Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackback

August 23rd, 2006 by xformed

Welcome to the first weekly open trackback post!

I plan to make a post available weekly, on Wednesday afternoons, to allow other bloggers to link their work here, so hopefully, the real talent and ideas will spread even further. I do reserve the right to edit, revise, or delete, as I deem appropriate. No adult stuff, but reasoned discussions are welcomed. I do enjoy supported facts, and, as a general rule, think (having working on the “inside” for 20 years) just about every conspiracy theory is just that: a theory. Government projects involve too many people and people like to talk, so if only one person says they saw it happen, I find it easy to discount from my experiences.

So…link away, shipmates! If you don’t have a blog, but wold like to share a “sea story,” email it and I’ll look it over for posting.

For those wishing to post a trackback, get the link to the post here and then add “/trackback” to the link name. When you ping my blog, it will show up in the comments on this post. If anyone knows how to put trackbacks into the post automatically (with WordPress), please let me know.

Readers, please peruse the comment section for those posts other bloggers are sending over to share.

Today’s “Sea Story:”

There I was, still an ensign, but with a few months of sea time behind me. It was a day we were running a General Quarters drill, that was to include a “bugs and gass” (Chemical, biological, radiological (CBR)) portion of the scenario. I was the Combat Information Center Officer (CICO), so I was in CIC as the CIC Watch Officer, my GQ station.

I recall the 1MC (General announcing system) reports of the close by nuclear blast, and the subsequent reporting of the radiation levels. The actual “readings” were dummied up by the Damage Control Assistant, LT Cliff Barnes, for the drill. As time past, and the postualted movement of the wind spread the fall out, the counts got higher. We sat in the darkened space, performing our normal duties of keeping track of ships and aircraft in our vicinity.

I sat at a watch deck in the center of CIC, outfitted in my khakis, trouser legs tucked in, collar button buttoned, with my MK V gas mask pouch and inflatable life preserver around my waist. I can’t recall what I said, but one of my operation’s specialists leaned forward and said to me: “Call the bridge and tell them we’re ready to take control.”

We certainly could do the job of maneuvering the ship, but we’d be looking out to the nearby area by RADAR, deprived of any human eyeballs to look for small objects. I had three AN/SPA-4F RADAR repeaters to held us monitor the AN/SPS-10 surface seach RADAR. On my desk was a stack of sheets used for plotting relative maneuvers and other ships around us. We had the equipment, and the skills, but…it wasn’t a common thing to sail a 40K ton oiler about the ocean without anyone being outside to see, let alone with an Ensign that wasn’t yet qualified as Officer of the Deck, in charge of the rudder and engine orders.

I leaned forward, keyed the swith on the 21MC (also affectionately called the “btich box”) and said: “CIC ready to take control of the Conn!” Hey, I didn’t know any better and I think Chief Mac might have had some severe angina, but, it got really quiet behind me. I’m thinking it was more like the quiet when people are trying not to laugh at what the ensign just did, rather than they were aghast….

Not a moment later, the deep voice of CDR David Martin, the executive officer (XO), called back in the 21MC and said: “CIC has the Conn! We’re evactuating the bridge!”

The quiet of not chuckling in CIC thruned to the shock and awe quiet for a few seconds, startled at the response, but then it got busy, with Chief Mac hollering for info and directing the CIC gang at their profession.

The XO, then pretending to the be the Officer in Tactical Command (OTC), sent a dummy tactical maneuvering radio signal, ended with the immediate execute direction. Using RADAR and the “Mo Board” I directed the ship to the new ordered station. Once I “arrived,” and reported “On Station,” a little sigh of relief went thru the space. We had moved farther away from the giude of the formation. Not too difficult, but we were nervous not having any “eyes” (actually the XO and a few others stayed on the bridge).

Within seconds, the dummy tactical signal from the “OTC” (the XO), directed us back to the original station. Now we were poitning ourselves basically at the other ships and working our way back, again, all by RADAR only.

We got there just fine, but all of us were sweating, for by the Ship’s Deck Log, I and my CIC gang were directly responsible for the safety of the ship. Once back in station, the bridge team “remanned” and took control of the Conn once more. The XO realyed a BZ from the CO for our tactical accumen, and then we really were able to relax a little bit.

So….beware what you tell your new ensign to do, the XO may take you up on it….

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 at 11:17 am and is filed under "Sea Stories", History, Military, Military History, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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