Monday, October 05, 2015

ANSWERS: Submarine QOTW (29 SEP 2015)

Background 

Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting.

Submarine Questions of the Week with ANSWERS 

1- Is the U.S. submarine identification correct? ANS: No, USS Providence is SSN-719, not SSN-716 as the French publication stated.  SSN 716 was the USS Salt Lake City, which has been decommissioned since 2006.

2- Is the sub's given homeport coast correct? ANS: Yes, although the article was imprecise ("based on the east coast of the United States").  As of 2014, Providence is assigned once again to Submarine Development Squadron 12 and home-ported at US Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT.

3- When else was the sub USS Providence in Toulon? ANS: USS Providence was in the port of Toulon, France, from July 13-19, 1990, and made later visits including February 11, 1995, August 5, 1998, May 11, 2001.  reference

4- On what mission was USS Providence at the time of its earlier visit? ANS: On 19 March 2011, the submarine launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan air defenses in Operation Odyssey Dawn 

5- With what special type of missiles was USS Providence armed during its earlier visit? ANS:  Most notably disclosed was "USS Providence, a submarine also armed with TLAMs, and a range of anti-radiation missiles, are expected to be called into action during this phase of the operation, shortly before the RAF goes in."

6- The purpose of the special missiles is what? ANS:  Anti-radiation missiles (ARM) are designed to detect and destroy the source of certain enemy radio emissions to degrade the enemy's anti-aircraft defenses in early stages of conflict. The anti-radiation effort is made to reduce friendly aircraft losses. Additionally, anti-radiation missiles can quickly neutralize unexpected surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites during air raids. Hence, in Odyssey Dawn", shortly before and while "the RAF goes in."

7- Why would USS Providence return to the French port of Toulon?  Answer "Unknown", as stated when question 7 was originally posed.  Submarines are stealthy platforms that may perform covert missions rarely made public, unless such disclosure serves a higher national purpose.  Example.

SPECIAL Submarine NOTE
USS Providence (SSN-719) has received three Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, four Navy Expeditionary Medals, six Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Navy Unit Commendations, six Battle "E" awards, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. 

Submarines are always silent and strange.  

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