Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rites of Spring 2008 - Do Not Attempt on a Submarine

UPDATE: 3/31/08 - NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gore Announces Anti-Warming Effort - Former Vice President Al Gore launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign Monday calling for the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Thank you for stopping by. Normal posting will resume about ten days from today (unless my wife or children decide to kill me first).

Spring is a big deal for me. After I complete everyone else's tax return and act to keep my family out of big IRS trouble, I usually file an extension and garden like crazy (organically).

This year the weather has been mixed, but thanks to Global Warming (scam) the Spring bug cast its spell earlier this year. I am currently on annual break. Hope yours is equally great!



Thursday, March 20, 2008

MV-22 Osprey, Taiwan ASW Concept, and Civilian Version

The MV-22 Osprey (as seen above) was deployed to Iraq by the USMC months ago. Our Marines seem to like its speed and payload advantages.

Galrahn posted an interesting piece about an alternative use of the MV-22 Osprey by the UK.

Although Galrahn raises engine questions M.E. believes will be short-lived, it got me wondering what use Taiwan could make of these fabulous aircraft for ASW purposes. For example, if you were a PLAN submarine CO, wouldn't you be slightly concerned about your sonarmen's hearing and detection capability with this thing overhead? What about Hugo Chavez?

For those not familiar with the Osprey or its civilian counterpart, the former utilizes two Rolls-Royce engines, while the BA-609 uses twin PT6C-67A turboshaft engines from Pratt & Whitney of Canada. Bell/Agusta has already booked 83 advance orders for the BA609 tiltrotor from 44 customers in 23 different countries. As of February, Bell/Agusta Aerospace engineers working on the BA609 Tiltrotor have stepped up certification efforts and now plan more than 100 hours of flight testing this year, which represents a major acceleration over only 300 hours logged since 2003.

Pessimism over the MV-22's prospects have been consistently overblown by many political critics of the military (most notably, John Murtha).

Here is the BA-609 in a test flight YouTube:

Flight Demonstration... Video taken of the BA-609 civil tiltrotor at Bell Helicopter's XworX in Arlington Texas during the HAI Expo that was held in Dallas in early 2006.



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From the Chewy Cold War

In 1968, Yankee class Soviet subs (Project 667) were the first with firepower comparable to their American SSBN counterparts. The longest Cold War trailing operation of a Soviet boomer conducted by a US submarine (up until that time) was completed successfully ten years later.

The USS Batfish (SSN-681) trailed a Yankee for 44 continuous days, as part of an operation code named Evening Star, begun 17 March 1978 after Batfish intercepted the Yankee in the Norwegian Sea. When Batfish lost contact during a severe storm on March 19th, a Navy P-3 Orion patrol aircraft was sent from Reykjavik, Iceland to reestablish firm contact.

Batfish, towing a 1,100-foot sonar array, had earlier been dispatced from Norfolk to intercept this SSBN. U.S. intelligence had been alerted to her probable departure from the Kola Peninsula by CIA-sponsored intelligence activities and U.S. spy satellites.
_____________________________________________________________ Various tellings of the tale leave holes. Stuff gets redacted, you know. On rainy days, it is sometimes fun to identify and consider inconsistencies. As readers know, submarines are always silent and strange. Here, careful readers may find several examples of inconsistencies from Wikipedia source:

On 2 March 1978, Batfish, commanded by Commander Thomas Evans (who retired as a Rear Admiral), left Charleston, South Carolina, on what would transpire to be a remarkable 77-day patrol known as "Operation Evening Star." On 17 March, Batfish detected a Navaga-class ballistic missile submarine (NATO reporting name "Yankee I") of the Soviet Navy at the north end of the Norwegian Sea some 200 miles (300 km) above the Arctic Circle. She began trailing the Yankee, collecting valuable information on how the Soviets operated. During the next 50 days, the Yankee never detected Batfish, and Batfish lost the Yankee only twice: once was during a bad storm, and once when a fishing fleet passed overhead. Both times the Soviet boat was quickly reacquired. The Soviets remained unaware that their boat had been followed until Warrant Officer John Anthony Walker sold them the information. (Walker pleaded guilty to espionage in 1985.)



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

U.S. Army's Agent 'Blue'

Fashions change. Compared to the Army's dress uniforms, the Navy's offer more flair and nostalgia.

Navy Sailors should be happy this accessory has been funded by the Army over the last few years:
Army Wants Synthetic Gills - source .

Artificial Gills: One Big Stroke Closer To Reality - Now scientists are designing artificial gills to supply divers with a steady flow of oxygen from a wearable rig. The key, explains Harihara Baskaran, an engineer at Case Western Reserve University, is getting water to flow easily through microchannels, which mimic a real gill. Working with Infoscitex of Waltham, Mass., Baskaran is using chipmaking techniques to create tiny devices with hundreds of channels. Bump that up to 250,000 channels, and the device could generate enough oxygen for a person. source .

Bond was a Naval Commander, albeit from the Royal Navy. His flair and fashion shines through in this YouTube clip:

No gills...



Monday, March 17, 2008

Your Input Wanted for 50,000-Year Storage

Few could appreciate the importance of adequate storage better than astronauts and submariners.

Not only are both group' s survival stuck for nourishment and air, but each risks becoming 'Exhibit A' in an involuntary vessel abandoned to the cold of space or sunk on the oceans' floor. Afterall, time capsules are little more than containers for lengthy storage periods.

The KEO is a satellite time capsule to be launched in 2009, or 2010. It will carry messages from as many as 6 billion of Earth's current inhabitants into an orbit lasting 50,000 years, when it returns. Every person is invited to write a message addressed to the future inhabitants. The deadline is December 31, 2008. Remember that, or you may feel very, very excluded. There probably will not be another opportunity like this in our lifetimes. In fact, psychologists have come up with a syndrome for procrastinators who miss this unique opportunity - lost in space disorder.

This project may appear to be from a Sci-Fi novel, but it is being underwritten by Hutchison Whampoa, the European Space Agency, and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) among others. KEO's 50,000-year voyage will take with it up to 6 billion messages from people around the globe.

Your message costs nothing, but it is limited to 6000 characters, which for most submariners is probably more than even want to speak in one day. If you insist on paying someone, here's a more complex option for technically-minded geniuses, like Al Gore. Hmmm, he probably thought of this, too.



Friday, March 14, 2008

Curious Snippets from Submarine History

It may be difficult for us to believe, but this 1913, submarine feat may still be a record of sorts:

In 1913, five C Boats (Octopus, Stingray, Tarpon, Bonita, and Snapper), under the command of a Lieutenant (junior grade), successfully completed the longest cruise made up to that time by United States submarines operating under their own power. The C boats completed a 700 mile passage between Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, without serious engineering mishap. So unusual and risky was the voyage, that the C Boats were accompanied by several surface ships, including Ozark, which was acting as submarine tender. - Hat Tip: Trisha Carden .

How could this vintage feat of primitive submarines still represent a record in 2008?

Please, correct me, if I am mistaken, but I doubt a longer submarine cruise has been completed since 1913, with fewer crew (per boat: 1 officer; 14 enlisted) and a more junior CO (Ltjg).

By the way, things were so primitive in those days, that this was considered innovative technology: the C Boats were the first US submarines to be fitted with an underwater bell used to signal and communicate with other craft and ships. source .


MEXICO CITY, Nov. 13, 1916 -- Great Britain has sent an explanation to Mexico denying authorship of a note sent here signed by Secretary Lansing, who gave warning that expected arrival of German submarines in the Gulf of Mexico would be regarded as unfriendly if the submarines were to use Mexican waters. - source NYT.


In January 1917, in anticipation of resuming unrestricted submarine warfare the following month, the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, telegrammed Germany's ambassador to Mexico. The telegram instructed Eckardt to propose a military alliance with Mexico against the United States. Eckardt was instructed to offer Mexico territories lost in the Mexican-American War, specificallyTexas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Zimmermann Telegram was intercepted and decoded by British cryptographers. Revelation of its contents caused the American public's outrage, contributing to declaration of war against Germany on April 6th.


US Navy to Shock Test Seawolf Submarine
The US Department of the Navy, persuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, announced its selection of the area of the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville, Florida for SEAWOLF submarine shock testing. Testing offshore of Mayport will be conducted between 1 May and 30 September, 2000 to minimize the risk to sea turtles which may be more abundant in the Mayport area during April. Two areas were evaluated with respect to operational criteria and environmental impacts. Both were determined to meet all of the Navy's operational requirements. In choosing the Mayport area, the Navy determined that while most environmental impacts of shock testing would be similar at both locations, the risk of mortality and injury to marine mammals is about five to seven times lower at Mayport. This Record of Decision leaves the selection of a single primary and two secondary test sites within the Mayport test area to be made based on aerial surveys of marine mammals and turtles done three weeks prior to the shock test. Source: US Federal Register: 21 January, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 13)

Seawolf is designed to be a quiet, fast, heavily armed, shock resistant, survivable submarine, according to GlobalSecurity.org .



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Solution to Navy Sonar Dilemma

Our Navy has a big public relations problem:

17 April 2008 - Texas - (expected next?) - A federal judge in Austin is expected to order the Navy to take additional precautions when using active sonar within 13.8 miles of the Gulf coast.

12 March 2008 - North Carolina - Citizens Voice Concerns Over Navy Sonar Use - The Department of the Navy has filed an Atlantic Fleet active sonar training (AFAST) draft environmental impact statement evaluating the potential environmental effects associated with the use of mid- and high-frequency active sonar technology for fleet activities along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

10 March 2008 - Hawaii - usatoday.com - Navy sonar restricted off Hawaii coast - HONOLULU — A federal judge has ordered the Navy to take additional precautions when conducting sonar exercises off Hawaii that environmentalists say can seriously injure or kill marine mammals. U.S. District Judge David Ezra said Friday the Navy cannot conduct exercises within 12 nautical miles, or 13.8 miles, of the shoreline, where species that are particularly sensitive to sonar, such as the beaked whale, are found.

7 February 2008 - California - US navy-v-dolphins judge says Bush can't overrule her - US District judge Florence Marie Cooper said the recent White House exemption allowing naval exercises to proceed despite her earlier injunction was flawed.

----------------------POSSIBLE SOLUTION ?-------------------

Doesn't the Navy have decades of experience training dolphins? This may sound far-fetched, but it is deadly serious: perhaps an informal 'home school' environment (natural interactions with humans in the dolphins native waters) would offer advantages over the current schooling method when it comes to helping clear exercise areas for the Navy's sonar training activities. Just a thought.

Moko may be exceptional because of so much informal contact with humans. Moko seems to have understood when the field worker for New Zealand Department of Conservation was ready to euthanize (shoot) the stranded sperm whales as a last resort. Interestingly, Moko is a different mammal species from the pygmy sperm whales she lead safely out to sea. Here is an incredible YouTube of that wonderful interaction:

amazing creature...
Perhaps its time we learned to communicate with more of the lower mammals than just leaders like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez.



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Submarines Stalk; the Kitty Hawk Expected the Déjà vu

If you don't know your history, you won't realize how often it repeats. Repitition is due to unchanging human nature. - Juan Caruso D., aka Juan Caruso al Humacao

The Kitty Hawk story is almost over. If India does not purchase the noble aircraft carrier, she will be relaced by USS George Washington (CVN 73) before China's August 2008 Olympics, or will she?

If you knew your history, then you realized later events had to be expected Déjà vu for the USS Kitty Hawk support group.

March 19, 1996 - The New York Times - Off Taiwan, U.S. Sailors Are Unworried
American officials are wary of upsetting China in part because of an incident in October 1994, in which the Kitty Hawk carrier group detected a Chinese submarine and tracked it with another submarine and with sonar buoys dropped by a plane. The Americans regarded this cat-and-mouse game as a routine procedure, the kind they do all over the world.

In 1994, an S-3 anti-submarine aircraft from USS Kitty Hawk tracked a Chinese Han class submarine.

The American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and a Chinese nuclear submarine squared off in international waters off China's coast Oct. 27-29, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported in December. According to the Times, shortly after the incident, which occurred in the Yellow Sea, China served notice through a U.S. military official in Beijing that the next time such a situation arises, China's orders will be to shoot to kill.

Although in the end no shots were fired, U.S. officials acknowledge the confrontation was serious. The Navy's carrier battle group in the region included not only the Kitty Hawk, but also three cruisers, one frigate, one submarine, two logistics ships and an estimated 10,000 American naval personnel.

The same newspaper that reported the March 1996 incident, also reported this late last month:
In late 2006, one of China’s new Song-class conventional submarines remained undetected as it shadowed the American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, although the exact details of the encounter remain the subject of
continuing debate. It then surfaced well within torpedo range. [my emphasis]

The stalking Song was never expected, hmmm. Submarines are always silent and strange. The Lockheed S-3 Viking is a jet aircraft originally used by the United States Navy to identify, track, and potentially destroy submarines (even though foreign submarines are entirely unexpected by aircraft carriers, hmmm!). Here's an S-3 landing on a carrier YouTube:

returning to carrier



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Real Straight Talker: Obama

John McCain Why do so many not trust him that he will certainly lose the 2008 race unless terrorists strike again?
McCain has been part of the problem with government for too long. He stepped into the Keating Five scandal (oddly, as the sole 'Republican'). He sees things in ways that promote John McCain (McCain Feingold) rather than uphold the U.S. Constitution. He is clearly unclear, and admittedly short-tempered, but we cannot tell if these attributes are due to unfortunate disabilities, or intended arrogance.

McCain asserted that US military preparedness is dangerously inadequate, and names specific weapons systems he considered unnecessary, elimination of which
would provide some of the funds needed to modernize the military and increase
preparedness. He said that the C-130 military transport aircraft, the B-2 stealth bomber, and the Seawolf submarine should all be taken out of production. He noted that for years Congress has forced the Air Force to buy more C-130s than its leaders wanted. - Source: Boston Globe, p. A19 Dec 8, 1999

Hillary Clinton Why do so many distrust her that she will lose her own party's nomination?
She lacks the ring of sincerity, she scorns the military and has little use for men. She is the most partisan dilletante we have ever seen aspire to the nation's highest office.

Barack Obama Why do so many connect with Obama, obviouly the least experienced?
He believes what he says, we can tell. He carefully explains his rationale and criticisms in plain speech that resonates with a public he seems eager to unite. Even if he must later adjust to reality, he is principled, intelligent and, like Reagan, able to communicate well. This is the least required of a leader. Clinton and McCain do not have it.

Aug. 1, 2007 - Obama Delivers Bold Speech About War on Terror
In a strikingly bold speech about terrorism Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called not only for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but a redeployment of troops into Afghanistan and even Pakistan — with or without the permission of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

In the region, the most dangerous threat to US national security emanates from the al Qaeda holed up in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas - including Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri. The US director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, told Congress in February that al Qaeda still poses a serious threat to our interests at home and abroad, and that its 'central leadership' in Pakistan is its 'most dangerous component.'

Obama may not be that far off the mark. I could like this guy.



Submarine Fire Trap and Journalistic Deficiency

UPDATE #2: (Notice the date?) - May 20, 2005 - CBCNEWS.ca -Navy knew HMCS Chicoutimi had toxic material - Military officials had expressed concerns for years over one of the toxic materials onboard HMCS Chicoutimi – a substance inhaled by submariners during last fall's fatal electrical fire. Peridite was among the materials that melted in the fire that killed Lieutenant Chris Saunders and caused eight others to suffer smoke inhalation.
UPDATE: (Now we may be getting somewhere) -Mar. 11 2008 The Canadian Press, OTTAWA - Minister orders review of Chicoutimi crew treatment- One of the issues Veterans Affairs wants to examine is whether the crew was exposed to potentially cancer-causing Peridite. The noxious insulation adhesive is found throughout all four used British submarines that Canada bought. Some former crew members are worried it may be responsible for a myriad of illnesses. The waterproof epoxy is one of two substances used to glue fibreglass insulation to the bulkheads and decks of each Victoria-class submarine

Mar 11, 2008 - Debilitating symptoms forced some from navy -
Almost half the 56 men who battled to save their sub from the fire in stormy seas off Ireland in October 2004 have been discharged, will soon leave the military, or are on the medically disabled list. ...Some have developed severe breathing difficulties, preventing them from climbing a flight of stairs. Some have had fainting spells and short-term memory loss. Others have developed chronic conditions, such as asthma. There are also neurological disorders.

What is wrong with this Canadian submarine story? For starters, this:

Researchers, who only recently analyzed the noxious substances in the smoke that crew inhaled during the electrical fire, have yet to determine the impact on long-term health.

What's wrong then? Plenty. Bear with me for a short history lesson you may find rather enlightening. If you are reading this you may already appreciate ARPA. The ARPANET, developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense, was the world's first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the global Internet. Knew that already, did you?

Did you already know this, too? Operation Hideout had just been conducted in 1957, aboard the submerged diesel submarine USS Haddock. Twenty-two bubbleheads and a medical officer were confined for 60 days in Haddock. The lot were exposed to atmospheric variations. Tolerance limitations for carbon dioxide were scientifically determined and as other valuable data was compiled. Less than one year later, ARPA held the first Sympoium on Submarine and Space Medicine. According to Wallace O. Fenn, Honorary Chairman, School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Rochester, in may, 1959, the symposium might have been called Death in Closed Vessels.

Among other scientific knowledge, the symposium presented Acute and Chronic Environmental: Stress Conditions on Endocrine and Metabolic Functions; Changes on Circulation; Changes on Respiratory Mechanisms; and Toxilogical Problems in Confined Spaces.

By 2002, the U.S. Navy Health Research Center's Toxicology detachment had proposed two exposure levels, termed submarine escape action level (SEAL) 1 and 2. Collisions or explosions often create on-board fires that potentially expose crew members to toxic concentrations of 7 combustion gases. Deadly chlorine gas, can also bee produced if sea water contacts submarine batteries. In noncombat circumstances alone, there had been 102 known instances of disabled subs sinking resulting in the loss of about 2,600 previously healthy men.

As would be expected, the U.S. and U.K. navies share submarine toxicological data for materials permitted on submarines, and have for some time. They are also careful about which materials may be used inside submarines.

Since 1986, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has required MSDS data be available to employees for potentially harmful substances handled in workplaces coming under the Hazard Communication regulation. In the U.K., the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 - known as CHIP Regulations - impose duties upon suppliers, and importers into the EU, of hazardous materials. In Canada, the program known as the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) establishes the requirements for MSDSs in workplaces and is administered federally by Health Canada under the Hazardous Products Act, Part II and the Controlled Products Regulations. Material toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, etc, are known and controllable.

The Chicoutimi lapse is due to much more than Canadian researchers 'who have yet to determine the impact of noxious substances in smoke the crew inhaled'. The submarine was launched by the U.K. in 1986, and sold to Canada some 12 years later. The U.K. knew all of the materials used in Chicoutimi's construction, and Canada's Navy knew what had been removed and added since.

Someone should either know exactly what caused the crew's breathing difficulties and neurological disorders, or narrowed the search down to a handful of suspect materials. How about the insulation on those bus cables? Just a thought.



Monday, March 10, 2008

The Mother of All Motherships Suppresses Datum

In real estate there is a fundamental principle:

The three most important things about real estate are location, location and location.

In real estate appraisal there is also a paramount concept known as the highest and best use. (Property value is directly related to its use; the highest value derives from a use that is both reasonable and likely to generate the best return).

The silent service corrollary to things of utmost importance would include mission (preservation of peace and freedom), domination (of enemy and environment), and suppression of location data (noise, RF, light, magnetic, ionizing radiation, etc.). It is prudent to remember Retired Admiral Bruce DeMars observation:

The Submarine Force is important to the defense of our national interests. It has the only truly stealthy platforms in our armed services and is the heart of our strategic nuclear deterrent.

Discussion of motherships that does not include the highest and best use of submarine stealth is myopic, in M.E.'s opinion. If a submerged mothership has not already transferred relief crew and provisions to an SSGN or SSBN, I for one, would be very, very surprised.

Whether a wet trial has been made or not, related contingency plans had been addressed decades ago. Deployment of SSGNs in a declining submarine fleet makes the shell game much tougher to play nowadays without submarine motherships. Such a deception would be highly classified, of course, for the moment.

Some thoughts for reflection only:
Why bring SSGNs back to Guam for replenishment under the gaze of unfriendly observers?
Are these highly secretive subs already replenishing SSNs?
What is the design life of their new reactors?



Friday, March 07, 2008

Submarine Quote of the Week: "... you spend stealth not give it away."

CAUTION: When M.E. sees things this guy's way, something big must be missing. It is.

Background: TSSBP recently posted Two-Way Submerged Communications. Light discussion followed.

Chap said... I'm not arguing they're unuseful, just arguing that the tech isn't there yet despite the breathless nature of the press releases over the last decade or two, and that you spend stealth not give it away. 3/07/2008 6:49 AM - Chapomatic [emphasis added]

Chap is absolutely correct, and elaborates ...

The key to a sub being more useful than a surface ship is its ability to hide from the bad guy. That's why we don't worry as much about talking or emitting on many occasions when the role of the boat is in direct support of a strike group, or about low-probability-of-intercept comms around an adversary which has no capability to see anything about us other than the explosions. However, if you talk all the time, or someone talks at you all the time in a way that can reveal where you are, you become as stealthy as a surface ship but much much more expensive.

M.E. agrees 100%. Following the fundamentals of stealth submarining, there is a closely related element into which Chap did not want to venture. Of course, that won't stop M.E.

Here are some specifics:

Encryption and destruction signals allegedly protect Sea Deep / Deep Siren technology from enemy hands and examination. We probably guessed that anyway. But today's potential enemy subs may be considered Cold War clones of yesteryear's U.S. subs, which stealthily monitored, recorded and analyzed submarine interactions with surface navies, etc. That includes specialized buoys, I'm afraid.

In an age of reverse engineering and EDA, how long before an enemy can home in on and destroy, or jam all active bands of Sea Deep at will? Getting dicier, isn't it? After developing buoy signatures (subject to change without notice) the enemy can within weeks deploy hardware for related:

RF Jamming
Acoustic jamming
Buoy homing and destruction

There has to be more to buoy security for this technology than explosive charges for it succeed against all but Hugo Chavez's navy, of course.

A key preventative is to conduct JC3I (joint Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) exercises in utter secrecy in controlled seas. Trailing certain surface vessels to exercise areas makes this fairly tough today. No wonder this ex-sailor was convicted.



Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Global Angles and Dangles

Submarine Service Slang: 'Angles and Dangles': Placing the boat in extreme angles (also known as 'up and down bubbles') soon after leaving port, to see whether anything breaks loose. Similar consequence noises while on patrol are not desired. Usually results in plates just cleaned, half the bug juice machine, and that nights' dessert ending up on the floor and aft/forward bulkhead.

Intelligence Service: 'Angles and Dangles': News (angles) concocted to explain otherwise curious (dangling) observations of some covert military movement, operation, technology, or tactic. Explanations prepared for the public news media must fit the Occam's Razor preference for simplicity. Accordingly, underlying covert facts will always tend to be more complicated (and presumably less credible) than artificial explanations offered by unnamed experts (officials, analysts, military spokepersons, or submariners). Our enemies, after all, domestic and foreign can be expected to read what the public is permitted to read. - Author

Lesson One (Unnamed submariner attracts attention to declaration of secrecy)

Mar 4, 2008 - The Halifax Herald Limited - Canada’s lone operating submarine is back in the water after getting some repairs in Florida. ... Canadian submarine forced to get fans fixed in Florida - Lt.-Cmdr. Gagne said officials normally say very little about submarine operations. In fact, a submariner told The Chronicle Herald that Corner Brook’s crew signed a declaration of secrecy prior to leaving in early February for three months at sea. [emphasis added: probably true / probably false]

Self Test; Which example offers a simpler explanation?

Example #1:

3 Mar 2008 - The Associated Press - MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - US Launches Airstrike in Somalia - 'We woke up with a loud and big bang and when we came out we found our neighbor's house completely obliterated as if no house existed here,' a resident of the town, Fatuma Abdullahi, told The Associated Press. 'We are taking shelter under trees. Three planes were flying over our heads.'

Example #2:

March 4, 2008 - nytimes.com - NAIROBI, Kenya - U.S. Forces Fire Missiles Into Somalia at a Kenyan - An American military official said the naval attack on Monday was carried out with at least two Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a submarine. The official said the missiles were believed to have hit their targets. Witnesses on the ground, though, described the attack differently.

Does not prove anything? Correct, M.E. agrees with you. Obfuscation is another method of keeping our enemies in the dark. Used as calculated attempts to confuse the reader, obfuscation becomes the written equivalent of physical camouflage.

Now, if you were the enemy commander, would you be considering an attack on an airbase hosting U.S. fighters, or figuring there is no effective way you can attack a U.S. submarine? Now, you are learning.

It is just one more reason submarines are always silent and strange.