Sunday, September 02, 2007

The So Silent it is The Mute Service? - Part 2

Want to better understand submarines? Let recent quotations from the Kitsap Sun clarify some rarely mentioned stuff by way of essential background for you:

"...years plying the depths of the ocean, conducting missions so secret former crew members and officers believe the details of its adventures will never be known" -- even to those who were there. [emphasis added]

"Often as the crew focused on completing their jobs, they had no idea what they were doing or where they were", said Will Longman, chairman of the Parche Association.

Obviously, the USS Parche was not the only cold war submarine to conduct clandestine operations. In fact, it would be fairly safe to say virtually all U.S. subs did so to some extent, from time to time. It is just that as the "most decorated submarine in Navy history", it was obvious something would finally have to be admitted about the nature of Parche's unexplained awards. "The success of this submarine was truly a national commitment of organizations, people, teams and equipment that will probably never be completely understood, appreciated or recognized,"said Retired Rear Admiral Richard A. Buchanan, who commanded the USS Parche (SSN-683) from 1984 to 1988.

Given this background of ultra-secrecy, what might it mean when a country, a NATO member no less, operates submarines that we rarely, if ever, hear anything about?

Commenter Sturgeon opined here ...
Hmm, my bet would be Canada, but I'll patiently await your post.

Sturgeon's bet is on the mark, so far. My suggestion to all curious readers is to compare the listing of nations with operational submarines to nations with active NATO membership (yes, Canada, the U.K. and others certainly meet both of those threshold tests). Now, consider which of the remaining nations have we rarely read news accounts about for a rather long time? Eliminate the ones with fleets in overhaul, drydock, rusting at piers or short of crews.

Following the steps above reduces the many candidates to just a few. No final answer will ever be posted, confirmed or unambiguously developed, here.

What is the point of this little riddle, then? Next time, your final clue and the point of the riddle.



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