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Attack Submarine USS Connecticut Suffers Underwater Collision in South China Sea

Court Jester

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We are quickly headed into a cold war with China, especially in that part of the world. I think we should expect more events like these to occur going forward,
as our operations there keep increasing in order to stand up against the Chinese threats there.

But don't despair, whatever mishaps we are having, the Chinese I'm sure are having exponentially more, they just aren't being reported. It was the same way
with the Soviet cold war; thousands of Soviet miltiary died in all kinds of mishaps. We only heard about the ones they could not cover up.
 

Rexedgar

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What makes you think they run that close to the bottom? The task you suggest would be monumental.
There is little information in the reporting that I have seen. A submarine running into something suggests that the something was a terrain feature. Maybe they ran into another sub? How congested is the SCS?
 

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The item would have to be substantial. I'm not sure an undersea drone or shipping container would have enough mass to jolt the submarine enough to injure crewmembers.
 

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they use passive sonar
NO pingers and seeing there are somethings that do not make noise Passive sonar isn't any good
It is good against other ships and things that make some type of noise but not solid non moving objects
Have a nice day
Haven't they got windows?
 

roguenuke

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If it's even close to the same, I can see why the kids are getting out after 4 years.
It's been that way for some time. When I was on the ship, the stress was so bad that I had this really good Sailor, a good mechanic ask me what I thought would be ways to get out right then. He was so stressed out over our deployments, what we were doing, our watch rotations, etc. It has been happening for decades at least. This isn't new at all.

At one point in my career, I was manning a 6 and 6 watch rotation with another Sailor (because we had so few qualified nukes). There were times when that particular watch also had to pull extra duty (luckily, our CoC was good enough to realize that this would probably not go well and had a higher watch stand do that extra duty, since their rotation was 5 on and 10 off).
 

roguenuke

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Haven't they got windows?
I'm not quite sure if this is a real question or sarcasm....

Although I believe it would be absolutely awesome to have a SeaQuest in our fleet, unfortunately we don't have that sort of thing, yet.
 

MaryP

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I'm not quite sure if this is a real question or sarcasm....

Although I believe it would be absolutely awesome to have a SeaQuest in our fleet, unfortunately we don't have that sort of thing, yet.
It was real. Maybe not a window, but some way to see where you're going? Cameras?
 

roguenuke

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It was real. Maybe not a window, but some way to see where you're going? Cameras?
No, no cameras either. Submarines are made as airtight and watertight as possible, as well as streamlined. It is actually pretty impressive how few accidents they have in the water, considering most of their navigation is done without having really any direct "sight". And I'm not saying we shouldn't look into utilizing such technology.
 

MaryP

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No, no cameras either. Submarines are made as airtight and watertight as possible, as well as streamlined. It is actually pretty impressive how few accidents they have in the water, considering most of their navigation is done without having really any direct "sight". And I'm not saying we shouldn't look into utilizing such technology.
Wow. Just thinking about submarines makes me short of breath because I'm claustrophobic. The thought that they can't even see out ... yes, I'm impressed, though. I never would have thought that in a million years.
 

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It's been that way for some time. When I was on the ship, the stress was so bad that I had this really good Sailor, a good mechanic ask me what I thought would be ways to get out right then. He was so stressed out over our deployments, what we were doing, our watch rotations, etc. It has been happening for decades at least. This isn't new at all.

At one point in my career, I was manning a 6 and 6 watch rotation with another Sailor (because we had so few qualified nukes). There were times when that particular watch also had to pull extra duty (luckily, our CoC was good enough to realize that this would probably not go well and had a higher watch stand do that extra duty, since their rotation was 5 on and 10 off).

Just because it isn't new, doesn't mean that the newer generation aren't as ****ing stupid as we were to put up with it.
 

Cordelier

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Do you have some evidence that the operational tempo is higher now than it was say 10 years ago? 20 years ago?

That's easy enough to do. Follow the money. If you take spending on Navy Personnel as a rough proxy for the size of the Navy and spending on Navy Operation & Maintenance as a rough proxy for how active the Navy is, then just find the ratio between the two:

(Operation & Maintenance)/(Navy Personnel)

That should give you a pretty good idea of the operational tempo for any given year. I worked that out for the Fiscal Year (FY) 1984-2019 time period and then did a normal distribution (ie, graded each year "on a curve") to give an easily accessible number from 0.001 to 1.000 as a measurement of operational tempo. The higher the number, the higher the tempo. I then did a 4-year average for every Administration and got the following:

Reagan II (FY86-89): 0.442
Bush, Sr. (FY90-93): 0.324
Clinton I (FY94-97): 0.196
Clinton II (FY98-01): 0.421
Bush, Jr. I (FY02-05): 0.323
Bush, Jr. II (FY06-09): 0.757
Obama I (FY10-13): 0.889
Obama II (FY14-17): 0.892
Trump (est.) (FY18-21): 0.977
Biden (est.) (FY22-25): 0.952

So the Navy's Operational Tempo has been pretty high for a while now - at least since Bush's 2nd Term. It took a big jump in FY06 and has been way above .500 ever since.
 

roguenuke

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I would think that wouldn’t be a problem in between the surface and the bottom. The closer to the bottom they get, it gets a little dicier. The Chinese would have to be pretty lucky to install a “barrier” and get the sub to hit it. I don’t guess we’ll know just where in the SCS they were…….
Honestly, we found out that China sometimes just throws major trash in their waters. That is part of the reason why I broke my nose on the ship. We had sucked up a large wire (it was about the size of my wrist) off the seafloor in Hong Kong harbor (technically the anchor had picked it up, but they sort of "shook" it off and it got sucked into one of our intakes). That wire got stuck in our valve, causing it to not open correctly. That led to a casualty that we have specific actions for. We realized the problem and fixed that (or we thought, we didn't know about the wire, only the effect that it had, keeping the valve somewhat shut) and while opening things back up, another valve part failed, which I was far too close to, and hit it face first. But we had pulled that wire in further when we got the valve open, breaking a pump in the system too when the wire got wrapped inside it. That was a really dynamic and interesting morning (although I missed about half of it, since they did take me to medical).
 

Lord of Planar

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Haven't they got windows?
Sorry no. They aren't built like the USS Seaview. Even if they did, there is no light as deep as they go. Then to use headlights, would also be giving away their position to the enemy.

They rely on sonar.
 

roguenuke

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That's easy enough to do. Follow the money. If you take spending on Navy Personnel as a rough proxy for the size of the Navy and spending on Navy Operation & Maintenance as a rough proxy for how active the Navy is, then just find the ratio between the two:

(Operation & Maintenance)/(Navy Personnel)

That should give you a pretty good idea of the operational tempo for any given year. I worked that out for the Fiscal Year (FY) 1984-2019 time period and then did a normal distribution (ie, graded each year "on a curve") to give an easily accessible number from 0.001 to 1.000 as a measurement of operational tempo. The higher the number, the higher the tempo. I then did a 4-year average for every Administration and got the following:

Reagan II (FY86-89): 0.442
Bush, Sr. (FY90-93): 0.324
Clinton I (FY94-97): 0.196
Clinton II (FY98-01): 0.421
Bush, Jr. I (FY02-05): 0.323
Bush, Jr. II (FY06-09): 0.757
Obama I (FY10-13): 0.889
Obama II (FY14-17): 0.892
Trump (est.) (FY18-21): 0.977
Biden (est.) (FY22-25): 0.952

So the Navy's Operational Tempo has been pretty high for a while now - at least since Bush's 2nd Term. It took a big jump in FY06 and has been way above .500 ever since.
That actually wouldn't provide as much info as you may think. For instance, what is the distribution there? Are we giving higher bonuses? What about distribution of personnel within rates? There are always rates that are overmanned and undermanned. And does that account for IA duty (which started right around that 2nd term), which is very different than sea duty (nukes don't do IA duty, but I do know about it, and could have went out on it in the reserves).

Although that does show what I was getting at, that this has been normal tempo for almost 20 years now.
 

MaryP

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Sorry no. They aren't built like the USS Seaview. Even if they did, there is no light as deep as they go. Then to use headlights, would also be giving away their position to the enemy.

They rely on sonar.
Makes sense.
 

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That's easy enough to do. Follow the money. If you take spending on Navy Personnel as a rough proxy for the size of the Navy and spending on Navy Operation & Maintenance as a rough proxy for how active the Navy is, then just find the ratio between the two:

(Operation & Maintenance)/(Navy Personnel)

That should give you a pretty good idea of the operational tempo for any given year. I worked that out for the Fiscal Year (FY) 1984-2019 time period and then did a normal distribution (ie, graded each year "on a curve") to give an easily accessible number from 0.001 to 1.000 as a measurement of operational tempo. The higher the number, the higher the tempo. I then did a 4-year average for every Administration and got the following:

Reagan II (FY86-89): 0.442
Bush, Sr. (FY90-93): 0.324
Clinton I (FY94-97): 0.196
Clinton II (FY98-01): 0.421
Bush, Jr. I (FY02-05): 0.323
Bush, Jr. II (FY06-09): 0.757
Obama I (FY10-13): 0.889
Obama II (FY14-17): 0.892
Trump (est.) (FY18-21): 0.977
Biden (est.) (FY22-25): 0.952

So the Navy's Operational Tempo has been pretty high for a while now - at least since Bush's 2nd Term. It took a big jump in FY06 and has been way above .500 ever since.

The thing is, operational tempo doesn't account for all the 3-5 days out to sea, or 1-2 weeks out to sea for testing, inspections, and work ups.

I could be wrong about this, so feel free to tell me if I am..
 

Lord of Planar

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The thing is, operational tempo doesn't account for all the 3-5 days out to sea, or 1-2 weeks out to sea for testing, inspections, and work ups.

I could be wrong about this, so feel free to tell me if I am..
Days?

The people I know who were in the Navy would be underwater for months.
 

roguenuke

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The thing is, operational tempo doesn't account for all the 3-5 days out to sea, or 1-2 weeks out to sea for testing, inspections, and work ups.

I could be wrong about this, so feel free to tell me if I am..
Actually, they have calculations that do address that in fact. But that is referred to differently.


That is called Personnel Tempo, not operational tempo.

Personnel tempo, or PERSTEMPO, on the other hand, measures the number of days each sailor spends away their home port on official Navy business. The moment a sailor leaves a home port, the PERSTEMPO clock starts.

Until about the last 2-3 years, my ship, from a deployment I was on, held the record for longest time out to sea since Vietnam or before. Then the same ship beat its own record in I believe 2019, when it changed homeports. I believe there was a smaller ship though that just barely beat it this past year.


This is actually interesting because we also had similar orders during our long stretch out due to SARS hitting Asia during our time out in 2003.
 

roguenuke

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Days?

The people I know who were in the Navy would be underwater for months.
There are a few types of subs. There is one type that goes out for months at a time, on a set schedule, but the other main type has a schedule that is much more like a surface ship.

He was trying to account for times when ships go out for small trips to do trials and workups and even just small visits to other places, testing, joint exercises. Those aren't the same as deployments, but still time out to sea. Those are calculated into personnel tempo though rather than operational tempo.

Now deployments typically happen about every 2 years for carrier groups and last about 4-6 months (I did 3 deployments while on the Lincoln, but flew off early, days before they got extended to help with the tsunami rescue and humanitarian efforts).
 

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Days?

The people I know who were in the Navy would be underwater for months.

That's not the point I was making. When you add up all the bullshit "out to sea days" in between deployments it can get really old really fast.

I have a silver star on my sea service ribbon.......I know a little bit about sea time. ;)
 

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Looks as though incompetence is now creeping into our submarine force. The Navy needs new leadership.

Attack Submarine USS Connecticut Suffers Underwater Collision​



Fun fact: the US Navy never had ships collide with anything ever prior to the election of Obama.
 

Cordelier

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That actually wouldn't provide as much info as you may think. For instance, what is the distribution there? Are we giving higher bonuses? What about distribution of personnel within rates? There are always rates that are overmanned and undermanned. And does that account for IA duty (which started right around that 2nd term), which is very different than sea duty (nukes don't do IA duty, but I do know about it, and could have went out on it in the reserves).

Although that does show what I was getting at, that this has been normal tempo for almost 20 years now.

Admittedly, my "big picture" analysis is more forest than trees.... sure, we could get a more nuanced picture by getting further into the weeds... but if you look at it from afar, you can see the broad pattern that emerges - the Cold War draw down from Reagan II to Clinton I... a post-Cold War "plateau" from Clinton II to Bush, Jr. I.... and then a dramatic increase in operational tempo starting in Bush's second term until now, when it's as high as it has ever been over the last 40 years.

The plain and simple fact of the matter is that we've been asking the Navy to do more with less for the last 15 years.... and we're seeing the consequences of that. More pressures are being put on the service members and their families. More mistakes are being made. The fabric is getting stretched thinner and thinner. So the choice now becomes this.... either expand the size of the Navy to handle those stresses.... or reduce it's commitment level and just not ask it to do so much. Frederick the Great once said, "He who defends everything defends nothing"... well, maybe we need to start asking ourselves how close we actually are to defending "everything"?
 

Cordelier

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The thing is, operational tempo doesn't account for all the 3-5 days out to sea, or 1-2 weeks out to sea for testing, inspections, and work ups.

I could be wrong about this, so feel free to tell me if I am..

We used to do all of those things in the 80's and 90's, did we not? The only difference now is that we expect the Navy to defend as much of the ocean as it did then with a much smaller force than we had 40 years ago. We expect it to do increasingly varied missions for longer periods of time, using increasingly more technologically complicated equipment... but at the same time we reduce the incentives for retaining experienced personnel. Something has got to give here.
 
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