Sunday, March 18, 2007

Perspective from Vessel Powered by 8 Nuclear Reactors

Submariners will appreciate the perspective reported today by the journalist in an article titled It's a giant ship, but a crowded city. Just to set the record straight, we appreciate the valiant service and vital military needs accomplished by each sailor and marine on formidable vessels like the USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

The reporter, Beaufort Gazette's LORI YOUNT, and a group of about 10 other civilians flew aboard Enterprise on a C-2 Greyhound March 8th. Yount's aircraft routinely caught an arresting cable, deccelerating from over 100 mph to 0 mph in a matter of just a few seconds. In about 25 hours the visitors were catapulted off the Enterprise's flight deck at some 128 mph. This was barely 4 days before the USS San Juan (SSN 751) would be declared communicatively overdue and not very far from her airplane's departure point 45-minutes back to Jacksonville.

What follows are a few excerpts from the civilian reporter's story (linked to above). Bold text emphasis is mine. Remember, everything is relative:

[The flight deck was] 300 feet above the ocean floor. ... [it is] almost 4.5 acres .... [but] Its vastness is lost in the crowding.

I couldn't sleep during the six hours allotted, in part because of the voices over the PA reporting nuclear reactor leaks. We were warned before that they were only drills, ...

most sailors and Marines on the carrier find themselves in a grueling routine of at least a 12-hour work shift followed by a meal, which could mean about 30 minutes standing in line, an hour or so of exercise and squeezing in four to six hours of sleep.

There is no cell phone reception out at sea, and it costs 50 cents a minute to use the phone... Most use e-mail to stay in touch with family and friends, but Internet access can be slow or spotty...

[the sailors and Marines] have to go out in July for six months on deployment -- for the second time in less than a year.

No mention of the San Juan or two other submarines operating with the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group was made by the reporter, because the Navy has not issued a statement of findings relative to its thorough review of an event initiated from what would appear to be false indicators, and because: Submarines are always silent and strange.


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