The attack submarine San Juan lost communications with the outside world for several hours late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, prompting a search effort for what the Navy thought was a downed submarine, according to the Naval Submarine Force Command in Norfolk.
At the time of the incident, the Los Angeles-class submarine, based in Groton, Conn., was operating with the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group off the southeastern coast of the United States....
This organization probably has some of the most boring jobs in the world, considering that the U.S. Navy hasn't lost any nuclear submarines since the early '60s. The two submarines that were lost are the USS Scorpion and the USS Thrasher.
I'm with Z on this one, there's something they aren't telling us. It's been abuot 20 years since I was in submarine ops but you hear alot of stories on duty in the command center and I never heard anything like this. The story says that the submarine was only out of communication for a couple of hours. Anyone who's been there can tell you that it would take that long just to get the right folks in the room and up to speed. I understand from another article they even woke Sec. Gates up for this one. The call to ISMERLO and SAR operations could have gone out immediately, that's SOP but notifying the families that the sub is in distress is a whole different story, that decision is made at a very high pay grade, and not without knowing that you're dealing with a real casualty.
From Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- During the early evening of March 13, units of the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) received a series of indications that USS San Juan (SSN 751), a Los Angeles class submarine conducting pre-deployment training with the Enterprise CSG, was in distress....
The Navy temporarily lost communication with a submarine off Florida's coast and sent ships and aircraft to search for the USS San Juan before the vessel was contacted early Wednesday, military officials said.
There were no problems with the Los Angeles-class sub, based in Groton, Conn., and the Navy is investigating the incident, the Naval Submarine Force said in a statement....
Or..maybe everybody's just really jumpy following the sub collision in the Arabian Sea and the deaths of the USS Minneapolis-St Paul crewmen in January.
Nah. I'm not buying that, either. The idea of losing a sub is a BIG DEAL, but it wouldn't trigger a reaction unless there was a lot more than just a "loss of communication for a few hours" with a boat.
I wish I could lay out my case because I have an idea of what could have happened to scramble a SAR mission so quickly, but I am not sure as to what level of confidentiality is still attributable what little I remember, so I'm going to keep quiet.
I will say this, however: What I have in mind happened at least once before, the crew was never in ANY real danger, and more than one person got their wee-wee smacked over it. The flip side is, if what I suspect may have happened DID happen, it most likely would not have resulted in "hours" of lost comms, but less than one (at worst).
Reckon we'll find out soon enough.
A carrier battle group was operating with three submarines 100 miles off the coast of Florida when a lookout reported spotting a red flare — the traditional signal for a sub in distress
It's been a long time, but I don't remember the flare color being specific to submarines.
The battle group immediately tried to establish communications with all three subs. Two answered, but the USS San Juan, which was playing the role of an enemy submarine as part of the exercise, remained silent.
As you might expect IF the sub suspected it was a ruse to draw them out. Flimsy, but a possibility. Were either of the other two playing the same role?
At 3:30 Wednesday morning, Martin reports that the submarine center in Norfolk, Va., sent out the rarest and most critical of messages: "Sub Sunk."
At which point the sound of testicals bouncing off the inside of skulls must have reached a cacophonous din in halls of the Pentagon. Yikes. Talk about a FLASH OPREP-3 NAVY BLUE! I doubt it, but I wonder if it reached PINNACLE?
Way too many variables. What was the depth of the water? Were the subs comm systems up? Was the crypto properly loaded? Was the duty radioman asleep at the switch or overworked? Was the message misconstrued? Did the original message include SAN JUAN? Was it sent correctly? How many lookouts in an entire battle group saw a red flare? Etc., etc...
I'm just glad the boat and crew are fine. This is going to have people seriously tap-dancing for a while, though.
GreatAmerican - I beg to differ on your boredom assessment of DSU (Deep Submergence Unit) located at North Island NAS on Coronado, Ca. Having had one navy diver son who was stationed there from 2002 - 2006 and another navy diver son who is currently there, trust me when I say they are NEVER bored. Besides non-stop readiness maneuvers, they participate in SORBET ROYAL which takes them to many interesting ports, they get to play around with the SCORPIO, which is way fun. They are also experimenting with the Deep Dive Hard Suit at this time, and having some sort of turf war over the suit with pilots who don't want enlisted folk being able to "pilot" anything???? Anyway, these guys did get rousted at 1AM to ready the DSRV (and yes rwheeler it is quite the big job!) Search these topics - you'll see.
Deep Submergence Unit
Deep Dive Suit
USS Lagarto (related to navy divers with sub rescue experience - my son participated in this and called it a 'life changing experience')
Thanks for letting me share something I know about!