-time broadcast this morning when American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC) Good Morning America broadcast from the emerged submarine. This was the first broadcast of its kind.

Here's part of the corrected report: ABC's Good Morning America segment "Run Silent, Run Deep" was broadcast today from aboard a US Navy submarine while the sub was under water, and under way. This was the first broadcast of its kind and--like other broadcast firsts--it took MTN to make it happen.
The nuclear submarine, USS Scranton, and the US Navy support vessel USNS Dolores Chouest, which followed the sub, were each equipped with a 1900 MHz high-gain CDMA antenna and microwave communications equipment. The sub had cellular telephones installed below deck and the ship was equipped with a CDMA PICO Cell and cellular telephones outfitted by Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture between MTN and Cingular Wireless.

Good Morning America's host Robin Roberts goes "live on air" from the Damage Control Wet Trainer at Submarine Learning Facility on board Naval Station Norfolk.

Here's an official photo of Good Morning America's (GMA )host Robin Roberts from the Damage Control Wet Trainer at Submarine Learning Facility on board Naval Station Norfolk, yeterday.
Obviously a dated photo of her beside the sail of the actual sub would be more convincing (say at the end of her submerged broadcast, when the sub returns to Norfolk).

Is the Navy's GMA broadcast really for PR purposes? What positive capability does it hype, underwater cell phone capability relay via a nearby US Navy support vessel USNS Dolores Chouest? Hmmm.

There have been an alarming number of sub commanders who have lost their commands lately.
Wonder if this confusion could somehow be connected? For all we know, the Scranton might be at the pole. Submarines, Always Silent, Always Strange!

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Jan. 6, 2005, here.


At 01 December, 2005 00:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allow me to confirm that the GMA broadcast was indeed shot on the USS Scranton.

For the most part, if the footage did not have Robin Roberts in it, it was either shot during the previous week's underway or was stock footage. The thing that I find truly hilarious is that most of the stock footage was of 688s, not even 688Is... much less of the Scranton. The EMBT blow footage Diana Sawyer comments on several times during the broadcast is of a boat with fairwater planes!

In any event, What other purpose could the GMA broadcast have served besides PR?

At 03 December, 2005 01:53, Blogger Vigilis said...

MM2 your comments were appreciated and add more mystery to what may have really occurred. Personally, I am reserving all judgement until more surfaces (and not holding my breath).


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