Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Loss of Sea Legs" in Military Ops

A legendary submariner once said...

...No other water journey causes an equal amount of suffering. The most hardened traveller becomes seasick there. - Holland, John P., "The Submarine Boat and its Future," North American Review, December 1900.
In my August 28, 2007 post, Submarines: "Loss of Sea Legs"? , M.E. took issue with Submarine Medecine's [18.7.4. Ship's motion] observation: ... Certain factors as the type of ship and state of the sea are important, and the fact that most of the submarine crew are crowded below decks while the ship is on the surface might be contributory. The submarine's roll is believed to be gentler in comparison to surface vessels because of its round hull and its low transverse metacentric height.
This month's (March 2010) The American Legion Magazine one page article, "Motion Sickness takes toll on military ops" is well worth reading and offers selected facts about interferences with military operations during Europe's D-Day, wolfpack attacks on Allied shipping in the North Atlantic, and modern implications for naval aviators (e.g. as much as 16% motion sickness attrition), Marines and astronauts.
In the article, author Jerome Greer Chandler also clarifies the motion sickness problem for submariners:
Motion sickness remains a serious health problem among U.S. servicemembers. ...Submariners and special-operations troops are also at particular risk - that's because their vessels are comparatively unstable.
Cmdr. Rita Simmons, Officer in Charge of the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL) said,

"If you are vomiting, you really aren't able to do anything else but that. And when you're finished you're pretty much physiologically worn out." ...Simmons believes in "two or three years," the military will have "a fast-acting, field-expedient countermeasure" for one of the most persistent ailments ever to afflict those headed into harm's way.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



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