Friday, April 13, 2012

Snooping the net today...

I got on the subject of Spruance Class Destroyers. As most of you already know, I spent a few weeks on the DD-989 Deyo, back in '91 and '92. The Deyo was a fairly modern ship, it was propelled by Gas Turbine engines similar to the ones that pushed the Lockheed L-1011 airliners. What this means to you and me is that the ship was not steam propelled and that meant  we got to use the freshwater ordinarily used by the steam plant for feeding and cleaning the ship and crew. Showers, that is. In the 80's, I was always on steam powered ships which rationed water severely, which naturally required that our hygiene be somewhat abbreviated. The term, "Hollywood Shower" referred to someone running the water longer than 30 seconds. Not good to waste water! So having missiles, guns and other special weapons or warfighting capability is not so important to the individual enlisted crew member, who might be focused on the micro rather than the macro. I liked being clean, having decent food and nice facilities to perform my duties. My duties were primarily performed in the SH-60B as an aircrewman. When I was not flying I was in the helo office performing what little administrative duties I did in support of the flying operations. Which meant I did very little, and spent much time avoiding any actual work.

There I was on the wiki-site concerning the DD-989 and the two main images are the Deyo escorting the Russian Carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov. 10 DEC 91. Hmmph. Seems I was on that flight and it was on the 5th or 6th. I looked into my logbook to verify the dates and times. And I do remember the photographer on that flight, Photographers Mate Second Class Vise, USN. The Team brought all the goodies for properly studying the Kuznetsov, and they had the early versions of the digital cameras, in fact the first I had ever seen. This was so the digitized photos could be data linked back to Washington D.C. in almost real time, right after landing on the Deyo.

Us Antisubmarine Warfare Operators used to use these klunky 35 mm cameras for regular intel stuff (like ships or surfaced subs) which were not going to be adequate on those historic flights, so the Fleet decided to bring in the Combat Camera team to do the job right. This was the first time we would see the newest Russian Carrier, so our ship was tasked to follow from the Black Sea all the way to Gibraltar.

Our helo detachment had five pilots and two enlisted aircrew, and the regular complement in the SH-60B was two pilots and one aircrewman, so me and my colleague were flying our butts off, available for all missions required. Our helicopter was constantly on the move carrying the Navy Combat Camera team for close in photography and I also set out a few sonobuoy barriers to record the acoustic signature of the Kuznetsov as it passed through our mini-barriers. I used a Sony walkman illegally wired into the acoustic circuit to make the tapes which were turned in with all the other gathered intel. Looking back, I'm sure my tapes were laughed off because one or more of our sub's were probably making better recordings as they tagged along. But I have no actual knowledge of such a thing occurring and I may be wrong, just a guess.

Photo by PH2 Vise USN. I am fairly positive that I am standing right next to the photographer as this was taken.

Photo by PH2 Vise USN

We pulled in to Rota Spain after handing off the trail duties to another ship, and we got to prepare for the return home.

We had a couple musicians in the Detachment who thought it would be cute to change the existing squadron Fox to a Disco Fox.

Official Navy Cruise Patch for that cruise
So endeth a minor sea story. Have a great weekend!

I was over at another site and this blogger called Mellojihadi had an even better description of the Navy Shower phenomenon. People conserving water at home have taken up with the staggered shower concept. Not me! I take Hollywood Showers whenever I can. My water bill, my choice. But on a sailboat we do conserve because water is precious.


Buck said...

Great war... err... sea story. I spent some time doin' spook thangs, too, but I've forgotten nearly all my war stories in that space.

I take loooong showers. I've been known to run out o' hot water because of it. Like you said: my water bill.

Barco Sin Vela II said...


How 'bout dem Wings?

Buck said...

Dem Wings are down 1-0 at the first intermission. But there's a lotta hockey left...