What a great day! Today we celebrate the inactivation of USS FINBACK. I really mean celebrate. This is not a funeral. A celebration. Some people may the it’s a funeral. But it is not. Just like our plan this is the passing of the old for the new. It is regeneration. Our country’s Submarine Force is going through the same process. FINBACK has plenty of ore and capability but it is time to put her to rest, and use our resources to renew and recapitalize.
But let’s celebrate the ship. There are a lot of Navy folks here today who understand sailors. But there are also a lot of people who aren’t familiar with our service. For them I’ll explain a little of what a submarine is… A hunk of steel filled with wires, machines, boob, motors, doors, gadgets, radios, a nuclear reactor, turbines, hydrophones, antennas, etc. A lot of hardware. But it is all for naueht until you put sailors in her, and unlike other naval warships, a submarine sailor is a special breed. A submariner’s reliance upon himself and the rest of the crew is unmatched on any other vessel. Even since she was launched on 7 December 1968 FINBACK’s life has been her sailors. I talked to Mrs. Norma Baird who sponsored and christened FINBACK 28 years ago. She was proud to launch FINBACK and pleased to see such continuous outstanding service to the country by her sailors. She knew her sailors are special and specifically asked about them, not the ship.
I met a FINBACK sailor yesterday. His name is Don Hitchcock. He’s part of the first FINBACK that earned 12 Battle Stars in 11 war patrols. Sailors like him are our legacy. Courage, Honor, Commitment. He was the Battle Stations Bow Planesman. They rescued five pilots one day and one later became President George Bush. That’s commitment to the Naval service.
These sailors made FINBACK. Created her. Developed her. Gave her character. And established her reputation. Their average age is 23. Bob Austin created that life with her 100 commissioning crew sailors, plankowners, many here today. I want all past and present FINBACK sailors to please stand. (Applause.) FINBACK’s sailors did it all. FINBACK’s reputation was always out front. Under Skipper Bob Austin she went on her first deployment right after commissioning and earned her first Navy Unit Commendation. Later she was the envy of all submariners in the mid ’80s under the legendary Rocky English, making four deployments and earning two Navy Unit Commendations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and two Battle E’s. Later her sailors took the ship into the Mediterranean for Desert Storm earning another Meritorious Unit Commendation. She did what submariners do best, effectively, quickly and unobtrusively. Even as recently as last year, her sailors deployed to the Mediterranean and almost immediately were in the Adriatic supporting the ROOSEVELT and AMERICA Battle Groups and the strikes on Bosnia. This last deployment earned her sailors a Navy Unit Commendation. All told FINBACK has sailed for more than three quarters of a million miles.
I have the privilege to be FINBACK’s Commanding Officer. Her sailors are my privilege to recognize. It is they who make FINBACK the proud and successful ship she is. I’m lucky. I get to stand on top and say go that way. These sailors make it happen. They work long hard hours. They train, stand watch, perform maintenance and keep her running smoothly. Some of you know that we sail her to Seattle next month. But if only I could just keep sailing her-take her in harm’s way-that’s where she belongs-that’s where her sailors excel and make FINBACK great.
Oh-to get back to sea-how I want to say to Chuck Hamilton, get the ship underway. I want to be at Battle Stations and say “Firing Point Procedures”, “Commence missile launch”, or especially, “Shoot on generated bearing”.
Then to hear Matt Zerphy yell out “Set!” To hear Petty Officer Schroder say .. Standby”, then .. Fire tube 1″. To bear Petty Officer Rutar say .. Normal launch tube 1″. To bear Chief Pittman make sonar’s report “Unit running normally!” To hear Chief Diamond report “Primary Search” and of course “‘Terminal homing!” These are our sailors.
How I want to see again Petty Officer Bobo getting selected as Squadron SIX Sailor of the Year by Commodore Flannery.
To see Petty Officer Haskins also standing there as Junior Sailor of the Year hoping for his selection.
To see Lieutenant Mark Guzoo selected as Squadron SIX Junior Officer of the Year. These are FINBACK sailors.
I want to be back in Crete, sailing into Souday Bay with Petty Officer Psaras, a Reactor Operator, on top of the sail. He’s speaking Greek to the Greek Naval Officer helping me pilot the
I want to see again Petty Officer Thompson twisted around the drain pump brazing a leaking joint keeping the ship on station just off the coast of (sorry can’t tell you).
I want to hear screaming and yelling, my running to crew’s mess, only to find Chief Leeth running another pie tn the face contest.
I want to use my general announcing system to call Seaman Payton to control, to see his worried face only to discover be was awarded CSG-2 Mess Management Specialist of the Quarter and a culinary school next month.
I want to get Petty Officer Torres and see him run another Save the Whales campaign.
I want to see Chief Mitchell and Chief Jackson arguing over how best to cook those ribs.
I want to see Petty Officer Culver (who quietly accomplishes any job) get excited. He’s the quietest, most professional guy I know.
I want to aee Ensign Rich Avila announce his qualification (except for the CO’s signature).
I want to see Chief Shultz manage the Chief of the Watch and Senior Chief Lambert the Diving Officer of the Watch while 75 midshipmen swap out the planesman duties. ·
I want to see Petty Officer Catanzaro and Petty Officer Ernest help another midshipman on the planes.
I want to see my corpsman, Senior Chief Caez dress up in my uniform welcoming the new junior officer onboard.
I want the Chief of the Boat to again show me that damn chicken on the XO’s desk, and watching Jerry Burroughs, my XO, react.
These are our sailors. Yes they have fun. But you must understand, they work bard, very bard. And their families survive without our sailors. Their families are true friends, companions, spouses and parents. Their support is just as crucial as the sailor himself.
I just want you all to appreciate what kind of sailors FINBACK has. These stories are true, they’re also true of Admiral Austin’s crew, and Admiral Mies’ crew (I saw them in Charleston). I am sure anybody can tell you these same stories. Stories are not of submarines, but of her sailors and the sailor’s exploits. God bless them all. It is they who deserve the credit, the accolades. It is they who are our Navy.
THE SUBMARINE REVIEW
THE SUBMARINE REVIEW is a quarterly publication of the Naval Submarine Leauge. It is a form for discussion of submarine matters. Not only are the ideas of it.a members to be reflected in the REVIEW, but those of others u well, who are interested in submarines and submarining.
Articles for this publication will be accepted on any subject closely related to submarine matters. Their length should be a maximum of about 2500 words. The League prepare REVIEW copy for publication using Word Perfect. If possible to do so, accompaning a submission with a 3.5″ diaketto is of significant assistance in that procedure. The control of articles is of first importance in their selection for the REVIEW. Editing of articles for clarity may be necessary, since important idea.a should be readily understood by the readers of the REVIEW.
A stipend of up to $200.00 will be paid for each major article published. Annually, three articles are selected for special recognition and an honorarium of up to $400.00 will be awarded to the author. Articles accepted for publication id the REVIEW become the property of the Naval Submarine League. The views expressed by the author are their own and are not to be constructed to be those of the Naval Submarine League. In those instances where the NSL has taken and published an official position or view, specific reference to that fact will accompany the article.
Comments on articles and brief discussion items are welcomed to make THE SUBMARINE REVIEW a dynamic reflection of the League’s interest in submarines. The success of this magazine is up to those persons who have such a dedicated interest in submarines that they want to keep alive the submarine past, help with present submarine problems and be influential in guiding the future of submarines in the U.S. Navy.
Articles should be submitted to the Editor, SUBMARINE REVIEW, P.O. Box 1146, Annandale, VA 22003.
CORPORATE SPONSORS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Member Since 2119188
TASC, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Primark Corporation, is one of the world’s premier providers of high-end information systems engineering and integration services, with annual revenues in excess of $340 million. From design and development to implementation and support, TASC supplies the advanced technology, professional services and innovative products that government and commercial clients depend on to meet their most complex information needs. For three decades TASC has solved the toughest technical challenges faced by America’s intelligence community, the armed services, government agencies, and by industries such as broadcast media, aviation, and financial services. All of these sectors increasingly rely on information technology to achieve their goals. TASC has successfully met these challenges by demonstrating that information technology means more than just the latest software. It means uncovering the potential in each customer organization to use the information for maximum advantage.
With TASC’s substantial research and development resources, plus its wide range of analytic and support services, customers get an information technology partner. Fueled through a mix of government and internal research funds, TASC spends $30 million on average each year to cultivate next generation technologies and to improve its software tools and techniques. These investments are helping TASC pioneer technologies for our rapidly changing world.
Since its founding in 1966, TASC has maintained a continuous relationship with the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program (SSP). SSP is the Manager for the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Program and has been responsible for the development of six generations of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and four generations of SSBNs. During this time, TASC has performed a wide variety of engineering and analytic services for SSP.
In the early years, TASC provided SSP’s navigation branch with analytic services, which included mathematical modeling, concept evaluation and data analysis. TASC developed ways to characterize the accuracy of the SLBM navigation subsystem.
This allowed SSP to perform sensitive hardware and software tradeoff studies. TASC’s methodology was then applied to the remaining Strategic Weapon System (SWS) subsystems, so that eventually TASC became the official ketper of the accuracy model for the entire FBM weapons system. TASC continues to play the important role of keeping this extremely complex model up-todate.
Today, TASC’s scope of work for SSP coven a diverse range of services and support. TASC has the lead role in designing statistical models to describe how gravity and weather conditions affect weapon system accuracy. To aid SSP, T ASC has developed a library of computer programs to perform sensitivity analyses, study test results, and even tap into a history of the accuracy model. Since 1983 TASC has helped SSP manage its administrative computer facilities, both at headquarters and at their field activities.
Headquartered in Reading, Massachusetts, TASC has more than 25 offices throughout the United States and Europe. TASC’s homepage can be found at http://www.tasc.com.
Custom Hydraulic a Machine. Inc.
Custom Hydraulic & Machine, Inc. is a job shop as well u a manufacturer of marine hose fittings, hose assemblies and various hydraulic components all related to submarines and surface ships.
Custom Hydraulic & Machine has been in business for 30 years and has been on the QPL (Quality Products List) since 1981. Our QPL also includes Internal Support Coils 4 inches throup 12 inches sizes for vacuum hoses and snorkel hoses for submarine periscopes. One of our biggest customers is General Dynamics (Electric Boat Corporation). We also do marine hardware for Ingalls Shipyard, Bath Iron Works, Newport News, etc., as well as Navy yards throughout the country.
Member Since 6/13/85
In 1916 Kollmorgen designed and produced the first periscope for the first operational United States Navy submarine, USS HOLLAND. The early years from 1916 until the 1960s were far from fast paced because periscope design and technology evolved slowly. However, with the introduction of the Type 18 Periscope in 1968, the changes have been more frequent and more dramatic.
- In 1968 the Type 18 was introduced with state-of-the-art visual optics and a variety of imaging sensors and electronic antennas.
- In 1976 Kollmorgen developed and introduced the Model 76 Series periscopes into our allied navies submarine fleets. Both the Type 18 and the Model 76 Periscopes have been continually improved and their capabilities upgraded to keep them up to date with the operations of the modern submarine.
- In 1985 the Model 90 periscope was developed and included thermal imaging, a laser rangefinder, ESM direction-finding antennas, GPS antenna, two-axis stabilization and other capabilities. The Model 90 became the first true 24 hour (day/night) imaging system for submarines. Today the Model 90 is the most sophisticated periscope produced in the world.
- In 1988 DARPA and Kollmoraen together with the United States Navy developed an idea to replace the traditional periscope with a non-hull penetrating suite of electronic imaging. sensors. The system became known u the Non-Hull Penetrating Periscope (NPP) and more recently the Improved NPP. The installation on USS MEMPHIS proved the usefulness of electronic imaging and eventually led to the current Photonics Mast Program.
A further result of the DARPA/Kollmorgen NPP effort was the importing of new submarine mast technology from Riva Calzoni in Italy. The success of this mast on USS MEMPHIS led to the initiation of the Universal Modular Mast program.
- In 1995 Kollmorgen competitively won contracts from the United States Navy for both the Photonics Mast (PMP) and the Universal Modular Mast (UMM) for the New Attack Submarine.
The New Attack Submarine is revolutionary in the fact that it will be the first submarine built with two non-hull penetrating Photonic Masts and no traditional periscopes. State-of-the-art video-based imaging, a very capable ESM suite, and digital signal
processing will be combined to provide full sensor capabilities above the surface of the water. PMP display and control will be accomplished at a standard Navy console in the submarine control room.
The UMM is also revolutionary, with the New Attack Submarine utilizing up to eight of these systems in the sail. The Universal Modular Mast is a drop-in module which adopts a single design to support the various antennas and sensors required by the submarine at periscope depth.
During the last three decades the company expanded into a publicly owned corporation, which today is comprised of eight separate divisions. Also, over the years the company developed a number of successful, non-submarine related products, including rifle-scopes, projection lenses for the film industry, a number of different armored vehicle sights, and surface ship optical weapon directors. However, despite these and other forays into new markets, Kollmorgen remains dedicated to the supply of systems for our submarine fleet. Kollmorgen has designed every operational periscope used by our submarines and continues to dedicate itself to providing the United States Navy with the most innovative and the most capable systems available anywhere.