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Thread: First pics of the USS San Francisco

  1. #1
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    First pics of the USS San Francisco

    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/sub...ged/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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
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    Couple pictures. One is a better copy of the CNN photo, the other is a different angle.





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

  6. #6
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    Compression damage.

  7. #7
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    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.

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    [quote="SpacedOut"]
    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.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  9. #9
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    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.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    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.

  11. #11
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    indeed...
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler
    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...

  13. #13
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    (Much) higher resolution pictures:

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

    Harald

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    (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...

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    What are these tiles the whole hull seems to be covered with?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    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.

  17. #17
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    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.
    "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." - William Thompson, 1st Baron Lord Kelvin

    "If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!" - Tweedledee

    This isn't right. This isn't even wrong. - Wolfgang Pauli

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    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.

  19. #19
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    http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08766.htm

    Photos of another submarine specifically mentioning the anechoic tiles.

  20. #20
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    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.

  21. #21
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    Little aside, those rubber tiles are offically named as previously mentioned, but in the force its just called SHT (Special Hull Treatment).

  22. #22
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    Man, they don't build them strong in just Germany!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM VT 2K
    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    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.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM VT 2K
    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    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.

  25. #25
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    The Navsource page for the USS San Francisco 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.
    "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." - William Thompson, 1st Baron Lord Kelvin

    "If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!" - Tweedledee

    This isn't right. This isn't even wrong. - Wolfgang Pauli

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviousman
    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

  27. #27
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    Let's try harder to turn this political ok? :roll:

  28. #28
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    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?

  29. #29
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    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?

  30. #30
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    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.

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