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Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 03:24 PM
Oh, this smarts... Kinda poignant to me since my brother's on a submarine as we speak.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/27/submarine.damaged/index.html


What really gets me irritated is that they're putting the captain's neck in the wringer over it. You can yammer all you want about his ultimate responsibility, but it the mountain isn't on the charts you give him to sail by on a boat with no windows, what do you expect? Not like that can cruise around actively pinging...

Sad, but frustrating.

SpacedOut
2005-Jan-28, 04:40 PM
Amazing the inner pressure hull wasn't breached - shows how well our subs are built


I doubt the Captain will be discharged or even receive an official reprimanded - but he'll probably never drive a sub again and will be passed over for promotions (for one reason or another) - you don't just drive your $$$$ sub into a mountain, loose one of your crew and walk away Scot free.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-28, 05:12 PM
If he could have done nothing to prevent the accident by following procedures and with the given information (which I don't know) I see no reason to "promote" that man away.

russ_watters
2005-Jan-28, 05:24 PM
If nothing else, there's the stigma attached to it. The sad part is that not only is his career over, but the careers of mot of his officers and higher-ranking enlistees are also finished: a Fitness Report, even a good one, signed by a captain with a scarlett letter is worthless.

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-28, 05:25 PM
Couple pictures. One is a better copy of the CNN photo, the other is a different angle.

http://home.comcast.net/~mcclanahans/USS-SF-1.gif

http://home.comcast.net/~mcclanahans/USS-SF-2.gif

Question on the second image. The hull buldges following the damaged portion. Is that a characteristic of the Los Angeles class or compression damage?

Nergal
2005-Jan-28, 05:41 PM
Compression damage.

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-28, 05:47 PM
Thanks, that's what I thought. From the angle though it looked uniform and perpendicular to the sub's centerline so I had a seed of doubt as to what it was.

R.A.F.
2005-Jan-28, 06:17 PM
[quote]I doubt the Captain will be discharged or even receive an official reprimanded - but he'll probably never drive a sub again and will be passed over for promotions (for one reason or another) - you don't just drive your $$$$ sub into a mountain, loose one of your crew and walk away Scot free.

I agree...even if the fault lies elsewhere...no one ever said that the "services" were fair.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-28, 06:29 PM
My reasoning was not about if it was fair, but about what would be fair. IF the man really could have done nothing to prevent it (approved route and no mountain on cards + no means ot detect the mountain with standard procedures etcetc) I think it is very sad his carreer is ruined. He might as well be a very good captain, and just happened to be the one to discover that undersea mountain.

Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 06:31 PM
My reasoning was not about if it was fair, but about what would be fair. IF the man really could have done nothing to prevent it (approved route and no mountain on cards + no means ot detect the mountain with standard procedures etcetc) I think it is very sad his carreer is ruined. He might as well be a very good captain, and just happened to be the one to discover that undersea mountain.

Unfortunately, the mountain did appear on more current charts. Which will probably be the single thread they hang him with.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-28, 06:45 PM
indeed...

Lurker
2005-Jan-28, 06:45 PM
Unfortunately, the mountain did appear on more current charts. Which will probably be the single thread they hang him with.

Yeah... but my question is, was it his responsibility to sift through all charts and find this out, or is he just very visible. You can't have one of your sub commanders abilities being the butt of jokes on the Tonight Show... its just not done.

I think that one way or another he will never drive another sub, I just wonder if we are losing a find sub commander in the process.

Life can be extremely unfair...

kucharek
2005-Jan-28, 07:32 PM
(Much) higher resolution pictures:

http://www.navy.mil/view_gallery.asp?category_id=17

Harald

Lurker
2005-Jan-28, 07:35 PM
(Much) higher resolution pictures:

http://www.navy.mil/view_gallery.asp?category_id=17

Harald

Damn... that looks like it was a mountain alright... Damn... :o

kucharek
2005-Jan-28, 07:39 PM
What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

CTM VT 2K
2005-Jan-28, 07:50 PM
What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

Anechoetic (sp?) tiles - The unclassified answer is a synthetic rubber that absorbs sound, making the sub quieter/stealthier.

Eta C
2005-Jan-28, 07:52 PM
Probably rubber tiles that are part of an anechoic coating. They help reduce the amount of sound that escapes from the sub's interior and also absorb sound from active sonar systems, making the sub harder to find.

Damm, ToSeeked. Well, at least I got the spelling right.

Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 07:55 PM
What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

Those are some kind of a sheathing they attach to the outer hull to make it less sonar reflective. Gimme a bit and I can look it up.

Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 08:27 PM
http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08766.htm

Photos of another submarine specifically mentioning the anechoic tiles.

Obviousman
2005-Jan-29, 12:50 AM
I know it doesn't sound fair, but ultimately the CO is responsible.

Sure, he will no doubt be able to show he was sailing in accordance with all the regs, navigation procedures being followed, drills up to date, chart corrections current, etc.

He can do everything that was required, and hindsight will point to something else that could have been done.

It's not fair, but it's the way the system works.

Doe, John
2005-Jan-29, 12:58 AM
Little aside, those rubber tiles are offically named as previously mentioned, but in the force its just called SHT (Special Hull Treatment).

Daryl71
2005-Jan-29, 01:47 AM
Man, they don't build them strong in just Germany! :o

kucharek
2005-Jan-29, 08:05 AM
What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

Anechoetic (sp?) tiles - The unclassified answer is a synthetic rubber that absorbs sound, making the sub quieter/stealthier.

Thanks. That was what I suspected.

SKY
2005-Jan-29, 08:34 AM
What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

Anechoetic (sp?) tiles - The unclassified answer is a synthetic rubber that absorbs sound, making the sub quieter/stealthier.

My uncle was in the Navy and took my family on a tour of a Nuclear Class Submarine and I kept wondering what the outer coating was too. I remember at the time it felt like walking on rubber.

Eta C
2005-Jan-29, 04:52 PM
The Navsource page for the USS San Francisco (http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08711.htm) has some additional photos of the damage as well as a nice "before" shot of the sub in drydock that is taken from the same angle as the photo posted above. It's the 12th one down on the page.

Edit to add: There is a mistake in the specifications page on Navsource. It says that San Francisco has vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk missiles in the bow. This is incorrect. These tubes were installed only for SSN-719 and later (San Francisco is SSN-711). If she were carrying TLAM there, the damage from the collision might have set off the missile fuel or warheads and the boat might not have survived.

kleindoofy
2005-Jan-29, 08:42 PM
I know it doesn't sound fair, but ultimately the CO is responsible

...

He can do everything that was required, and hindsight will point to something else that could have been done.

It's not fair, but it's the way the system works.

Yeah, I guess in order to be a fool who can really screw every thing up in every way possible and still stay in your position of command, you have to be the Commander in Chief. Real experts with years of study, training and experience, who are fully competent and follow procedure to the letter are blamed for the systemic problems and sacrificed like pawns. #-o

Musashi
2005-Jan-30, 12:58 AM
Let's try harder to turn this political ok? :roll:

Mrdomination
2005-Jan-30, 04:56 AM
Well, What happened to the pilot that bombed the chinese embassy all those years ago? Or the pilot that bombed the canadain troops in afghanistan? Were they punished for their actions. This CO might get off. Or is it more important that he endangered US lives and equipment instead of forgein ones?

Staiduk
2005-Jan-30, 05:07 AM
It has been said before here: the Captain is ultimately responsible for his ship.
'Responsibility' in this case is a bit of a difficult thing for civilians to bend their heads around - I don't in any way mean that negatively; it's simply the concept of total responsibility exists very rarely outside the military. The Captain has total responsibility for ever nut, bolt and person on that vehicle - when the bell strikes and the words "SSN-711 Arriving!" are heard; the new Captain accepts the vessel and everything in it as its chief operator and caretaker. Don't mean to keep on hammering at the same point; but it's vital in this instance.
In this case; it's likely the Captain may never again command a sub. That's highly unfortunate; but not unfair. The fact is simple: the sub struck the undersea mountain on that Captain's watch. Whether or not he knew it was there, or could have known is a secondary fact. The boat was heavily damaged, a man was killed, 60 more injured.
The Captain may well have been following procedures; but that alone isn't an acceptable defense. The mountain has showed up on newer charts - why did he not have the newest available charts before he left port? Were there any actions he could have taken to prevent the collision, in hindsight or ortherwise? Did he do everything in his power to avoid the possibility? These are the questions and many others that will be asked.
It boils down to this: Capts. Smith and Jones are available to take over a new ship. They each have similar experience. Capt. Smith has a spotless record; Capt. Jones has had a sub damaged on his watch. Which captain would you choose?

Obviousman
2005-Jan-30, 08:35 AM
Let me see if I can give a clearer example of what "responsible" means for a CO.

You may remember a couple of years ago, a Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer, HMS NOTTINGHAM, ran aground near Lord Howe Island.

At the time of the grounding, the CO had just arrived back from Lord Howe via helo. The ship was going off flying course, and back to it's planned course. The CO was on his way up to the bridge when it went aground.

Ultimately, he was responsible for the grounding.

How could this be? He'd only just got back on board; he wasn't even on the bridge at the time.

Because if the Officer-of-the-Watch (OOW) did not pay proper attention to the chart or made a serious error, the OOW was the cause - and the CO was responsible. If the OOW was not competent to be in that situation, he should not have had a Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate ("ticket") - issued by the CO.

If the chart was not updated correctly, then the Navigation Yeoman was the cause - but the CO is responsible. The CO was responsible because he personally or through the Navigation Officer did not ensure the charts were up to date, did not ensure the NAVYEO was properly trained, or failed to adequately instruct them on the importance of their duties.

Whatever the cause - THE CO IS RESPONSIBLE.

It may turn out that everything that was possible or required was done by CO SAN FRANCISO. This will be taken into account and it may be ruled that the CO has no case to answer. Even in this event, where there is no case to answer, no apportion of blame, the CO is still, at all times, resposible for the safe operation, conduct, and welfare of their ship and its crew. This does not mean, however, that he will be paid off or never promoted again.

That is why being the CO is such a difficult task. You are responsible for anything & everything that occurs on your ship, and for the conduct of the people who serve on it. It is a singularly demanding post. Even so, there is no shortage of people who compete fiercly for that position.

Staiduk
2005-Jan-30, 09:16 AM
Just remember; in the military if you lose a piece of kit, you have to pay for a new one.
For instance; if I was to lose a pair of binoculars; I'd have to pay $800 to replace them. New uniform (combat), around $50 for each piece.

...I guess that's why the Captain always goes down with his ship. :lol:

(sorry - couldn't resist)

CTM VT 2K
2005-Jan-30, 02:09 PM
...I guess that's why the Captain always goes down with his ship. :lol:

(sorry - couldn't resist)

There probably is a certain degree of truth in that - especially if lives were lost/others are still aboard and unable to get off the sinking ship.

Take the CO of the USS Indianapolis in WWII, his ship was torpedoed, sank. For days he and his surviving crewmen clung to debris while sharks circled and struck. When finally rescued, he was courtmartialed. Eventually he took his own life, I believe - the spectre of his mistakes, and the lives lost that he was responsible for was too much for him.

Adm. Kimmel, the overall commander at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 41 spent the rest of his life dwelling on the lives lost on his watch - he was in command, it was his ships, his sailors and marines lost that day.

sarongsong
2005-Jan-30, 11:24 PM
...The mountain has showed up on newer charts - why did he not have the newest available charts before he left port?...
"...Officials at the Bethesda, Md.-based National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said on Jan. 15 that the main chart likely used by the USS San Francisco didn't reveal any obstacle...The Defense Mapping Agency created the chart used by the submarine's navigator in 1989, and it was never revised..."
http://www.thelog.com/news/newsview.asp?c=141754

Captain Kidd
2005-Feb-15, 12:16 PM
Cmdr. Kevin Mooney has been found guilty (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=658739&C=navwar) of placing his submarine into a dangerous situation and relieved of command. He has been assigned shore duty and will receive an official letter of reprimand which will basically kill his career.

Some of the cited evidence against him was:
-A sonar sounding earlier had revealed that the seabed was at a shallower depth than indicated by the charts (chart said 6000 ft, doesn't say what the sonar sounding returned)
-Satellite photographs of the SE Pacific area show discolorations of the ocean water indicative of an undersea mountain

However, the charts in question that Mooney should have had the navigators use still didn’t show the mountain but contained a warning that a 1999 satellite photograph of the area showed indications of an underwater mountain. The Pentagon hadn’t gotten around to updating the charts yet.

There’s support for Cmdr. Mooney (http://www.theday.com/eng/web/news/re.aspx?re=B4200894-E458-4D53-BD4F-02C1EE54B6D2), including the father of the crewman who died and on various email lists and bulletin boards.


“Everybody is in disbelief, but nobody is really blasting the Navy directly,” said Ron Martini, a former submariner who runs a popular submarine bulletin board on the Internet from his home in Sheridan, Wyo. “I'd say 100 percent of the posts are supportive of the crew, and 80 percent, at least, are showing at least some degree of dismay about what happened to Commander Mooney.”

sarongsong
2005-Mar-14, 02:05 AM
March 13, 2005 (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050313/news_1n13sub.html)
Navy investigators have found that the officers...failed to take into account a variety of danger signs...crew members...didn't look at some navigational charts of the South Pacific that might have suggested more caution...also should have checked the water depth more frequently and shouldn't have been operating the ship at high speed... from a report that probably will be released within several weeks...repairs could cost $100 million..."

Eta C
2005-Mar-14, 02:07 AM
Actually, my guess is that they simply decomission and scrap the boat rather than pay the repair bill. The Navy is downsizing these days and they may simply decom San Francisco and retain another sub that was scheduled to be cut.

Stuart
2005-Mar-14, 03:36 PM
Actually, my guess is that they simply decomission and scrap the boat rather than pay the repair bill. The Navy is downsizing these days and they may simply decom San Francisco and retain another sub that was scheduled to be cut.

I agree; if they do decide to repair SF for some reason, they'll probably just cut the bows of a decomissioned LA boat and do a nose transplant. My guess is scrapping though; she isn't VLS-equipped and that impact must have played heck with the ship's systems and pressure hull.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-14, 03:48 PM
It's a month old, but Stars and Strips reports (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26360&archive=true ) that they're going to move her (under her own power) to another shipyard with more comprehensive repair facilities.


A large steel dome about 20 feet high and 20 feet in diameter arrived Monday on Guam from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, Pacific Submarine Force spokesman, on Tuesday.

The dome will give the nuclear-powered ship “water-tight integrity and buoyancy on the forward end, to enable it to transit to another location,” Davis said.

However, another article I read said that it's still undetermined as to her final disposition.

Stuart
2005-Mar-14, 04:11 PM
It's a month old, but Stars and Strips reports (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26360&archive=true ) that they're going to move her (under her own power) to another shipyard with more comprehensive repair facilities.

They'll do that anyway; being nuclear powered, she has to be shifted to a disposal facility where her reactor compartment can be cut out. I havenm't heard anything about her final fate yet, perhaps next week

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 06:27 PM
Here is a conspiracy for you. They said this was due to a grounding.

A part of me wonders if a piece of the Kursk isn't behind that tarp...

Remember the collision theory?

Probably not--but it would make me feel better that the accident was the result of a "Crazy Ivan" gone wrong--rather than grounding a submarine. The latter seems as retarded as that incident where the Japanese fishing vessel was holed with someone showing out for a Congressman.

I don't know which is worse.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 06:29 PM
Kursk was years ago. So everyone in the USS San Fransisco should be in the conspricay, as they weren't on board before the Kursk went down already. Extremely improbable.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-16, 07:50 PM
Here is a conspiracy for you. They said this was due to a grounding.

A part of me wonders if a piece of the Kursk isn't behind that tarp...

Remember the collision theory?

Probably not--but it would make me feel better that the accident was the result of a "Crazy Ivan" gone wrong--rather than grounding a submarine. The latter seems as retarded as that incident where the Japanese fishing vessel was holed with someone showing out for a Congressman.

I don't know which is worse.
Ok, the Kursk sank in August 2000 in the Barents Sea (http://www.astronautix.com/sites/bartssea.htm), the San Francisco hit the mountain in January of 2005 in the South Pacific. There’s a bit of a time and space difference there...

I would love to see a conspiracy able to link those two together.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 07:53 PM
Here is a conspiracy for you. They said this was due to a grounding.

A part of me wonders if a piece of the Kursk isn't behind that tarp...

Remember the collision theory?

Probably not--but it would make me feel better that the accident was the result of a "Crazy Ivan" gone wrong--rather than grounding a submarine. The latter seems as retarded as that incident where the Japanese fishing vessel was holed with someone showing out for a Congressman.

I don't know which is worse.
Ok, the Kursk sank in August 2000 in the Barents Sea (http://www.astronautix.com/sites/bartssea.htm), the San Francisco hit the mountain in January of 2005 in the South Pacific. There’s a bit of a time and space difference there...

I would love to see a conspiracy able to link those two together.

They hit each other somewhere in august 2000 or earlier, and they kept it quiet until now. Then they came up with the story of the San Fransisco hitting a mountain. Whether Kurks did or did not sink in the Barents sea is a detail of the conspiracy. What about all the different crews in the meantime is just a detail of course. :roll:

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-16, 07:54 PM
Must have taken that long for the San Francisco to gimp all the way to the South Pacific.

sarongsong
2005-Mar-24, 03:09 AM
Close-ups without the blue tarps:
http://www.subcommittee.com/SubComm/images/photos/DSC00030.JPG
http://www.subcommittee.com/SubComm/images/photos/DSC00031.JPG
http://www.subcommittee.com/SubComm/images/photos/DSC00033.JPG
http://www.subcommittee.com/SubComm/images/photos/DSC00034.JPG

mopc
2005-Mar-24, 03:59 AM
But it's nucular, it's evil!

Eta C
2005-Mar-24, 01:32 PM
No big surprises in the "uncovered" pictures. The sonar spherical array certainly took a beating. My guess is that the public affairs officer on the scene initially wanted to keep the sonar sphere (the most evident structure in the photos) covered in any released picuture until someone else said it was OK to show it.

swansont
2005-Mar-25, 03:06 AM
It's a month old, but Stars and Strips reports (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26360&archive=true )

Stars and Strips?

I guess recruiting is tougher these days. Gotta lure 'em in with something!

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-25, 08:45 AM
It's a month old, but Stars and Strips reports (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26360&archive=true ) Stars and Strips?
Ohhh, don't get me started. I love picking on the typos. And yes, I'd noticed that one, easily.

sarongsong
2005-May-08, 06:25 PM
No surprises in the now completed report:
May 8, 2005 (http://starbulletin.com/2005/05/08/news/) (left column)
"..."If San Francisco's leaders and watch teams had complied with requisite procedures and exercised prudent navigation practices, the grounding would most likely have been avoided," the Navy's 124-page report said..."

SpacedOut
2005-May-19, 11:34 AM
A CBS news article. (http://wcbs880.com/topstories/topstories_story_138222621.html)

It includes comments by the Captain.