💯 {Staff Pick} WIW: A Submariner watches "Down Periscope."

Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
In 1996, David S. Ward directed Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly, Rob Schneider, Bruce Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, William H. Macy, Rip Torn, and Cessna in the movie Down Periscope. In 1998, I left my last boat. It wasn't a WWII fleet submarine like the main one in the movie. It was a Los Angeles class fast boat like the other sub in the movie.

In my last thread, in which I watched and reported on the movie Crimson Tide, I offered to do the same to Down Periscope and Hunt for the Red October if there was enough interest. The interest was more than I ever dreamed of, so here is Down Periscope.

Since this is rather long, it will be broken up into several parts. Unlike the last thread, I will be reserving several posts after the initial one. That way, all of the WIW will be together. I'll put a note in the discussion when I put in a new WIW post.

Almost every inaccuracy that I saw in this movie was there to make a joke. I don't have a problem with that. Stretching a story to make it funny is in keeping with the finest traditions of Naval submarine service. However, if it is inaccurate, I will still point out the fact.

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The movie opens with footage of a submarine base. I am not sure which one. I was stationed at San Diego, Bangor, and Norfolk. I visited Pearl Harbor many times. I'm pretty sure it's not one of them. Kings Bay, Georgia, was a Trident base, and all of these look like Los Angeles class, so it wasn't there. It's probably Groton, Connecticut, then. It also might have been one of the shipyards.

A group of high ranking officers are seated around a conference table. Admiral Bryce says “The last man on the list is Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge,” and lists his qualifications – third in his class here, did even better in that class, commendations for this other thing... He seems to be an excellent choice for whatever they are doing.

The scene then shifts to a Los Angeles class submarine moving slowly on the surface in calm seas. Both periscopes are up. The fairings of the periscopes are painted with a two-tone gray camouflage. I do like it when a movie gets little details like that right. The lookout on the bridge is looking off to port. The scene then pans down to the deck of the sub, where two officers are standing. One of them is Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge (Kelsey Grammer). The officer standing next to him also has binoculars, and is also looking off to port. He announces to LCDR Dodge “The 180 and closing, sir!” LCDR Dodge shouts course and speed changes to the officer on the bridge, who acknowledges. From the way they are acting, I would assume that they are meeting a tug or something at sea. The officer next to Dodge says “175 and closing, sir!” Dodge nods, and grimly says “Let's try a shot.” Oh, it must be some kind of a combat op. But if a sub is going into combat, it would be submerged. What the hell?

The scene shifts back to the conference room. It turns out that this is the third time that Tom Dodge has been up for command. If he isn't given a boat now, he will never get one. His Naval career will basically be over. He'll be given shore duty posts, usually the most useless ones they can find, until he either resigns his commission or gets passed over for promotion 3 times. And since he would be a nuclear officer who never commanded a ship, he WILL be passed over for promotion. Admiral Bryce thinks that this would be a tragedy, since Dodge is such a good officer and the Navy has spent so much money training him. Admiral Graham (Bruce Dern) points out that, 3 years ago, his sub brushed up against a missile boat that they were tracking off the coast of Murmansk. The admiral calls this a career killing incident. Really, it would have been. If the rest of his record wasn't absolutely perfect, nobody would even be considering him for command.

Back to the sub. It is the USS Orlando (There really wasn't a sub of that name, but there easily could have been). The officer next to Dodge calls out “160, sir. 5 knot aiding wind. We have a shooting solution!” Things are getting tense.

Back to the conference room. Admiral Graham starts criticizing Dodge's command style, calling him impulsive and reckless.

On the sub, the ensign shouts “Fire one!” The camera moves back – and Dodge has a small piece of astroturf on the top of the sub with a golf ball on it. He shoots the golf ball at the green of a golf course that they are passing on their way back into port and comes quite close to the hole. On the bridge,. The Captain (William H. Macy) leans over and says “Why don't we pull in so you can putt out?” He's not happy. Dodge hands the golf club to someone, and the ensign looks quite uncomfortable. He should look uncomfortable. As we discussed a lot in the WIW about Crimson Tide, the CO and XO ALWAYS agree. For the CO to express his displeasure like that... While I never saw anything like it, this is about as far as any disagreement between the two would ever go in public.

I don't know of anyplace where subs pulled in that had a golf course close enough to do that, but then I was never topside when we pulled in. The water would have to be at least 40' or 50' deep that close to the shore for the sub to be there, but a lot of places have channels dredged out that close.

Have they ever actually shot a golf ball from a sub like that? Probably not. I've heard sea stories about a sub captain doing it, but I don't believe them. Still, it's funny.

Back to the conference room for more trashing of Commander Dodge. Admiral Graham's final word on the subject - Supposedly, as an ensign, he went out, got very drunk, and got “Welcome Aboard” tattooed on his penis.

First, who the hell cares if the guy has a tattoo? It just doesn't matter.

Second, I've been told that this is surely one of the places where they stretched the truth to make a joke. Surely nobody would EVER get a tattoo there...

On my first boat, on the late watches when the Chief of the Boat (CoB) was standing Diving Officer of the Watch, the helmsman or planesman would sometimes feel something on their shoulder. They would look down and see... the Dragon. Yes, the CoB had a dragon tattooed on his dick. And yes, he would put it on guys' shoulders as a joke. It was a different Navy back then. And yes, he was very drunk when he got the tattoo. US tattoo parlors might not give a tattoo when you are that wasted, but there are plenty of places to get tattoos in foreign ports that aren't that picky.

Admiral Winslow (Rip Torn, who turns out to be COMSUBLANT – the COMmander of SUBmarine forces in the atLANTic) is watching the argument quietly.

Back to the sub. Dodge has come down and is explaining to the CO. They've been under the ice for 80 days, and he thought that the crew could use some recreation. Having an XO who would pull a stunt like that really would help crew's morale.

They are walking through Control as Dodge is explaining. The set looks really good., You see the fire control consoles to the left (since we are looking aft, it's starboard). You can see the two periscopes on the raised platform behind the captain and XO. Both scopes are down, though. They must have pulled in already. The whole thing is so dark, though. What is it with movies and dark submarines? Most of the light appears to be coming down the bridge hatch.

The CO gets handed a priority message as he walks to his cabin. While he is walking, he chews Dodge out a bit, telling him that his actions were completely inappropriate. He's noted that in Dodge's fit-rep. The Officer's Fitness Report is the equivalent of an enlisted man's Evaluations. If his captain has given him bad fit reps, he's probably never going to get a command (even without the collision on his record).
But the captain chews him out in public – walking down the passageway and in his stateroom with the door open. Even if it wasn't the CO to the XO, in the military, you praise in public and chew out in private.

At least the CO's stateroom is where it should be – just forward of Control, on the port side.

The chewing out continues. Dodge reads his fit rep and bemoans his career. “This is a confirmed kill. 20 years down the drain.” While he's complaining, the captain reads the message that he was handed. Dodge is to report to Norfolk immediately to take command of his own submarine. “That's not funny,” he says. “No., it's not,” replies the captain. “That's why they decoded it twice.” The CO begrudgingly congratulates Dodge.

The Admiral Graham takes Dodge to his new command. On a small boat. There is really no reason for this. He'd be told “Go to pier 22.” He'd drive there, park in one of the reserved CO parking spaces, and walk down to the pier. I guess they added this scene to establish that this admiral served with Dodge in Kings Bay 4 years ago, and that this is why the admiral hates him. Of course, the admiral could have arranged it, so that he could see Dodge's reaction when he first sees his new command.

Dodge is expecting a nuclear attack sub. Of course, what he gets is the USS Stingray, a WWII fleet boat. It looks to be in really bad shape.

The sub is really the USS Pampanito, which is normally a museum boat in San Francisco. They probably had to do a good bit of work on it to get it to look as bad as it does here. I toured the boat once back in the early '90s. It looked very well preserved for a boat of its age, IIRC.

Dodge is aghast. “This is a joke, right? The Navy doesn't even use diesels anymore!” He was right, but not as right as you might think. The last US diesel boats were decommissioned in 1989 and 1990. The second to the last one to go was the USS Darter, which was built based on the design of the USS Tang, a WWII fleet submarine.

Dodge has no choice but to accept command of the sub. Admiral Graham tells him that he is to meet his crew there at 0700 the next morning. “Are they also leftover from WWII?” asks Dodge. “No, Admiral Graham replies. “They have been hand picked. By me.” Cue ominous (but comical) music.

In protest, Dodge goes to see COMSUBLANT, Admiral Winslow. The Admiral shows him pictures of the Russian submarine base at Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok. Petropavlovsk actually was a submarine base. I think Vladivostok was more of a general naval base, but then, so are Pearl Harbor and Norfolk, and we have subs there.

In the photos, the fleets of diesel boats at these bases keeps shrinking as Russia sells off their old diesel boats to other countries, many of which are hostile to the US. Dodge sees where this is going and says “One nuclear submarine can take out any number of diesel boats.”

He's wrong.

When a nuclear submarine is submerged, it has lots and lots of equipment running. Several pumps are needed to keep the reactor running, and propulsion and electricity are provided by steam turbines. While we are very good at keeping this noise out of the water, some noise gets through.

When a diesel boat is submerged, pretty much all that it has running are the vent fans and a big DC motor. They are damned quiet.

As I said, the USS Darter decommissioned in 1990. Before that, she was involved in war games, etc. like any other sub. The captain of the USS Omaha, at the time the newest SSN in the fleet, told the captain of the Darter to turn off their range pinger (which made them sound more like a Russian nuclear sub). The captain of the Darter said “Are you sure?” The captain of the Omaha insisted. He soon regretted his arrogance, though, as his boat failed to find the Darter for the rest of the exercise. The Darter found him, though. She fired several exercise torpedoes from ranges of within 4000 yards. Despite what the movies show, 4000 yards is knife fighting range for submarines.

The down side, of course, is that WWII fleet submarines could only do about 8 knots submerged, where a nuc boat does in excess of 20 knots. If the diesel sub does do 8 knots, she drains her battery very quickly. Unless the Stingray has been retrofitted with a snorkel mast, they will have to surface to run the diesels and recharge their batteries (More modern boats have a snorkel mast, so they can run the diesel while at periscope depth, but a WWII fleet boat didn't have one). Unlike the sub on the batteries, the diesels are LOUD. IIRC, they ran the exhaust lines out below the waterline. This kept the smoke from the exhaust from being spotted, but it put a lot of sound into the water. On more modern boats, the diesel exhaust comes out at the back of the sail, near the top. If you are at periscope depth, you can either let the sound go into the water and make a lot of noise or you can rise up a little, broach the top of the sail, and put the diesel exhaust above the water line,. So that the exhaust will leave a visible plume but will make more noise.

Anyway, back to the movie.

While Dodge is sure that the US fleet can keep any and all diesel boats from getting into a US harbor and sinking shipping as a terrorist attack, Admiral Winslow is not so sure. He feels that one rogue captain with one diesel boat could do it. And he is putting it to the test. He wants Dodge to takes part in a special operation. He has to sneak into Charleston harbor, evade pursuit, then make an attack on Norfolk. Dodge thinks that he doesn't stand a chance. Admiral Winslow says “Oh, don't think like that. Think like a pirate! I want a man with a tattoo on his dick!”

Dodge requests command of a nuclear sub if he succeeds. He is not setting terms, but once the exercise is over, if he doesn't have another command, he is on a desk job until he is out of the Navy. The admiral doesn't make any promises, but says that he will give Dodge two live torpedoes. There will be a dummy boat in Norfolk harbor. If Admiral Winslow sees that dummy ship go up, then they will talk about that command.

Sorry, but no. Launching live torpedoes in a crowded harbor like Norfolk is a nightmare.

As advanced as modern torpedoes are, they still mess up at times. If you still have the wire intact, if the torpedo locks on to the wrong target, you can turn it and make it lock onto the right target. If you have lost the wire, though, you're screwed.

On my last boat, we did Pre-Commanding Officer cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico for a while. We went out day after day with people who were training to command their own subs, hunting down the USS San Juan. Most of the time, we kicked their tails. One time, though, our exercise torpedo locked on to a cruise ship. We had already lost the wire. If we had been using a live torpedo instead of an exercise weapon (which carried less fuel and were programmed to turn away before really hitting), we would have sunk the Love Boat.

That is it for part 1. I'll reserve posts below for the rest of the review, and I'll post part 2 tomorrow.
 

Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
The next morning, the captain meets his crew. With the exception of the officers, they are all standing on the pier in civvies. They would have been in uniform. His executive officer is a very loud and by the book type named Lt. Pascal (Rob Schneider).

The XO calls out every crew member by name. One by one, they come up and give their packets to the XO. Those packets would include their service records, their orders, and their medical and dental records.

Each of them have a nickname. Nicknames were rather rare on subs. If you had a nickname, you never picked it and it rarely followed you from boat to boat.

Their sonar operator has super hearing. In reality, most sonar operators started losing their hearing of certain frequencies – the frequencies that they listened to most.

He then meets EN1 (for Engineman First Class) Stepanak. Stepanak is led down the pier by SP s (Shore Patrol). He is intentionally rude to Dodge. He than states that this counts as Gross Insubordination and is punishable by up to one month in the brig.

Actually, the military justice system doesn't work that way. The Universal Code of Military Justice does have a long list of offenses. A few of them have a penalty listed. That penalty is death. “Or other punishment as a court martial may direct.” For pretty much every lesser infraction, the punishment is “As a court martial may direct.” Most infractions never get to court martial, though. One of the articles of the UCMJ allows the commander to act as judge and jury and set a punishment. The Air Force calls this practice Article 15 (guess which article of the UCMJ covers this?). I believe that the Army calls it Non Judicial Punishment, or NJP. In the Navy, it's Captain's Mast.

There are definite restrictions on what can be done to you at Captain's Mast. You can lose half a month's pay for two months. You can be restricted to the ship for two months. You can have extra duty for two months. You can be reduced in rate by one rank. I saw these a lot. You could also be assigned to the brig for up to 3 days, and you could be sentenced to bread and water for 3 days. I never saw either of those – subs don't have brigs. I believe that the Captain could also give you the Big Chicken Dinner (Bad Conduct Discharge).

You could insist on a court martial if you wanted to. Unless, of course, you were part of a seagoing command. Courts Martial were considered to be less likely to convict than a Captain's Mast. They required things like evidence and such. If you did get convicted at a Court Martial, though, the punishment would probably be harsher.

It just hit me that the SP's were wearing their full dress whites, with leggings. I stood shore patrol a bit when I was stationed on the Simon Lake (a submarine tender). As a part time SP, you do wear your dress uniforms, but you leave off the neckerchief. It can be used to choke you.

Back to the movie. Stepanak was pulling this stunt to try to get thrown off of the ship. If Lt. Pascal had his way, it would have worked – it looked like LT. Pascal was about to have a stroke. Dodge, though, just tells him to get on the boat. Stepanak predicts that Dodge will throw him off within a week. Dodge tells him “If I throw you off, it will be in the middle of the Atlantic. Now, board the boat!”

Stepanak's rank bothers me. He's an Engineman 1st Class submariner. The nuclear submarine Navy does not include Enginemen. On nuc boats, the diesels were run by Machinist's Mates belonging to the Auxiliary Division (A-Gang). When the few remaining diesel boats decommissioned, the Enginemen had to cross rate to Machinist's Mates. The USS Dolphin, an experimental research submarine, was in service until 2007, but she had a crew of 46. As an admiral's son, Stepanak could have been picked to be one of the last Enginemen on submarine service, but as a discipline problem, the favoritism would probably only extend so far. He'd be lucky to stay in the sub service as an MM.

It didn't look like there was nearly enough people on the pier to man the ship. IIRC, there should have been about 70 or so, but it looked like only a couple of dozen. I know that they try to keep the number of main people in the movies down to keep from confusing the audiences, but they could at least have got about the right number of extras here.

You see a few more people coming aboard. Then, we meet the other officer. Lt. Lake. Emily Lake. Not satisfied with giving him the worst crew that he could find. Admiral Graham has instituted a trial program to allow women on submarines. Lt. Lake is the new Dive Officer.

Another detail that I like that others might miss – all of the officers have pins above their ribbons (or their “fruit salad”). Most of them are gold dolphins – the dolphins (or “fish”) signify that they are qualified in submarines. Lt. Lake is wearing a Surface Warfare pin. They look similar, unless you really know what you are looking for. She could not have earned her sub dolphins, but she would have had her Surface Warfare.

When he introduces her to the crew, he says “Emily is part of a pilot program...” He would not have used her first name when talking to enlisted. He gives a little speech to basically tell the crew not to sexually harass her. Naturally, everything he says can unintentionally be taken as a sexual joke, and of course the crew does. Everyone laughs and does exactly what Dodge doesn't want them to do. The Navy takes sexual harassment very seriously. If this crew wasn't the worst dregs that Admiral Graham could scrape up, they wouldn't have acted that way.

The next day, the crew starts work making the sub livable again. Lots of people are working topside, sanding and repainting (Or undoing what they did to it to make it look like a wreck). Stepanak is sitting in a lawn chair sunning himself. Dodge points out that subs is an all volunteer service. He can always just unvolunteer (actually, you can't. Once you're in, you're in). Stepanak tells Dodge that his father, an admiral, won't let him. Dodge decides that his only option is to relocate him. An excited Stepanak sits up as Dodge calls out to the cook, Buckman, who is walking by with a couple of mops. As Buckman turns around, the mops knock Stepanak overboard and into a bunch of tar or black paint.

Their electrician, Nitro, is testing some wiring. A lot of the wiring is live, and he gets shocked a lot. Dodge and Pascal are up on the conning tower watching him do this. They just shake their heads about it. Actually, an electric shock can throw off your heart's rhythm and kill you up to 24 hours after you got shocked. If they saw him get zapped, they would send him off to medical for observation until the next day.

Belowdecks, Lt. Pascal is walking into the crew's mess. There is a bit of what has to be product placement here. There is a case of some kind of DelMonte vegetables on the table. The Navy never used real brands. They used off brands, like Jasper's Brand peanut butter, or Snow Floss ketchup, or Pfeiffer salad dressing.

Lt. Pascal chews out the cook, Buckman, for how he's arranging all of the stores that have been loaded. According to Pascal, there are regulations on how the galley is supposed to be stowed. Ummm... no. In nuc boats, there were drawings of where each locker and book shelf in the Engine Room was. There were no regulations on what had to be in those lockers, though, or even what division owned them. If that little control is practiced in the Engine Room of a nuc boat, how much control do you think there would be for the pantry of a sub of a class that hasn't seen active service in decades? It's a good thing for Pascal to yell about here, though, since they want to establish his character and the differences between the easy-going Dodge and the uptight, by-the-book Pascal.

Dodge sees Pascal chewing out Buckman and calls him into his stateroom. When he's there, Dodge gently suggests that Pascal take it easy. I do like this – as I said before, you praise in public, but you chastise in private. Pascal responds to Dodge's suggestion that he ease up by requesting a transfer. He points out that the crew is a collection of the worst rejects in the Navy. He knows why Dodge is there, but has no idea what he himself might have done to wind up there. This is the first inkling that Dodge has received that this assignment might actually be some kind of a punishment, in which he has been intentionally set up to fail. But it's not the collision that Pascal thinks has earned Dodge this assignment. It's the “weenie tattoo.” Yeah, if something like this had happened in real life, the tattoo would never have been mentioned., but it's a lot funnier than his real offense. Pascal again brings up his transfer, stating that this posting could hurt his career, since he is very close to command (Actually, as a lieutenant, he still has two more ranks to go through before he can get his command). Dodge shuts him down and points out that his “career” is in the hands of those “assholes.” “Including this one,” Dodge says, standing up and looming over the shorter and skinnier Pascal. He then dismisses the very intimidated Pascal, who sheepishly leaves the compartment.

The camera pans over a transformed USS Stingray. It gleams with new paint and looks like a warship instead of a rustbucket. Dodge praises the crew for their efforts, announces a dive test (it really would have been Sea Trials) the next morning at 10:00, and starts to put the crew on leave when he notices that the crew has stolen Lt. Lake's uniform and replaced it with a smaller, tighter one. Apparently, they didn't leave her any t-shirts at all. To her credit, Lt. Lake makes no complaints, but Dodge doesn't need any to figure out what happened., Stepanak takes full responsibility, even though he had nothing to do with it, but Dodge cancels the shore leave that he was going to grant everyone. Everyone will be staying on board tonight.

In reality, the unmarried crewmen would all have been sleeping in a barracks. There weren't enough bunks to go around, so the crew would have hot-racked. This makes it tough to sleep aboard in port.

The next morning, the sub gets underway. You see the Engineman Chief for the first time as he starts up the engines. It looks like they removed some access panels or something, because you can see the cam shafts turning on the diesels. This isn't safe, but it looks cool.

Since Lt. Lamb is the Diving Officer and has obviously never actually dove a submarine, Dodge quizzes her on her knowledge. “Have you ever dove a submarine before? I mean, on purpose?” She points out that she has done hundreds of dives on simulators, 75 with strong cross currents such as those that are present here, and done better than Dodge. Really, doing all of those dives in simulation would have taken weeks. Since Dodge didn't know about them, they must have happened before she was part of his crew. Since this “special program” allowing women on submarines was invented by Admiral Graham at the last minute to mess with Dodge, why would she have done any dives in simulation at all? They couldn't have been done on her own time – time on the simulators was so tightly scheduled that we had to go in and use them once at 8:00 PM on a Friday night.

When they dive, the sub takes a sharp sideways angle. The entire crew falls to that side, and a lot of plates in the galley get smashed. Lt. Lake reports a 12º tilt to starboard. A sideways angle like that is called list, not tilt. Dodge realizes that one of the “emergency” vents must be shut still, even though they indicate open. Emergency Vent 2B is reported as being closed (2B would have been the second main ballast tank from the bow, the vent on the port side – a port main ballast tank with air still in it would cause a list to starboard, so this was well done). They should have been Main Ballast Tank Vents, though. There were no emergency vents. In peace time, there is no emergency that could require you to dive. If they DID have emergency vents, though, they should all be closed. You only use emergency anything if it's really an emergency. Since this was a normal dive, only the normal valves would have been used.

Pretty much everyone panicked except for Dodge, who calmly figured out the problem and fixed it. I guess that's why he's the captain.

Despite Lt. Lake having a head injury from the severe angle, she requests to be able to finish the dive. Dodge agrees and tells her to take them to 500'. This is wrong for two reasons.

First, HEAD INJURY. Even if a head injury doesn't look bad, it could still kill you. You don't finish the dive.

Second, according to Wikipedia, test depth of a Balaos class submarine is 400'. I have heard of a submarine intentionally exceeding test depth to evade depth charges. I have never heard of one intentionally exceeding test depth as part of a sea trial.

The Engineman Chief tapes a piece of string across the hull in the Engine Room and tells the men to watch the string. He says that the water pressure on the hull is going to cause the string to sag. The men look skeptical. As they get below 350' (and the hull is groaning and popping, and everyone is nervous, the string sags down about 2 feet. The ENC says “I'll bet you never saw anything like that on one of them big nucs.”

First, he's talking to Stepanak, mainly. If Stepanak had been on one of them big nucs,. He wouldn't be an Engineman.

Second, yes, he would have seen something like that. Every single time that a sub that I was on went to test depth, somebody taped a string across the Engine Room. On the nuclear boats, the string doesn't sag nearly that much, but it definitely does sag.

The electrician, Nitro, doesn't get it. “Oh, no, we didn't have clothes lines. We had those dryer things, with the window in the front.”

When they pass 400' with no leaks, Lt. Lake tells Dodge “Sir, I believe this is crush depth for this boat.” She picked a fine time to tell him that. It would have done a lot more good to tell him that BEFORE they went deep.. Dodge tells her “I have to know what she can do.” You figure out what she can do by, I dunno, READING THE MANUALS? NOT by risking your entire crew by exceeding the design limits. And you may be amazed to know that decades of neglect won't strengthen a sub's hull. It will actually weaken it! The sub sinks, they all die, roll credits.

At 500', things start to leak. An electrical panel shorts out. A panel pops open with enough force to send a bolt that was trying to hold it shut flying across the room like a bullet. Dodge is quite pleased. Everybody else is quite nervous, and relieved when he comes back to periscope depth. Except for Nitro, that is. He's asleep. Dodge congratulates the crew on a textbook dive. This dive may be in a text book, sure, but it's in the section of what NOT to do.

Admiral Graham informs the captain of the Orlando, Dodge's old boat, that he's taking part in the exercise to protect Charleston harbor. Graham doesn't tell him anything about the threat, since that is against the rules of engagement, but he doesn't think that there is any risk.

Back to the Stingray. Nitro is once again doing his brand of troubleshooting. He's singing and doing a pretty decent Frank Sinatra impression. He once again zaps the hell out of himself, then starts doing the play by play from a baseball game. Dodge and Lake, in Conn, hear it and shake their heads. Again, he'd be sent to medical.

We're about to get to the invasion of Charleston, so I'll stop it here.
 
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Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
The Stingray is in the engagement zone, but still have no contacts. Pascal approaches and, in his oh, so subtle way, suggests that they should be running silent. As I said before, they're submerged. They pretty much ARE running silent. In this case, though, they aren't running silent because it doesn't matter. They have no chance, so why bother?

Next, we see the USS Orlando. I was never on an Improved Los Angeles class (actually, instead of going by the name of the class ship, for fast boats we'd go by the hull number of the class ship. Los Angeles class subs were 688s. An improved one, with bow planes instead of fairwater planes on the sail (along with a lot of other changes) were 688i's). They might have had a glass board to plot things on. I doubt it, though. And they would never have blue lights in the control room. As I said in the Crimson Tide WIW, red lights preserve your night vision. Blue lights make you think there's a sale at K-Mart. At least, it does if you're old enough to get the reference.

Captain Knox of the Orlando is looking at the charts. Whoever the intruder is, he's probably coming from Norfolk. Most would think that he's coming from the north. Since the intruder is undoubtedly quite clever, though, the Knox expects him to do the unexpected and come from the south, so that's where he looks for him.

As they get closer to Charleston, everybody on the Stingray gets more and more nervous. Dodge goes to get a detailed report from Sonar. There is nothing to hear in the water but biologics. Most people think that the ocean is a very quiet place, but it isn't. A lot of fish make noises. Schools of shrimp make a crackling sound. And of course, a lot of the whales and dolphins have active sonar. Here, Dodge discovers that Sonar has a collection of tapes that he's made of whales singing. He sometimes does their hailing call against the hull. Sometimes, they answer back. Load Chekov's gun!

The Orlando hears something out there at bearing 346. They come to a course of 346. In reality, they wouldn't head straight at the target. You could pick them up better with the bow sonar array that way, probably, but the towed sonar array is much more sensitive (as you might expect from a sonar array that is hundreds of feet long and well away from any noise that the sub might be making). They'd be much more likely to come to a course of about 300 so that they could approach and still use the towed array.

Back to the Stingray. Dodge orders to secure the engines and answer bells on the batteries. Apparently, the Stingray does have a snorkel mast, and Pascal had a point when he wanted to run silent. Still, if you are running shallow and using the diesel, you may be mistaken for a fishing boat.

As soon as they shut down the diesels, the Orlando loses the contact. Sonar first thought that the contact might have been a sub, until they heard the diesel engines.

Actually, lots of navies still use diesel electric boats. They are extremely quiet, and they are quite useful for coastal defense. The main advantage that nuc boats have over them is maneuverability. A fast boat can go anywhere in the world without having to surface or refuel. Since the US prefers to project our power worldwide instead of just defending our coasts, though, we have an all nuclear submarine fleet.

Knox originally tells the XO to maintain course and speed, but then decides to go to single ping range.

First, there is no such thing as single ping range. He obviously plans to go active on sonar, but this is a Bad Idea. Using active sonar is like using a flashlight in a big, dark room. It lets you see what is close to you, but everyone in the room now knows exactly where you are. It's not exactly what you'd call stealthy...

Second, bring us in range of what? They never mentioned having any solution on the intruder. They know what bearing he was on a while ago. They have no clue about his course, his speed, or his range.

The XO points out what I said about active sonar. Knox decides to take the risk. The active sonar display looks a lot like a radar display. Frankly, I don't recall what the real ones look like. I never saw them used, and I spent a good deal of time in the control room of a fast boat.

The ping nearly deafens Sonar. He identifies the Orlando based on her machinery signature. A really good sonar operator could do this. He also knows her range – that technique is called Ping Steal Ranging. Pascal recommends going deep and running. Dodge decides against this tactic. It's a good call. They can't go deep enough or fast enough to evade the Orlando underwater. Instead, Dodge decides to surface. Pascal tells Dodge that he can't concur with the decision to surrender. Dodge isn't surrendering, though. When they get to the surface, he plans to run on one screw only, and has someone lay topside with a drop light and a roll of duct tape. It's night out, so he has Control rigged for red. It's too late, really. Their dark vision is shot. And since they were at periscope depth earlier, they would probably already be rigged for red.

The Orlando has rigged their control room for red some time in the last few minutes. When sonar reports that the contact's range is steady at 5000 yards (which sonar wouldn't know from a single ping), Knox decides to go to periscope depth.

It is a dark and stormy night. The Stingray is rolling wildly. Dodge has Jacson, who was a basketball player at the Naval Acadamy (so why is he enlisted?) climb to the top of the periscope and hang the drop light from it. The guy he sends op slips and barely manages to hang on. He mutters under his breath “I never saw THIS shit on a recruiting poster!” I love that line. He gets the light attached as the Orlando approaches periscope depth. Knox reaches up and turns the orange cage-looking thing around the periscope. I don't think that most people would realize that this is how you raise and lower the scopes. Since the scopes swivel 360º, if it was a simple valve, you would usually be our of reach if you wanted to lower the scope quickly.

Jackson starts to sing “Be all that you can be!” Dodge yells “That's the Army!” then has the periscope raised. He has the running lights turned on and tells the crew “We are NOT running silent. Now, listen up!”

On the Orlando, Knox is looking through the scope. With the light on the scope and the running lights on, Knox thinks that he's looking at a fishing trawler. When the crew of the Stingray starts singing “Louie Louie” with much more volume than skill, (and the Orlando's sonar somehow manages to pick it up with absolutely no distortion – it miraculously sounds like he's got a microphone in the Stingray's control room) Knox is convinced that he's been chasing a boatload of beered up fishermen. He goes deep and heads north, not realizing that he had almost caught the intruders. Dodge informs the crew that they are going to go to Charleston to blow something up. Sonar nervously asks if he is really going to blow something up. “No, Sonar. We'll just use flares."

Admirals Graham and Winslow are having dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Graham tells Winslow “The storm has passed, and still no sign of Dodge.” Graham gloats a bit. He's never lost a war game, and he's in line for a third star. Of course, that is the exact moment when the Stingray's flare goes up. Unfortunately, it's red. We launched green flares to simulate torpedo launches. Red flares meant “Sub in distress.”

Graham rushes to a coin op telescope and looks for the source of the flare. Dodge, still on the surface, is prancing around on the bridge waving a pirate flag. Winslow laughs. “Score one for the diesel navy. One down and one to go! Your wargame record's starting to look a little shakey, not to mention that third star.”

Back on the Stingray the next morning. The radioman calls Dodge to Radio, where Nitro is working. The radioman tells Dodge that Admiral Graham wishes to speak to him. Dodge picks up what looks like a sound powered phone (which has nothing to do with radio), listens for a minute and says “Stairway to Heaven? Led Zepplin, 1971, right? Great!” He turns to the crew and says “Great, we just won the Billy Joel tickets and the WROK tee shirts!” He tells Nitro to get him Admiral Graham now. Nitro grabs two loose wires and tries to splice them. They are too short. Nitro grabs the ends of both wires and uses his own body to complete the circuit. Dodge shakes his head.

This is sooo wrong. You NEVER intentionally take an electric shock. Even a very small amount of current can kill you if it passes through the heart (and this does). You don't leave loose wiring just hanging around – especially if it is live. That's a good way to get somebody killed. You don't work on energized gear without taking lots of precautions – he's taken none of them. And you don't change the frequency of the radio by changing the power supply.

It somehow works, though, and Dodge talks to Graham. Admiral Graham seems to have a radio in his office that looks just like a telephone. Without telling Admiral Winslow, Admiral Graham cuts the operating area of the wargame in half. This seriously favors the defending sub, since they only have to look in half of the area.
 
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Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
And now, part 4, in which Our Heroes make their first attempt at Norfolk.

Cessna, would you please move this to the placeholder? I really appreciate it.


Sonar starts picking up active sonar. He rushes to get Dodge. Using a phone or an announcing circuit would be faster. When Dodge gets to Control, he immediately raises the periscope.

If you are at periscope depth, you ALWAYS have at least one scope up. You are shallow enough that deep draft vessels can hit you. They can't see you to avoid you, and without the scope up, you can't see them.

There are several surface ships and aircraft looking for them with active sonar. While subs never use active sonar, surface ships and aircraft use it all the time. They aren't trying to hide. Dodge calls for Emergency Deep, silent running, and battle stations.

Dodge has the Stingray go all the way to the bottom. He tells Lt. Lake that the returns from the bottom will confuse the active sonar. He's right – it's like an airplane flying low so that any radar returns are lost in the ground clutter. It's dangerous – while a sub is going a lot slower than an airplane, the planes have windows. You also can't do it in a nuc boat. You'll suck silt into the seawater intakes. Diesel boats only need seawater to cool the diesel, which they obviously aren't running right now.

Lt. Lake is nervous. She didn't do much bottoming in the simulator. Dodge reassures her, telling her that it's a piece of cake. How would he know? As I said, you can't bottom a nuc boat.

They collide with the bottom rather hard. Sonar on the Orlando calls away a hot noise in the water. A HOT NOISE? Really? They'd call it a sound transient.

Dodge gets on the announcing system and tells everyone that they are now going silent. Didn't they already go silent as soon as they came down from periscope depth? And he's making noise to tell people to be quiet, anyway. Since they also went to Battle Stations, he could just pass the word through the phone talkers instead of using the announcing system in a world where sonar operators can hear you singing “Louie Louie” well enough to make out the lyrics.

The Orlando's sonar supervisor recommends active sonar. Ummm, no. Knox decides against it because it would give away their position. Yay! He made the right call!

A view from above the Orlando shows the Orlando stopping directly above the Stingray. Subs almost never stop moving. We actually keep the sub a little heavier than the water around us (so that we won't go bobbing to the surface) and fly through the water, using the bow planes and stern planes to make lift.

A sailor walks up to the snack bar on the Orlando and buys a pack of gum. He drops his change on the floor. Not only does Sonar hear the coins fall, but his freakishly good hearing is able to make out the denomination of the coins. That part was funny, but submarines don't have a snack bar like that. All that the “ship's store” carries is ball caps, belt buckles, coffee mugs, and things like that. It consists of one small locker, and it's never open. If you want to buy something, you track down the guy who is in charge of it and get him to open it up for you. (if you want something like that, send a letter to the sub and they will probably sell it to you).

Everyone on the Stingray is holding their breath in fear that the Orlando will hear them. Then, it happens. Buckman, who is eating a plate of beans, lets out a boomingly loud fart. Of course, the Orlando hears it. They call it an explosion. Since all of the ventilation fans are shut down, everyone on the Stingray has to deal with the foul odor.

Dodge has an idea and tries to pantomime it to Sonar. Sonar doesn't get it and starts doing pantomimes back, trying to figure out what it is that Dodge wants. Nitro joins in the pantomiming, since everyone else is doing it. Finally, Sonar figures out what Dodge wants, and Chekov's gun*, loaded earlier when Sonar told Dodge about his conversations with whales, is fired. Sonar moves around the Control Room imitating whalesong. The Orlando's sonar techs hear it and report it as a whale. The Orlando moves on.

Dodge orders Buckman fired out of a torpedo tube. There is no way Buckman could possibly fit. He's way outside of the Navy's height and weight requirements. Of course, some people, especially lower ranking ones (and most especially cooks), intentionally failed the PT tests, etc. in order to get kicked out of the Navy with a medical discharge. They called it the Food for Freedom program.

Dodge orders the Stingray to leave the operating area. Pascal objects. A big problem that I had with Crimson Tide is the fact that the CO and XO were constantly bickering in front of the crew. Two professional officers like that would never have done so. Here, though, Pascal is such a weasel that it fits.

Dodge tells Stepanak that he missed an opportunity. One noise from him and it would have been over. Stepanak says “That would have been unethical, sir. I'm only out to screw myself. That would have screwed everybody.”

Dodge goes back to the aft torpedo room, which has been set up as Lt. Lake's berthing area. She has a hammock set up there. If I was the CO, I'd be jealous. She has more room than he does!

She's being hard on herself for hitting the bottom so hard and making so much noise. Dodge points out that there is no way that she could have known the contour of the ocean floor. This is quite true. The charts show a general depth, but you can't know the actual shape of the bottom. Still, she blames her inexperience and asks him if he'd be this easy on her if she was a properly experienced sailor. He says that he would. With him, yes, he probably would.

As he's leaving, she asks him how he got over the Murmansk brushing incident. Whoa. If there was contact between two ships, it was a COLLISION, not a “brushing incident.” And they would call it by the name or number of the vessel that he collided with, not the name of the nearest land. He responds that he got drunk and passed out. He woke up the next morning with a hangover and a tattoo. It implies that this is the tattoo that has given him so much grief during the course of the movie, but he supposedly got that tattoo early in his career. The collision was 3 years ago, when he had been in for approximately 17 years.

The next morning, because Dodge has left the operating area and broken off radio contact, Pascal tries to get Dodge to relinquish command. Instead of shutting him down, Dodge encourages him. They go to Control and Dodge gets the crew's attention on the 1MC announcing system and passes the mic to Pascal. Pascal tells the crew that they have left the containment area and cut off radio communication. Nobody cares. He asks the crew's support in asking Dodge to turn command of the Stingray over to him. Cue laughter from the entire crew. Dodge accuses Pascal of attempted mutiny.

The Stingray is on the surface. The pirate flag is hanging from the scopes. The crew are dressed up in hastily cobbled together pirate attire (especially Nitro,. who wears his until he shifts to dress whites at the end of the movie). They even have a few fake cutlasses. They are singing “Blow the Man Down.” They bring Pascal topside, blindfolded, and make him walk the plank – into the net of a waiting fishing boat.

Really, they can't keep him on board. Sending him in on a fishing boat is pretty much the best way to get rid of him. All of the pirate theatrics? The crew is in dire need of a morale boost. I never served under a captain who would have done anything like that, but I think that I would have liked to.

Graham condemns Dodge's actions to Admiral Winslow, who doesn't seem impressed. He then tells Winslow that he will be taking charge of the operation personally. This violates so many rules – you can't have the man running the exercise be in charge of one of the sides. That pretty much invalidates anything you might otherwise have learned. But Graham has become obsessed with beating Dodge. At this point, I think Winslow is giving Graham enough rope to hang himself with.

As Dodge begins to make his plans for infiltrating Norfolk, Admiral Graham boards the Orlando.

And that is it for part 4.

* For those of you who are not familiar with Chekov's gun, Russian playwright Anton Chekov said that if you hang a gun on the wall in Act 1 of a play, it will be used by the end of Act 3.


(Edited in to Part 4. - Cessna)
 
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Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
And now, part 5.

There is a large amount of anti-submarine warfare units outside of Norfolk. With the crew's blessing, Dodge decides to do something bizarre and dangerous. He finds a super tanker that is also going into Norfolk and plans to get right under it. The noise that the tanker makes will drown out the noise from the Stingray, and the Stingray's active sonar return will get muddled in with that of the tanker. This would be difficult and dangerous, but it would be doable if the tanker was going slow enough for them to keep up. That channel is always quite crowded, so it would probably be going pretty slow. It's a difficult enough maneuver that Lt. Lake asks Dodge not to make her do it. He agrees to do it himself.

The Orlando detects the Stingray with active sonar (this is one of the few situations where it is a good idea – they are defending a crowded channel with a lot of help). The exercise is to end when the Orlando has a firing solution. They are getting very close to it when the Stingray loses themselves in the prop wash of the tanker. In reality, with active sonar going, it would be game over. One ping gives you the range and bearing. Keep pinging over a couple of minutes and you get course and speed.

Dodge starts taking them close to the tanker. He bobbles and is indecisive. Lt. Lake starts to correct him, but holds back. As he continues to make a hash of it, she starts to voice her objections. Finally, tells her “If you think you can do better, do it yourself.” His tone then changes. “I'm guessing here. You're the only one who can.” She takes over and brings them between the tanker's screws and up under the tanker.

The sub is shaking badly due to the tanker's prop wash. They start taking on water in the engine room. Stepanak rushes back to save the day. One of the crewmen says that the leaks are too strong, and that they have to abandon ship. If a leak is that bad, it isn't a leak. It's flooding. They do manage to control the flooding. The things that they use to stop the leaks are called strongbacks. They're curved metal plates that fit over the outer surface of the pipes. These bolt on. Most of them that we had didn't. You'd use marlin twine and wire to fasten them on.

Once they get past the tanker's screws, the turbulence dies down. Lt. Lake comes to visit Dodge in his cabin and asks him how much longer he would have waited before doing it right. He smiles at her and says “Half a heartbeat.” She asks for permission to speak freely. When he grants the permission, she kisses him. It's a quick kiss – he doesn't have time to react. Shocked at what she had just done, she salutes and dashes away. He is rather pleased. Frankly, he should be. Nobody should carry on a relationship with anyone who is below him in the chain of command, but he knows that this was a momentary lapse on her part and that it will not happen again while she is serving under him. He also knows that the exercise is going to be over soon, so she won't be serving under him for long.

The tanker turns away from Norfolk. Frankly, it was quite likely that she would have been going elsewhere. Norfolk is near the southern side of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. That's why the channel gets so much traffic. The tanker is probably headed for Baltimore.

As soon as the Stingray leaves the tanker, the Orlando finds her. With active sonar, this is possible. Admiral Graham takes the con of the Orlando. Knox objects. He probably has every right to object. Unless Graham is the commander of his submarine group, then Graham is not directly in Knox's chain of command (Knox is under the commodore of his squadron – a captain – then the commander of the group – usually a Rear Admiral, Lower Half (one star). Graham is a Rear Admiral (two star). The sub group commander's boss is COMSUBLANT, and that is Admiral Winslow, a Vice Admiral (three stars).

Because there is good cloud cover topside, Dodge decides to surface. The aircraft can't find him, and he can go faster. They make it sound like they can outrun the Orlando, but they can't. As long as the Orlando stays submerged, she is faster. Because of the hull design, nuc boats can actually go faster submerged than they can on the surface. You're pretty slow at periscope depth, though. You can easily damage one of the scopes or antennas if you go too fast.

The Orlando surfaces along with the Stingray. In fact,. From the way her bow clears the water, it looks like she does an emergency blow. Why? The Stingray can outrun her on the surface. Besides, as a WWII fleet submarine, the Stingray has a deck gun.

They start to get a shooting solution on the Orlando. As soon as they do, the exercise is over. It's really easy to get a shooting solution when you are both surfaced. “Hey, they are right there! They are going this direction, about this fast!” Game over, the Orlando wins. Roll credits.

It's a foot race. Dodge said that there was a lot of cloud cover before he surfaced. Funny, when they show the exterior of the sub, it looks like a beautiful day.

For a foot race, though, the Orlando isn't going fast. Almost the entire deck of the sub is dry. A 688i fast attack submarine on the surface looks a lot like this.

.

Graham calls on the radio to tell them that he is about to win. To make the connection, Nitro again has to shock himself.

Dodge calls the engineman chief and tells him to give him all he's got. As he turns back to the engines, the chief yells “This is what I live for! DBF!” They never explain what he means. DBF was an acronym (of course) for “Diesel Boats Forever!” The chief takes a bottle of whiskey and pours it into the fuel tank. According to him, the whiskey thins out the mix and gives them another 50 rpm. I don't know much about diesels, but I think it would work better if he poured in everclear, instead.

The Orlando gets guidance lock on the Stingray. Graham tells Knox to let him know when they have a shooting solution. “The one we had from active sonar before they entered the harbor, or the one we got visually when we surfaced?”

Dodge gives the order to prepare the torpedo tubes. Apparently nobody but Dodge knows that they are going to launch real torpedoes. Everyone else was expecting flares. My first boat was supposed to launch a live Mk 48 at a dummy target once (it got canceled). This was a Big Deal. In this case, the entire crew would have known.

Dodge fires both torpedoes from the hip because they don't have time. This is a Bad Idea in a crowded harbor – it's an even worse idea than using live torpedoes to begin with.

The fire control computers give the Orlando the shooting solution. That's not how it works. You get solutions from several sources – Sonar, Fire Control (but from the guy on the computers, not the computer itself) and from the guys doing the manual plots the old fashioned way. The computers don't tell you have accurate the solution is. You sometimes have three different solutions, from your three sources, all slightly different. The captain has to decide whether to use one of them or to wait and track the target a little longer. Of course, that's if you can't just look through the scope and say “There he is!”

But now, the game is over. The Stingray is simulated sunk. But they are simulating a terrorist attack, and terrorists don't need to survive to succeed.

Graham calls again. Dodge tells Nitro to put it on the speaker. Nitro takes special precautions and cringes before he flips the switch. This guy thought nothing of zapping the hell out of himself repeatedly, but now he's taking precautions? What's going to happen when he flips the switch?

Absolutely nothing. The admiral's voice comes through loud and clear. He gloats a bit about getting the kill. Dodge graciously acknowledges the kill, but points out that he had already fired his torpedoes.

The torpedoes hit. On the Stingray, celebration begins. On the Orlando, Knox hands his XO a folded up bill. Looks like his XO bet on the other team. Graham looks crushed and defeated.

The Stingray pulls in. There are a lot of people on the pier. We used to get that kind of a response when we got back from a 2 month run. They've just been gone for a week or two. And we'd have that kind of response from the families of a crew of 120. The Stingray's crew should have been about 70,. but looked more like 20.

As the crew of the Stingray disembarks, Admiral Graham gets off of the helicopter that brought him in from the Orlando. Since the Orlando was right at Norfolk, why didn't they just pull in? Or transfer him to a small boat? In reality, the helicopter would have landed at the Naval Air Station, which was right next to the Naval Base, and it would be quicker to make the small boat transfer than it would to get from the Naval Air Station to the submarine pier.

As Graham gets out of chopper, Admiral Winslow pulls up in his official car. Its front license plate is three stars. He has an official driver. In reality, though, it would have flags with the three stars flying from the sides of the front bumper. You were supposed to salute an admiral's car when it went by (if he wasn't in it, the flags wouldn't be there). Graham complains about Dodge's actions to Winslow, who tells him to stow it, and to forget about his third star.

The Stingray's crew marches in formation up to Admiral Winslow. We would form up for award ceremonies and changes of command, but I never marched anywhere after I left my A school. The Engineman Chief, played by Harry Dean Stanton, is in civilian clothes. You never see him in uniform. According to Cessna, he's a civilian who was hired as a consultant because nobody left in the Navy was familiar with the engine room of that class of sub (the scenes explaining this must have been cut). Maybe not that class of sub, but all auxiliary men on submarines are trained on diesels. There would also surely still be some left in the Navy who had served on the Blueback, the Bonefish, the Darter, or the Dolphin. The Darter's engine room, in particular, would have been much like that of the Stingray.

Winslow tells Dodge that he won't be getting a Los Angeles class submarine. Dodge looks unhappy, but accepts it. Then, Winslow smiles and tells him that he will be getting command of a Sea Wolf submarine,which was the hottest thing on the waterfront at the time. I've never actually seen one. This time, he'll be given a proper crew. Dodge insists on having his present crew as part of the crew of his new boat. Winslow says “At least you got my son to face forward.” Stepanak is Admiral Winslow's son – he uses his mother's name.

Dodge is to take command of his new boat the next week. In reality, he'd have to go to Pre-Commanding Officer School first. That takes quite a while. Not sure what would happen to his crew in the meantime.

As Winslow leaves, he calls Dodge “Commander.” I'm not sure if this means that he just earned a promotion as well as a new command (and all fast boat captains were Commanders), or if the admiral was calling him Commander because that's what you call Lieutenant Commanders.

As the crew disperses, Lt. Lake asks Dodge about the tattoo that she's been hearing about. She has exchanged her Surface Warfare pin for Submarine Dolphins. It takes about a year to earn those. As they walk away together, he starts to tell her the story. It was, indeed, after the COLLISION, NOT BRUSHING incident, which happened 3 years ago.. But Graham said that it happened early in his career. Which is it?

It was implied that Lt. Lake would be part of his new crew. At this point, it is improper for the two of them to have anything but a professional relationship.

As the credits roll, the Village People start singing “In the Navy”. Damn, I hate that song.

(Edited in to Part 5. - Cessna)
 
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Robert A. Rodger

Aspiring Kermit
Validated User
Yay! I'm looking forward to the rest of your WIW. I remember watching the movie and thinking, "wow, that was surprisingly decent."
 

Peers

Order of Cleansing Flame
Validated User
May I just say, I'm -really- looking forward to this. This is one of my favorite military-themed comedies, and between your experience and writing style... well, the last one you did we great, so this should... pardon the expression... blow it out of the water.
 

krfsm

GRAVE DUST Operator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That intro was fun - just a warning, though, your edit window is 24 hours, so be sure to have all five parts ready before 11 AM Pacific Time tomorrow...
 

taschoene

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Looking forward to this one.

FWIW, the opening apparently is Sub Base New London, and there is Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton right up along the river. It's near the entrance to Fisher's Island Sound and is even on the channel side of the river, but I don't think it's ever less than about a thousand feet from the channel to the course.

The idea of diesel boats as a Red Team is a pretty sound one -- the USN went so far as tho charter a Swedish diesel for a couple of years back in the mid '00s.
 
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