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DepingNuke

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Surface or Sub
« on: Aug 16, 2004, 09:34 »
This question is not which one is better, because of course that is all a matter of opinion. But more whats life like on each of them, whats are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each?

For example If you are on a boomer. You have sorter time at sea and a regular schedual. Correct? But dont you visit less Ports and the Missions are boring. And like any other Sub duty you have limited contact with the outside.

With fast attack isnt it true that you stay out at sea for longer periods of time, but the missions are more exciting and you tend to visit more ports?

And with Surface you have a long time at sea but there is more contact with the outside world, I also heard of navy at sea on Carriers but i also heard nukes tend to be to busy to really attend.

Any information would be helpful about how life is on each of them. How much time is spent at sea per year, what do you do while not at sea and so on.

Offline metalman40

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #1 on: Aug 16, 2004, 10:07 »
There are only two types of ships in the world, Submarines and prey.


Death From Below, it's the only way to go.
Sometimes you just want to say dilligaf and go dfr.

damad1

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16, 2004, 11:04 »
There are only two types of ships in the world, Submarines and prey.


Death From Below, it's the only way to go.
metalman40

How many ships did your sub sink while you wer on it?
How many ships have subs sank in the last 10 years?

Mmmmm.....that's what I thought. None.

Depingnuke,
I was on a surface ship and my best friend was on a boomer. Justin (my bud) had a significantly better rotation than I had on a carrier, but his patrols were complete boredom. I saw much more of the world, and although Navy ships (Nukes especially) see lower class countries, I atleast came away with a great appreciation of America and of how lucky we are as citizens.

My last ship was a CGN (Cruiser) which I really liked, but as I decommisioned the last nuke cruiser in the Navy, I won't tell you how life was there. I really disliked the carrier, you have a designated work day (8 hours), plus training, plus drills, and oh yeah, watches that occour constantly. Also, you have to deal with the airdales, which got on many a nukes nerves. Things on a carrier revolve around the airwing, so get use to being overlooked, and having to play airwing games all the time.

I never served on a fast boat, but had many friends who did. Same story, watches until you die, plus maintenenca and training and drills. Watches I believe are 6 hrs on, and 6 off, but in your off time you do the maint, training, etc. I think fastboats would be more exciting of the three types of nuke ships, but I think they see less ports than surface ships.

It use to be, several years ago, that surface nukes made rate faster. Justin and I were about the same grades in all the schools, But I mad E-6 in 5 years and it took him over 8, I believe. That may have changed since I got out in 99, but you may want to look into it.

You have asked a good question, and I think there will be some good answers on this post. Keep checking, best of luck to you.

Offline metalman40

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #3 on: Aug 16, 2004, 11:42 »
On purpose or by accident?
Sometimes you just want to say dilligaf and go dfr.

dragent11

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:01 »
Must've been on the Greenville!

methman

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #5 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:16 »
Who's lost more sailors in the nuke filed.

SUBS
Thresher and Scorpion...two full crews

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #6 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:18 »
Maybe the Navy has moved into a parallel universe since I got out in '87, but back then fast attack boats didn't spend nearly as much time at sea as boomers at one stretch.  We were usually going out on a Monday and coming back on either Friday or the following Friday.  Then it was 3 section duty, so there was no such thing as a whole weekend off.
Of course boomers had two crews, so they spent less time on their ships and overall less time at sea than we did.  They spent two months at home, and four with the boat which was usually in Scotland or something.  Three months were at sea, and the other month was refit and turnover to the other crew.  They never went to a port other than their homeport.

As far as the question of how many ships have been sunk by subs in the last 10 years, well you THINK you know the answer, but they just don't tell everybody everything they do.  I do know that we could have sunk any ship we were told to sink.  Can't talk about the stuff we did with the commies, but there are some funny stories about our own targets.  We made a port call in Turkey with a Frigate in the oldest, noisiest sub in the whole fleet.  The Frigate sonar shack was unable to locate us (even though we were surfaced).  Their CO told them to "look outside your door".

The making rate thing seems to be reversed too.  E-6 only took me four years.  Not that it helped much.  At one time I was in a division where 4 out of 7 of us were MM1's.  Out of a crew of 100, twelve were chiefs, 75 were PO's and the few who remained were non-rated.  It didn't matter how many stripes were on your sleeve, you were cleaning the bilge.

Watches were 6 on and 12 off.  There was no workday at sea, so you could sleep before your watch.  The schedule was 6 on watch, 6 for maintenance, studying, movies, cards or whatever in that order, then 6 in the rack.  Meals were every 6 hours, so the only way you knew it was actually morning was the eggs and sausage for breakfast instead of mystery meat for supper.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

RCLCPO

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:24 »
As I have been on both fast boats and boomers, I believe I can write about both.  Here are the basics:

At sea:

For both:  watch rotation underway is 6-on, 12-off.  There are routine times established on each boat for running drills, performing maintenance, having training, etc.

Fast boats:  The ship's schedule can change, litterally, by the hour, which makes it difficult to predict.  It also makes it less boring.  Typically 1 6-month deployment in 18-24 months of operations.  Foreign ports are visited.  The list of places I've been takes me 15 minutes to write down every time I donate blood.  You own the boat 24/7/365.  Pretty cool missions.  Run silent, run deep.

Boomer:  The ship's schedule is, for the most part, set.  It can change, of course, but it is possible to make arrangements to have dinner with someone more than a year ahead of time with reasonable chance of success (not possible on a fast boat).  No foreign ports, but 3 out of my 4 patrols on the SSBN we pulled into Hawaii for about a week.  You own the boat only 1/2 the time, the other crew has it the rest of the time.  This is the main problem I had with the boomer fleet.  In my opinion, a boomer will never have a "crew" the way a fast boat does.  Just a bunch of guys doing the least they can, because in a little while it'll be the other crew's problem....Pretty boring missions.  Run silent, run away.


In port:

Fast boats:  Get the ship ready for the next underway.  Maintenance, training, plan ahead so there's time for leave and liberty.

Boomer:  After 2 weeks of R&R, I worked Monday-Thursday, 8AM to 1 PM, and I was one of the last ones to leave the engineering office.

In short, being on fast boats allowed me to do some really cool stuff and see a lot of this planet I'd never otherwise be able to see, but my 26 months on a boomer was the best shore duty I ever had.

Go to your local big city library and see if they have the PBS documentaries "Steel Boats, Iron Men" or "Sharks of Steel" for a differrent perspective.

Yes, the Thresher and Scorpion were painful lessons, but lessons were learned.  My first boat was a Thresher-class.........the new 688i's are quite safe.
« Last Edit: Aug 16, 2004, 02:00 by RCLCPO »

Offline metalman40

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #8 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:47 »
We worked our rear ends off on fast boats but we had great liberty.

The Greenville crack was real cute, right up there with jokes about the Cole.

In the 80s things happened underwater we don't talk about. Out of my boats the 597,  710 and 606 we had our share of sea stories. As for the last 10 years I don't think anybody surface or sub has done much except pop off some Tomahawks and launch fighters.

But I'll still put a fast attack sub up against any skimmer. We played enough games with surface fleets to know we couldn't be found if we didn't want to be found.
Sometimes you just want to say dilligaf and go dfr.

damad1

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #9 on: Aug 16, 2004, 12:53 »
This question is not which one is better, because of course that is all a matter of opinion. But more whats life like on each of them, whats are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each?

For example If you are on a boomer. You have sorter time at sea and a regular schedual. Correct? But dont you visit less Ports and the Missions are boring. And like any other Sub duty you have limited contact with the outside.

With fast attack isnt it true that you stay out at sea for longer periods of time, but the missions are more exciting and you tend to visit more ports?

And with Surface you have a long time at sea but there is more contact with the outside world, I also heard of navy at sea on Carriers but i also heard nukes tend to be to busy to really attend.

Any information would be helpful about how life is on each of them. How much time is spent at sea per year, what do you do while not at sea and so on.

Forgot to answer the time question: Carriers have a 6 month deployment about every 2 years I believe, or atleast they did. But what you don't typically realize is that you have months of airwing work ups and quals that keep you at sea for quite awhile.

My first year on Nimitz was composed of a 6 month tour, with about 3 months of work ups before we left on the cruise. Yard time after the cruise can be 9 months to 1.5 years. Hope this help.

exnuke19

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #10 on: Aug 16, 2004, 06:22 »
Metalman40,
I smite in your general direction! Deppingnuke is asking for information, not opinions. More on the subject matter and less on your bias opinion.

Are you still in? If not, I guess subs ain't that great!

Beta_effect

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #11 on: Aug 16, 2004, 06:58 »
I was on both-a non-nuke flat bottom LSD for 6 months prior to going into nuke school, then to a fast attack, and then to shore duty at D1G. I liked sub duty the best (note: opinion-asking for advantages or disadvantages implicitly solicits opinions). The crew is small enough that you know everybody and the normal rules of the Navy with regards to appearance are a little on the lax side when you are underway. The biggest difference is that there is no normal workday as on a surface ship. Usually 6 on 12 off (if your are lucky, otherwise port and re-port). The 6 hours following watch were spent in training/drills, field day, etc. When I was on the LSD, you put in a normal 8 hour day whether you just got off midwtch or had to go on watch at swingshift. Also the Navy nitnoiding about uniforms, shaving, haircuts, gets pretty annoying-it never stops, at least on that LSD.

At prototype, the hardest adjustment was that you worked rotating shiftwork, unless you are lucky enough to get days as staff. The shore duty, however, was very nice-allowed me to go to night school and get a degree, so life was not that bad at all. I did decide to get out to pursue more college-don't pass that up if you have a chance. It is worth it to just go a year even if you never intend to finish-beat any port I was ever in!

All and all though, you will have plenty of time to decide which way to go...tubers and surface pukes always trash talk each other so don't let that get in the way!
« Last Edit: Aug 16, 2004, 06:59 by Beta_effect »

damad1

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #12 on: Aug 16, 2004, 07:06 »
Beta
Good call on the small crew size, in the cruiser vs. the carrier that was a real part of the CGN had a small crew, so I interacted more with the non-nukes, although this is not always good because you get some real slugs there, but I assume they always fall through the cracks...we had slug nukes too!

IPREGEN

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #13 on: Aug 16, 2004, 08:12 »
Do you like daylight, fresh air, cookouts on the fantail?
More liberty ports, getting off the midwatch and seeing the cleanest brightest night sky you'll ever see. Suntans on steel beach, watching missile shoots, joining up with the carrier group, watching all the moves as they execute maneuvers.
That says skimmer.

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #14 on: Aug 16, 2004, 08:28 »
I enjoyed steel beach, cookouts on the missile decks, and fresh air (on the maneuvering watch as the Captain's phone-talker) aboard the SSBN's of King's Bay (627 / 640 class, no Ohio class for me). Liberty ports were limited, consisting of Breast, France once and some of the US East Coast ports.

While aboard an SSN, I got many of the same US East Coast ports and the fabulous bonus of Gitmo, Cuba. McDonald's was the high point of that port call!

There is no substitute for being able to schedule years in advance, and that is only available on an SSBN!
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maverick00084

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Nuke and Family
« Reply #15 on: Jan 20, 2005, 10:59 »
Hello. I have some questions for nukes who have been in the navy. I am currently a DEP who signed up to become a nuke. I am also seriously dating this one woman. I was wondering if family life was less stressful on a Boomer or on a Carrier? Also, how have everyones actual time been on either one. I have no interest in Tridents because they are not for me. But I would like to hear everyones stories who have been in. Please focus more on family life though. (I do realize that it is going to be tough no matter what I choose.) O! And what is the sea/shore rotation for a nuke. What is shore rotation like exactly? Thank you.

Flooznie

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #16 on: Jan 21, 2005, 01:28 »
Ok, first we need to correct a few misinterpretations on your part.  The word "boomer" is an old cold war era term for a SSBN, back when we really had the "41 for freedom".  So, when you say boomer, we are thinking "trident", which you said that you do not want. 

Now if you would like to go to a submarine, there are 2 types: T-hull (tridents) and fast boats (SSN's).  Now I heard you mention words like "family", relationships, etc etc etc.  If you want to plan your life with your spouse, know when you are going to sea and know when you are going to spend life in port, by all means, go to a Trident!  SSN's have much much higher optempo than a trident.  Also, they are very cramped, and unlike a trident, you WILL hotrack as a junior guy on board.  What is even worse if you are the floater.  SSN's have absolutely NO FIXED schedule (they claim to have one, but we know better).  It is very normal to be told Friday to pack your bags to get underway Monday.  That is just how it is.  The sea shore rotation for a nuke is fifty-four months  at sea, and THREE years of shore duty, unless you want to go to prototype to be an instructor (which you couldn't pay me enough money to do).  As far as what is shore rotation?  Well, you do your shore duty, then if you still want to stay in, you go back to another boat.  Oh, I almost forgot.  If you get assigned to a fast boat, generally you will stand a very very poor duty section rotation, especially if you are a wire rate.  For THREE YEARS on my last boat, we were three-section duty in port, with port and starboard SRO watches on our duty day.  There was no such thing as "day after duty", simply because we never had more than 7 people in our division.  Needless to say, every single ET on the boat got out of the Navy after that.   If you want more information, PM me.

ET1 (SS)

taterhead

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #17 on: Jan 21, 2005, 02:27 »
I have never been quite sure about the "target" remarks, since our own subs never end up shooting at us.  I guess it makes them feel better for jhaving to breathe recycled farts all the time. ;)

Switched to carriers after I took ONE look at the tubes chained to the pier at NPTU.

To each his own, but I know the fast attack guys here at Pearl work their asses off in 3 sections duty most of the time.  Workdays until late afternoon are not the exception.  I rarely saw 3 section duty on the two carriers I have worked on, and usually we pulled 5.

My hat's off to fast attack guys.  No thanks.

shayne

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Re: Surface or Sub
« Reply #18 on: Jan 21, 2005, 10:32 »
It is too bad the Navy disposed of all the Nuclear Cruisers.  As much as sea duty sucks, it was the way to go.

 


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