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Entries in Submarine (4)

Sunday
Oct142012

Navy Submarine and Cruiser Collide Off Florida

(NEW YORK) -- Two Navy vessels collided Saturday afternoon off the coast of northeastern Florida, but there were no injuries aboard the submarine and cruiser involved in the collision.

According to a Navy statement the submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765) and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) collided at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET.

The statement adds that there were no injuries aboard either ship and that the submarine’s nuclear powered reactor “was unaffected by this collision.”

The incident is under investigation.

A Navy official says the two ships were participating in a “group sail” along with another vessel.  The three ships were participating in an anti-submarine exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment as part of the strike group for the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.

The Navy official says that at approximately 3:30 p.m. the bridge watch aboard the San Jacinto saw the submarine Montpelier rise to periscope depth about 100 to 200 yards ahead of them.  The bridge ordered an “all back,” but still collided with the sub.

According to the official, the initial assessment of damage is that there was a complete depressurization of the sonar dome aboard the San Jacinto. Located below the water line of surface warships, sonar domes provide the bulbous shape to the bows of warships.

After the collision the official said the submarine surfaced and communications were established between all the ships on the scene.

The carrier USS Harry S Truman is also there, available to provide assistance.

The two ships involved in the collision are both operating under their own power.

Collisions between Navy submarines and surface warships are rare.

In March, 2009 the submarine USS Hartford suffered severe damage to its Con tower after colliding with the amphibious transport ship USS New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz.  The subsequent investigation found fault for the collision lay with the commanders aboard the submarine. Several officers and crew aboard the submarine were later disciplined for their roles.

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Monday
Jul232012

Man Charged in Sub Fire that Caused $400M in Damages

The Los Angeles class attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) in a file photo. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Kevin K. Langford (WASHINGTON) -- A fire that broke out aboard the USS Miami nuclear submarine in May while it was docked in a Maine shipyard caused $400 million in damages -- and federal authorities now say it was caused by a man who was having problems with his girlfriend and wanted to get off work to see her.

The civilian painter, 24-year-old Casey James Fury, faces charges that could bring life in prison, if he's convicted.

He is also charged with setting another fire in June that was set near the same boat.

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Friday
May252012

Smooth Sailing for First Women to Serve on Navy Submarines

U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kimberly Clifford(WASHINGTON) -- Two years after the Navy decided  to allow women to serve as officers aboard its submarines, the integration of women into the submarine force appears to be going smoothly.

That’s the word from some of the first women selected to become “submariners,” who say the challenges they have faced during the last two years of training have had nothing to do with gender, but with the overall challenge of becoming a junior officer in the elite submarine force.

“It’s a challenge to be a junior officer on a submarine, in general,” said Ensign Abigail Holt, who is currently serving aboard the USS Wyoming.  ”Outside of being female on a submarine, all of us are trying to qualify, all of us are trying to support the ward room and trying to be a team member.  That is challenging, in itself.”

Holt was among several of the first 24 female naval officers selected to serve aboard submarines who participated in a Navy news conference held Thursday in Washington.  They were joined by male junior officers with whom they are currently serving with aboard submarines.

The first female officers began serving aboard submarines last November after completing the rigorous 18-month educational and training requirements required of all naval officers who set their sights on becoming submariners.  Serving aboard the submarines provides them with the real-world experience they need to earn the insignia known as the “dolphin” pin, or “fish” that sets them apart as fully qualified submarine officers.   

All of the officers at Thursday’s news conference are in the qualification phase of their service.

The current program allows female officers to serve on large ballistic and guided missile submarines, but not on the smaller, fast-attack submarines. 

Participating via phone link, Vice Adm. John Richardson, commander of submarine forces, said no decisions have been made about whether to allow women to serve on the attack submarines or to expand the program and allow enlisted women to also serve in the submarine force.  He said those decisions would await the feedback and lessons learned from the current program. 

Richardson described the feedback that’s come in so far as “very positive and very encouraging.”  He said that, beginning in 2013, the Navy hopes to add about 20 additional women a year under the program. 

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Thursday
May242012

Seven Injured After Fire Aboard Nuclear Sub in Maine

U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jhi L. Scott(KITTERY, Maine) -- Seven people were injured Wednesday evening after a fire broke out aboard a nuclear-powered submarine docked at a shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard around 5:41 p.m., the U.S. Navy said in a statement.  The fire broke out in the forward compartment of the USS Miami, which houses crew living areas and command and control spaces, and did not pose any nuclear danger.

"The ship's reactor was not operating and remains in a safe and stable condition as it has been throughout the event," Capt. Bryant Fuller, the shipyard commander, told reporters Wednesday night.

All personnel have been accounted for, according to the Navy.  Those wounded -- three Portsmouth Naval Shipyard firefighters, two ships force crew members, and two civilian firefighters -- were all treated for minor injures and have been released, Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge announced at a press conference Thursday morning.

Fuller said a full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire.

The shipyard is expected to remain open for work on Thursday.

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