USS New Orleans and USS Hartford Collision

uss hartford collision

Ot Oh! This cant be good. The USS New Orleans and USS Hartford collided in the Strait of Hormuz.

From Manolith – USS Hartford & USS New Orleans Collide in the Straight of Hormuz

At around 1 a.m. local time (5 p.m. EDT), the USS Hartford – a nuclear powered submarine – and the USS New Orleans – an amphibious ship – collided into each on their way in to port. The collision resulted in minor injuries of 15 USS Hartford sailors and a ruptured fuel tank from the New Orleans which resulted in the loss of 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the ocean’s waters. Fortunately no damage was done to the submarine’s nuclear propulsion system. Both ships are operating under their own power, but have since returned to port to examine damage and for further investigation.

Uss Hartford

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Photo by Richard Elzey

131 responses to “USS New Orleans and USS Hartford Collision”

  1. I am on the USS New Orleans currently. The articles lie, we did not lose fuel. Most excitement we have had in a while.

  2. My nephew is onboard the Hartford now. We are all praying for everyone’s safety and safe passage back to port.
    His Aunt.

  3. HI…I am a mom of one of the Sailors aboard the USS New Orleans…praying for you all! Word from our son said he is OK…good news! Hoping that all damage is quickly restored, and business as usual (in the Navy?) will soon be underway. Dad’s and My best to each of you.

  4. My prayers are with the entire crew of the USS Hartford and USS New Orleans. My son is on the USS New Orleans. May God protect them all as they defend our freedom.

  5. I was aboard the USS Oklahoma City Nov 13, 2002, when it collided with a Norwegian tanker during operations in the middle east luckily I wasn’t on watch at the time of the collision. I was also stationed on the USS Hartford up until November of 2007. Had I reenlisted, I would have been aboard this vessel during this collision. Lucky for me I chose to join the civilian ranks. For those of you that are interested I will provide a little incite of what will happen now, even though the investigation isn’t completed yet. The Commanding officer (CO) will be relieved of his command first. In the Navy’s eye the CO is ultimately responsible for naval vessel. The Officer of the Deck (OOD),who is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel while the CO isn’t in control,will also be relieved. They will both be sent home state side and be forced to retire once there current tour is up. There is 0% they will ever command a ship again. The Sonar Supervisor will go to Admiral’s Mast, along with his sonar section that where on watch at the time of the collision. Depending on there technical knowledge at the official naval inquiry they may receive or letter of reprimand (this being the best case scenario) or a reduction in rank with restriction or court marshall( this being the most extreme) The Fire Control Tech. who are responsible with giving the OOD backup in navigation decisions will also go under investigation will mostly likely receive the same punishment as the Sonar section that was on watch at the same time. These are the main groups that will be reprimanded first. To be honest though anyone that was in the control room (where the ship is commanded from) has a chance of being brought up on charges. I wish all the sailors aboard the USS Harford the best of luck, because right now heads are rolling and no one is safe.

  6. yup – pretty much a clean sweep of the bridge team

    will be interesting to hear how this all went down

    does anybody have any “sources” that could give us a little insight into what happened?? (get some inside gouge)

  7. Not quite 0%. Some CO’s have survived collisions and groundings. In the late 70’s the USS Andrew Jackson SSBN-619 Gold crew took her aground coming into Groton. Her CO actually ordered a flank bell in nearly 0 visibility. He was not relieved of command and actually made full bird.
    Collisions and groundings are bad for the whole crew. Even people off watch at the time can be grilled. It is not fun at all.

  8. I am a friend of Aunt Kathi (previous)’s nephew- I was so thankful when I got your nephew on the phone! RELIEVED…

  9. I was on the USS George Bancroft (now decommisioned) many years ago when we were coming up to Periscope depth. Normally SONAR does a 360 degree sweep to hear if there are any prop noises before you raise the scope. We were just coming to periscope depth when we heard these loud ship screws right above us!! We dove immediately!

    If a ships hull is really low in the water, like a tanker or carrier, you may not be able to hear the props since the hull limits the noise and therfore think it is clear to surface. You also raise the scope so that the minute the scope breaks the water you do a quick 360 to see if you see any ships.

    The surface ship could have been dead in the water and you would not have herad it by doing your SONAR search. Just a guess.

  10. Was on the HARTFORD’s precommissioning crew… makes me wonder about nautical superstition. You see, HARTFORD was in a major grounding incident a few years ago and now, well, you see what happened here. The superstition? Well, when you launch a ship, the lady who serves as the ship’s sponsor smashes a champaign bottle on the bow of the ship. If it doesn’t break, it’s said to be bad luck. In December 1993, we were launching HARTFORD, and Mrs. Laura O’Keefe (wife of a former Navy Secretary and later NASA administrator) smacked that bottle on the bow and it didn’t break… she swung again but they’d already pulled the lever or whatever and the ship slid down the weighs before she could hit it. A guy on top of the ship smashed the “backup” bottle…but I’m thinking that doesn’t count, maybe.

  11. Vince has it pretty close, but a couple of minor points:
    The OOD is always responsible for the ship, no matter where the Captain is.
    Retirement is really not a direct outcome from this event – it will likely get handled the way most collisions/groundings are: through Non-Judicial Punishment and administrative processing (Admirals Mast and DFC). Even the Greeneville/Ehime Maru collision did not end up at Court Martial (but it did get extra attention at a Court of Inquiry, which was probably due to the international nature of the event).

    After the Admirals Mast (where plenty of punitive letters and probably a few non-punitive letters, and probably some reductions in rate (for the enlisted guys) will be handed out) then the Detachment for Cause process will kick in. The CO’s DFC might come before the Admirals Mast (maybe as soon as tomorrow) because his boss has already lost confidence in his ability to command. The other DFC’s will wait until everything is documented, and they will be based on Substandard Performance – Gross Negligence. The purpose of the DFC’s are to get new leadership into a place that really needs it. So, the officers that leave the HARTFORD will go to other places in the Navy, not to CIVLANT. They will probably never be promoted again, and so they will either end up retiring (if they become retirement eligible) or being separated due to Failure of Selection for promotion.
    My guess for the heads that will roll:
    CO for sure. OOD for sure. They were in a restricted navigation area, and it was after midnight, so there was probably a CDO stationed. If so, he will also be removed (that will be the XO or the ENG). Whoever was in charge of the piloting party (Nav or ANav) will probably also be removed. Other actions might be required as a result of the investigation – if the charts and the training and the records and everything is not in pristine shape, there will be some adverse results (this could also result in problems for the NEW ORLEANS, because the gestapo will be checking their records as well – definitely the wrong place at the wrong time), and if there was a specific problem with the actions (or inactions) of the watchstanders (sonar, fire control, ship control) then they will also be in trouble.
    Please note that this is not a prediction based on any specific information (I’ve been out of the Navy for 5 years) but just a summary of the type of actions that have been taken after collisions in the past. Individual cases always have individual results – I was on PENNSYLVANIA when she ran aground, and our Captain was not relieved. Like Vince, I will hope for the best for each of the officers and men on the HARTFORD.
    My credibility – I was the 2nd Navigator on USS HARTFORD, (we won the Squadron 2 Navigation ‘N’) and I transfered to PERS-8 where I worked in adverse separations.

  12. While most of the comments on the likely administrative results of negligence are true, we must remember that only the investigative team will have full access to all of the facts as best they can be determined. Sometimes, the mission is risky. At a minimum, there were errors made in handling the boat. Reports indicated the seas were calm, so it’s unlikely she just “lost the bubble”. But it’s still possible there were extenuating circumstances. We should give these fine folks the benefit of the doubt. It’s not an easy job in the best of circumstances.

  13. Great run-down Keith. I was, later in my career, aboard a destroyer that collided during an underway replenishment. Our CO was not relieved, possibly because his change of command was only a few months away. Neither his career, nor the XO’s advanced far after, however. Good man, the CO, but kind of the breaks with command. I have to agree that things on NEW ORLEANS could get ugly because their records will be scrubbed, and any warts exposed (and there are always warts). I myself had command, and probably only by the grace of God I didn’t get in a bad situation…there were sure some close scrapes.

  14. Sad state of affairs…with all the most sophisticated electronic equipment
    in the world….and continuous never ending (daily) training you still
    can’t stop two ships in the same Navy from hitting each other?
    Reason: Probably everyone on that “boat” was born after 1980…a new
    generation with a different culture, different values…tattooed heads,
    rings in the ear, cell phone at the mouth. No sense of responsibility!
    The question that is always asked? Where was the C.O.?
    Thank God nobody was killed. “Carry on”

  15. It really has nothing to do with the generation, or culture. I’ve worked with plenty of people who were born after 1980 that I would gladly entrust my life to again. Yes, the majority of time that they weren’t on watch, they acted like fools, but there is something about control on a trip to PD that tends to sober a person (especially in the middle of the night in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world).
    Unfortunately it sounds like somebody lost track of the New Orleans, or never had track of the New Orleans. Also, there is the potential to “lose the bubble” in calm seas. If a large vessel with a large displacement were to travel above a submerged vessel, this will tend to change the bouyancy characteristics of the submerged vessel, potentially making them lighting and causing them to get “sucked up”. Looking at the pictures, it almost looks like the sail was sideswiped (not so much a T-Bone, and not so much a 0 AOB). Either way, it’s a testament to the construction of our ships.
    Eventually the “truth” will come out, along with “the real story”, and we will move on from this event and become smarter as a community.

  16. Did not see this fact above, but it is my understanding that Amphibs like the USS New Orleans do NOT have Sonar. If they did, it would obviate their usage.

  17. My son is an enlisted on the New Orleans, I think he was on the bridge at the time of the incident. I am form a law enforcement background and am not familiar with the workings of the Navy. From what you all are saying, I take it the main fault lies with the crew of the Hartford. What fall out may he receive ? He sent me an email last saturday stating he was ok, then another one on monday. have not heard from him since then. A little from a father’s point of view. Should I be? Any information would be appreciated, contact me at XNOPD@AOL.COM. Thanks

  18. worried dad you don’t have as much to worry about as the submarine guys due to submariners are held to higher standards. This is not ment as a rude comment its just that surface ships only have to worry about moving around on the surface while submarines “fly” around the ocean.

    Grayback i am really sure I have heard about many many incidents of submarine accidents happening back in to “good old days”. Just back then we “the navy” we’re better at keeping things hidden. Todays navy is probably more professional than the old boats due to better drug policies, more responsible drinking all around, and more training. Yes we have are screw ups and they seem to always get the publicity but trust me todays enlisted may have different lifestyles outside the navy they are just as good as you “Old guys”.

    As for the incident itself, the new limits of submarines in shallow water may have also had something to with it. Trying to prevent another san fran,(my guess), the navy has limited alot what subs can do in shallow water to prevent them from getting close to th bottom.

  19. I have read the sitrep/oprep from this incident and the information is limited to who what when where how. No information is detailed as anyone of you who has produced/read them knows. It does not place blame; it just reported the facts and situation. From my intimate knowledge, they are VERY busy to ensure the repair of damages to the HARTFORD first with COMSUBRON 4 heavily involved.
    To reiterate Keith’s excellent post, it is a prediction of past events. We currently do not know who is at fault, however the information will slowly filter out as time elapses and the investigation concludes. I would like to read the lessons learned when released to prevent further incidences and am not as concerned as to whose head rolls first. Submarine Grayback- Wow, it appears that each new generation will destroy themselves and the world as we know it… yet each generation survives. I would venture to bet that you used to hear from seniors, “Those young whipper-snappers…” and yet your generation survived. You forget that in the cold-war era, information flow of incidences were not widely reported as they are today.

  20. Worried Dad, I would go a little further than ASailorBornAfter1980 and say that you have very little to worry about. I know that my comment about potential fallout on the New Orleans probably surprised some people, but I sure didn’t want to alarm the families of the N.O. watchstanders. I can’t picture any scenario where this accident is the New Orleans’ fault. I think that the only repercussions that might (might!) hit the N.O. is if, as a result of the intensive investigations they are going to undergo, the investigators find some kind of programmatic problem accompanied by some kind of attempt to hide it. In other words, N.O. watchstanders are probably going to come out of this OK, N.O. department heads are probably going to come out of this OK, N.O. CO is probably going to come out of this OK unless there is some kind of problem with a training program or a watch qualification program (or something like that – all the things that you would look at if you wanted to convince yourself that N.O. was being operated safely) and rather than just taking the hit somebody tried to radio the logs. That is extremely unlikely.
    As far not hearing from your son, I wouldn’t worry too much about that either. I’m sure they have clamped down on all outgoing traffic just to make sure that there are not 1000 different stories about what happened.

  21. Surprisingly, communication has NOT been clamped down from those on the New Orleans. My son is on the NO and I heard from him Friday morning 3/20 and Monday, Wednesday and Friday…by phone and Email. In fact, I was shocked that we heard anything at all. There was also an email from the KV as well to support what my son said…that all was well and everyone was fine….and they are still fine.

    What isn’t coming out (and understandably so) is what exactly happened and why and how. That may take awhile. Semper Gumby as my fellow Marine Moms tell me.

  22. I find the comments from Submarine Grayback offensive. I have a Marine on the New Orleans and I guarantee you his values are those that not only we his parents taught him but values he also learned from his Grandparents one of whom was a WWII vet. He has very high values and is a very responsible person with no body piercings or tattoos. Is he perfect? No and neither is any generation. You can’t judge a whole generation on the few underachievers. Instead, take your blinders off and see the good in each generation. I guarantee you there are many good young men and women on both vessels that don’t deserve comments like that. Instead they deserve the respect they have earned by volunteering to serve their country while many sit at home and put them down.

  23. Well said Sheri! Every generation has it’s struggles and issues. I have been very impressed with the quality of young men in my son’s company who have dedicated their lives to serving our country!

  24. To Mr. Submarine Grayback,

    FYI, I hope you were never permitted to disgrace this country with your service in it’s armed forces! Here’s a little bit of information to keep you awake at night! I am one of those “born after 1980…a new
    generation with a different culture, different values…tattooed heads,
    rings in the ear, cell phone at the mouth” indivduals you speak of that proudly serves my country. Here’s the one that’ll make you wake up in the middle of the night, I maintain and operate a system who’s market value is just shy of a billion dollars and guess what, I’m the best at what I do! So while you’re sitting at home enjoying your everyday luxuries of sitting in front of your “boob tube” and hopping on the computer and making reckless comments on public blogs, I’m doing my job defending people like you so they can actually say whatever it is they want… no matter how ignorant it is. Prime example: :”Reason: Probably everyone on that “boat” was born after 1980…a new
    generation with a different culture, different values…tattooed heads,
    rings in the ear, cell phone at the mouth. No sense of responsibility!” My question to you sir, if there’s no sense of responsibility, why did we join the military?

    Here’s a good one, “you still
    can’t stop two ships in the same Navy from hitting each other?” First off, there was only one ship involved! Webster defines a ship as a sailing vessel square-rigged on all of three or more masts, having jibs, staysails, or engines. So that makes it one ship and a boat. I’ve met quite a few submariners in my days and they often refer to what they do as the silent service. In a nut shell, you do not and will not know when a sub is any where near you unless you are on the sub. Think back to last year when a Chinese submarine surfaced within a mile from the USS Kittyhawk. I’m sure you think you’re a smart man, tell me how it’s possible to communicate with a submerged submarine? Matter of fact, tell me how you can communicate with some one who is underwater and you’re not? Don’t worry, I’ll wait!!!

  25. To all of you who have served and are serving – Thank you so very much! You can hold you heads high!

  26. Nasty,

    Thank you for stating my feelings. While I am just shy of the “born after 1980” category (1979), I was also offended by grayback’s comments, but didn’t want to go on a rant.
    While I tend to agree with you on a few points, it is still the responsibility of the submariner to understand his surroundings and operating restrictions to maintain the “silent” part of “Silent Service”. There was an obvious breakdown in that fundamental tennant. It is not my place to assign blame, but merely to speculate on the actions of others and hope that the correct people are held accountable.
    Ultimately, I am glad to see that both vessels found there way to safe harbor, and I wish them both fair winds and following seas as they make there journey home to U.S. soil.

  27. TY Karen and Sheri. We do and we will.

    NASTY… so tell me how you really feel!!! My guess is that you are an ST??? You put a lot of emoting and thought into your post. Easy tiger, he is probably an old crusty boomer sailor from the 70’s who had a big old hippy beard. He enlisted for his 4 years, got out, and occasionally likes to rekindle his “glory days” when he was ‘perfect’ and ‘did things right’. I was born in the 70’s but would trust my life to many whom I serve with that are under 29 (born in the 80’s). In no way do I advocate Graybacks comments but I do have a minor correction for you. Although I and every other bubblehead call submarines “boats”, they are still ships. U.S.S. comes before every commissioned naval vessel in our fleet. For the last question, I’ll leave that to Grayback to prove his validity. It is a VERY easy question and starts with a W…

  28. Nothing like getting some Marine Moms fired up! My son is also on the USS New Orleans and he was born in 1989! He is one fine outstanding young man that decided it was his DUTY as an American to serve his country! He wouldn’t have had any problem getting into any college of his choice. It actually broke my heart to know the “college” experience he would be missing with his peers. But his decission was to join the Marine Corp. I can’t express how proud I am of him and much I admire him for making that kind of decision. And guess what? He doesn’t even have a tatoo or body piercing! “Carry on”

  29. I hate to pile it onto Nasty, but he did overreact to Grayback. Kind of verifies that Grayback really is a submariner though – when you are deployed on a sub, about the only fun that you can have is to figure out what spins a guy up, and then keep doing it. I don’t want you to think that I’m with Grayback, though – his comment was just plain mean, and in my estimation is not supported by the facts.
    But – there are plenty of ways to communicate with a submerged submarine. You can use radio waves or acoustic waves. Most of the radio waves require the sub to stick some kind of antenna out of the water, but not all of them do. Acoustic communication is much easier, but I don’t know if an Amphib has the right equipment. Think about the role of the SSBN – if they couldn’t communicate with a Boomer, would they let them submerge?

    “A single ping, Vasili. One ping only.”

  30. Lauri, those were my sons exact words – it’s his duty. And quite honestly, I don’t know that I would have the courage to do what these fine young men and women are doing. I have often heard the WWII generation is the greatest generation. I 100% agree with that but I also think this is a great generation. They are not being drafted but are volunteering. I don’t mean to over react to what Grayback said but I do want to defend this generation serving in all branches of the U.S. Military.

  31. Yeah-Marine Moms! My son is vintage 1988 and is proud to serve his country. As his mom who was drafted along in the process, I am proud to stand beside him and behind him in his service as well.

  32. My brother is on the USS New Orleans, I have only heard from him once, so at least I know he is okay. I can’t imagine what they are going through right now, I am just glad that everyone is okay. My cousin, who also serves in the Navy thinks their deployment will be canceled, does anyone believe that will happen!

  33. Tammy

    Anything now is only speculation…which in the best interest of your brother should be avoided. Not to be mean or anything, but just safety of all of the guys (my son included). Right now their priority is to get the vessels repaired…and who know when that will happen.

  34. The odds of the Hartford staying over seas is slim to none, bc of the certifications and QA invovled I would expect to see her come home to a IMF at the very least. As for the New Orleans, it all depends on how badly she is really damaged. Not do disrespect the marines or say much about their deployment but wouldn’t they just offload to another LPD or whatever they ride on. I mean if your taxi is in an accident after the police let you go you get into another taxi and head to your orginal place you was going. But what do I know of surface life all they are to me is another target.

  35. I think an LPD is a little different than a taxi that just happens by. No disrespect here…but bringing in another ship, unless it’s already over there, on short notice is probably unlikely. It’s not like the Navy has a lot of them sitting around twiddling their thumbs. But I guess it’s certainly an option.

  36. Just a note to let you folks know that there are plenty old-timers (born well before 1980) out here who appreciate and respect the service of everyone in our armed forces, regardless of their cultural or even sub-cultural background. I’ll take ’em all. One of the biggest impacts serving had on me was a realization that race, politics, religion, regional and cultural differences can be bridged when you are part of a unit filled with true patriots willing to sacrifice for their country.

    There are always bad apples and bad leaders, worn-out and embittered for one reason or another. I came close to having that experience myself. But I reached out and found good people in the chain of command who gave me a chance, even though I was young, more cocky than warranted, and fairly self-centered when it came down to it. But in general, my heart was in the right place and I wanted to serve my country proudly. There were plenty of good people around for every ‘Grayback’ in the crowd. We learned who the ‘Graybacks’ were, avoided and ignored them whenever possible.

    I’ve noticed the same esprite de corps in my son’s experience in the Marine Corps (currently aboard the USS New Orleans). If we watch and listen, we can all learn a few things from those serving today. They are after all, the future leaders of our nation and world.

  37. Hey…my son was on the bridge at time of incident on the N.O….he is fine…we’ve been emailing back and forth since the oops.
    too bad now they are out of commission as repairs are in order. I am proud of ALL of our Navy and Marines on both ships. I am certain that if anyone was “at fault” it is managed well, and fairly, but only concern and a big sigh of relief is that they are all OK!

  38. I’m a father of one of the Hartford’s sailors. Luckily my son was not injured but it was a pretty scary experience listening to his description. The one thing he did say that stuck out with me is how well everyone reacted and the lack of panic, clear heads, & true professionalism everyone showed dealing with the situation immediately.
    If they have to travel back to Groton for repairs, it’s going to be a long bumpy ride.
    Oh, and yes he’s a “born after 1980 sailor” too, with 3 deployments under his belt in subs. That’s 548 days out to sea, not to mention the dozens of 28 day “training & maneuvers” they do to qualify. It was definitely human error that created this, but dont go blanket blaming a certain age sailor. I’m sure the old salts said the same thing about you when you were a young’n too, Mr. Sub Grayback! I’m proud of my boy!
    Carry on Mr. Grayback!

    P.S. Keith are you in SD?

  39. I think there is going to be HUGE fallout from this…already the rumored repair bill has it north of $25 million and climbing fast. Further, if you do your home work, seems the locals in Bahrain have asked for water samples to send to an independent lab to ascertain the extent of the RADIATION LEAKS….

    That should not be surprising…look at the size of the hole, 18 feet hole diameter, for the New Orleans…that kind of a hit did some serious damage to the USS Hartford cooling system I am suspecting.

  40. Hartford Parent,
    That is the only good thing about the countless drills that we do – we make the drills so difficult, that when the real thing happens, it is usually over before it starts. The handful of times that I’ve been aboard a sub when a real casualty occurs, the adrenaline really kicks in, but it is all directed – you know what you are supposed to do, and you just do it. It is almost eerie to watch it happen. You see men doing what they are supposed to do, and you see the captain resolutely leading the action, and then it is over, and then that’s when you start shaking because you start to think “What if…”
    Oh my, let’s not start talking about radiation leaks. Every time a sub hits something, people who don’t realize that the pressure hull is deep inside and the lightweight skin of the sub which forms the ballast tanks is the only part that gets crinkled. If you know anybody who is afraid of radiation leaks, tell them to get on wikipedia and look at the picture of the San Franciso after it ran into mountain at flank – that is some major damage, and yet, no radiation leak.
    I wouldn’t bet on the Hartford steaming back to Groton (but I don’t want to start any rumors – I have been out of the loop for a long long time). I just got on Google Earth, and I don’t see many places in the world that are farther away from Groton than Bahrain. I bet they get sent to Pearl.
    I live in San Antonio.

  41. Keith,
    That’s was my experience as well. With the exception that the COB spun me around to head towards the casualty in the engine room after I told him I was off-going watch headed to the mess deck. So not everything goes according to drill I suppose 🙂
    Looking at the pictures from the Navy press release (download the high-res ones – go to and click on all pics) there’s probably a 7 or 8 degree tilt to the coning tower, with rips in the super structure at it’s base. That means the tube to the escape chamber must be bent and perhaps watertight integrity was lost there. Of course a second hatch at the bottom of the escape chamber is probably OK. I wouldn’t want to dive with it that way though… 🙂

  42. I know that the men and women on both ships are terrific. To err is human…but we cannot keep speculating on the outcomes, after all.

    Yeah, someone’s going to feel a big crunch…or a sad farewell…but I also know from descriptions from my son that at times of real crisis, ALL act so much more efficiently & effectively than they do for the drills.

    Interestingly, my son’s been on several ships, also, and has seen several difficult situations, but none quite so “interesting” as this one, involving two of our naval vessels.

    To all of you who are in the armed forces…I love you and thank you for serving; something that I wish I had done but did not have the opportunity.

  43. OldBubblehead,
    Well said brother. As for the incident on the Hartford, there is a 15 degree cant angle to the starboard, 5 inch seperation of the sail from the superstructure on the port aft corner, loss of vital bridge sensors, the bow planes are unable to retract/extend, and all masts and atennas are unable to raise/lower except one. The escape chambers are forward and aft of the sail. The access you refer to is the lower bridge access hatch and watertight integrity was not lossed in the bridge access trunk. No reported personnel injuries onboard. The ship won’t/can’t submerge anytime soon until essential repairs are made.
    I can relate to all the sub sailors onboard the Hartford. I was onboard a boat when our sail struck an iceburg in 98. Although there was a heightened sense of urgency and fear, it was amazing that everyone reacted as training dictated and maintained professionalism. I expect that the sailors onboard the Hartford reacted in the same way. Keith, you are exactly on point when you said, “when it is all over, you start shaking…” I think every crew member did. It has had a significant impact on me and one of the reasons I stayed in.

  44. Radioactive leaks??
    I have worked on subs for the last 7 years and I can tell you without a doubt that it would take a large explosion or something near to that on top of the coolant piping to cause anything remotely close to causing a rad leak.

    The taxi comment was more of a little knock against surface folk because they have it easier than subs, just bc they have more people are able to spread the workload around more.

    I have found out that the damage to the New Orleans was a 18 X 16 foot hole.

    I wouldn’t doubt them coming back to groton for repairs just bc of drydock periods being open. And the San Fran made the trip back to bremeton on the surface, yes it is longer but the san fran had much more damage done to her even after visiting Big Blue in Guam. Of course all the repair is still either classified or written in warm jello.

  45. Yep, I read the same about the Hartford, and confirmed it with my son today. Somewhere on the east coast probably. Either Groton, New Hampshire, and on the outside Virginia. Electric Boat, who built the Hartford, is bidding hard for the job. They have open dry docks right now.
    That will be a topsy turvy journey traveling on the surface all that way.
    They’re trying to do some work to her so if really needed, she can submerge a bit to manage hurricane seas.

  46. I would not worry about a radiation leak. By the Looks of the photos the damage was to the sail area and not near the reactor compartment. I was on the Philly when it got T-boned by a Turkish freighter in the same area in 2005 and our engine room sustained no damage. As for the bridge trunk area, there is a separate hatch that will make the people tank watertight depending on the damage that the Hartford sustained. I expect the Hartford to be in Bahrain for no less than a month before they figure out what to do with her. Then it will probably be a surface transit or drydock transit like the USS Cole did after her incident. After all is said and done I don’t expect it them to be doing anything soon. The crew is probably still in shock and awe from the accident. I was leary when we dove for the first time when we left port and came back. Just thank EB for yet another well built boat. Once again they have proven that they didnt cut any corners and built an awsome war machine!!

  47. Not sure piggy backing the submarine is acutally feasible…being a nuclear sub, even sitting still requires a significant amount of water for reactor cooling…do not think any of the haulers are set up for this reality. As for the radiation leak…I worry about any radiation leaks, it is my issue, what upsets me in life. Was very upsetting earlier today to have a nuclear sub crew member say I should not worry about it, that nuclear subs dump radiation into the ocean on a regular basis…if that is true, then we need to park our entire nuclear fleet until they can be cut up.

  48. Strike Force News,
    It is good to be concerned about the environment; I also feel that mankind has a stewardship over the Earth, and in general we have not been doing a very good job. I also think that it is careless for a nuclear sub crew member to mention that subs dump radiation into the ocean on a regular basis and just leave it at that – it deserves an explanation.
    I also recognize that, since I am a former nuclear submarine officer, and a person with a BS in Nuclear Engineering, that you probably are leery of anything that I might say. So I strongly encourage you to do some research on your own, and learn what you can about radiation. If radiation leaks are your issue, the thing that upsets you in life, then you should start by learning about background radiation – the radiation that occurs naturally in the environment. By far the biggest source is the sun, which bombards the earth with gamma radiation 24/7. Airline pilots accumulate a pretty fair dose of this type of radiation (in fact, when a submarine deploys, the crew receives less radiation than their families back at home because their families don’t have several hundred feet of seawater shielding them from this type of radiation, and the reactor is very well shielded). But there is also radiation in the natural materials all around us. If you live in an area with lots of granite rocks, you receive a pretty good dose from the decay of the uranium and all of the other radioactive members of that decay chain. If you eat bananas, you get radiation from the naturally ocurring potassium that bananas are a rich source of (K-41). OK, I’m not trying to lecture, I’m just making the point that there is naturally ocurring radiation in nearly everything on earth. If you learn about all the sources of background radiation, then you’ll find that a coal-fired power plant releases far greater amounts of radiation from its smokestack into the enviroment than any nuclear plant (including subs) ever would, and nobody ever talks about this type of radiation leakage.
    Why not? Because the amount of radiation that we are talking about is so extremely tiny that you couldn’t really measure a change in the natural background levels. When they made such a big flap about the Houston leaking while it was in-port in Japan, they went back and audited the amount of radiation that it leaked, and it was 0.5 microCuries – about the same amount of radiation that is contained in a bag of fertilizer. SO – the words “radiation leak” are very serious and very scary – but if you care enough to dig in and investigate the effect, you will see that for the most part, radiation leaks from operating nuclear power plants have had no significant effect on the environment (the obvious exception is Chernobyl, where the radiation leaked from that event has polluted hundreds of square miles, killed thousands of people, and will continue to negatively affect plant and animal life for hundreds of years). I am not saying that it is silly to be concerned about radiation leaks – we must demand that people who are in that business follow procedures and are totally honest with us when they have a problem. But I am saying that, especially in the British and French press in the weeks after their two subs collided, the only people who are talking about radiation leaks are people who don’t understand how nuclear reactors and submarines are constructed and operated. So before you suggest somewhere else that we park our nuclear fleet, I urge you to figure out how much radiation the conventional fleet (or even your car) releases as a result of liberating the naturally ocurring decay products that are present in the fuel.

  49. Keith,
    I wish you could cut and paste that explaination into every US paper, because that is the best explaination I have read for a non-nuke.

  50. Keith, thanks for the education! My questions is why can’t the media seem to share this information? Seems all they want to do is scare people.

  51. Dear Keith:

    I might suggest you read “No Immediate Danger” written by Dr. Rosalie Bertell…the book is out of print, so might take some work to get your hands on a copy.

    I am quite familiar with background radiation, and the scam it is…no disrespect meant. Background radiation fails to take into account a second important issue…how you were exposed, and what kind of exposure it was. IE, the NRC is poo pooing Tritium Exposure, primarily because the DOE/DOD ability to produce Tritium went bye bye when safety concerns saw the closure of their Tritum producing reactors, which now has the DOD relying upon COMMERICAL REACTORS for the Tritium they need to recharge our Nuclear Arsenal….simply stated, from our government’s position it makes more sense to ADJUST public perception of risk, get them to accept the ever increasing number of Tritium Leaks into our local rector host communities in the name of National Security…my response…in the past three years I have had too put two of our cats down due to cancer, and this past year my wife was diagnsed with cancer…can we say cluster?

    Sure you are familiar with Chernobyl…what you may not know, is Global Warming really kicked into HIGH GEAR after that event…do you know what they are finding in those melting ice caps? Celsium 137. Further, if you do some research, it is believed that uranium/radiation that is suspended in Ocean Water somehow helps in keeping the ocean from freezing. Now, what if those ROUTINE dumps of radioactive materials into the ocean are upsetting natures balance…like putting too much antifreeze in your car’s radiator? I cannot answer that, can only pose the What If Question.

    I used to have a very informative website up that I had to let go when the costs of maining it became to expensive. I’m not some uninformed person here. I am all too familiar with the lies we are fed as Americans in the name of preserving our Nuclear Superiority. IE…nuclear is a CO2 free source of energy…not if you take a cradle to grave look at the ENTIRE PROCESS….as example, fuel fabrication is the most CO2 intensive process known to mankind. Do you know how you get from mining Uranium Rock to Yellow Cake and then onto having actual usable say reactor grade rods?

    A court just two days ago ruled in favor of the NRC saying they do not need to factor in the costs of a Terrorist Attack in the Site Specific EIS when relicensing nuclear reactors…their reason…the chance of a successful terrorist attack or significant accident at said sites is too remote as to be worth consideration. That court decision unless appealed is likely to see the oldest and one of the most dangerous reactors in America relicensed for another 20 years AGAINST THE HOST COMMUNITIES WISHES. That is our American Democracy…a court being BOUGHT OFF in the name of National Security, communities forced to host Nuclear Abortion Machines…a woman living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor has a 25 percent greater chance of giving birth too a stillborn child. Do your math…if you live in that circle and your hospital saw 100 stillborns in a year, that means 25 of those babies were killed on the Altar of Nuclear Power.

    That is the problem, the Military/Commercial Nuclear Industry does not want us to attach a face to the risks and the deaths that are caused by Nuclear Energy…for me, those risks have a face…MY WIFE.

  52. Keith:

    Another question…

    The governments own estimates put the costs of a clean up after a major event at Indian Point (24 miles up the Hudson River from Manhattan could quickly exceed $500 Billion Dollars, could easily run into the Trillions. It would for decades create a DEAD ZONE too radioactively contaminated for human habitation. Now, lets just set all this doom and gloom aside for a few moments.

    The Nuclear Industry to even exist has been granted a WAIVER OF LIABILITY…sure you can read the Price Anderson Act. Simply stated, it is impossible for any of us that live by a Nuclear Reactor to get any insurance to cover a accident or terrorist attack at those facilities. If you look at postulated Plume Maps after a major release, a whole much of homeowner are going to see their house UNLIVABLE.

    Now, the Nuclear Industries TOTAL LIABILITY is capped at $8-10 Billion. If you carefully read the Price Anderson Act, they get to spend a part of that money RESTORING PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE to get electricity back up onto the Grid…priced a Nuclear Reactor lately?

    Lets be conservative…was a relatively small National Emergency…$100 Billion, or 20 percent of the governments estimate for a MAJOR nuclear reactor accident. Now, look at DHS, look at FEMA, look at our Federal Government inability to adequately fund the recovery of New Orleans, say to yourself Hurrican Katrina, then explain to me how Nuclear even in Submarines IS A GOOD THING?

  53. Natural Decay Chain….almost forgot Keith…

    Find it sad you play TRICKS with the reads here…Nuclear Reactors, even the Uranium Enrichment process create UNNATURAL new products that bring with them very unnatural daughter chains in the decay process. I used to live in South Eastern Ohio, have a much larger than average knowledge of the Gaseous Diffusion Plants. The fuel used in your nuclear submarines IS NOT NATURAL, it is a mutated and dangerous manmade product.

    Do yourself a favor…do your own research. At the time it was built, the Portsmouth Gasous Diffussion Plant was the largest under roof industrial complex ever built…to run that facility the DOD/DOE complex needed NINE DEDICATED COAL BURNING power plants…in one day that facility used enough electricity to power all of Los Angeles County for one full year…it was open and was operated for 50 years with its twin facility in Paducah Kentucky….do the math, figure out the carbon footprint and then tell the readers here that Nuclear is safe, secure, vital Green Energy.

    Curious…ever been out to say Utah? Visited any of the areas where there are abandoned Uranium Mines with a Geiger Counter? Can you explain to me why it took an act of Congress to get DOE/DOD employees exposed to the Commercial/Military Nuclear Complex the compensation they deserve for cancers gotten from radioactive exposures. Yet we have the Navy, have NIE wanting to tell us HOW SAFE the industry is. Sorry, I was never one that appreciated PROPAGANDA.

  54. How did I know that eventually this would turn into some “nuclear power is bad” rant!

    First of all, let’s get one thing straight.

    Radiation and Contamination are two different but related items.

    RADIATION (as defined at   
    –noun 1. Physics. a. the process in which energy is emitted as particles or waves.
    b. the complete process in which energy is emitted by one body, transmitted through an intervening medium or space, and absorbed by another body.
    c. the energy transferred by these processes.

    2. the act or process of radiating.
    3. something that is radiated.
    4. radial arrangement of parts.

    CONTAMINATION (can’t find a good definition relevant to the topic)

    Contamination is the actual radioactive particle that is released, usually a by-product of fission. This by-broduct decays, and gives off radiation. Therefore, it is a misnomer to say “radiation leak”. Reactor plants don’t “leak” radiation. They “emit” radiation during normal operation, and following plant shutdown due to fission product decay. But, as previously stated the equivalent dose from Naval Nuclear Propulsion is much, much smaller than that which is obtained from normal day to day activities. Take a look at how much radiation exposure there is from smoking, going to the beach, and here’s a good one…radiation treatment for cancer.

    Now, when it comes to Propaganda, it seems interesting that the anti-nuclear movement is so quick to jump onto facts and fiction to scare the public, but they seem to shy away from the number of positives. What’s the average annual death toll due to smoking compared with that of Nuclear Power? How about drunk drivers? Or for that matter, motor vehicle accidents as a whole? Should we outlaw all motor vehicles because of there track record?

    With that being said, I step down from my soapbox, and ask that we bring this thread back on topic, and focus on our sailors that are out there defending your right to be way too opinionated for your own good!

  55. A Proud OWNER OF DOLPHINS….first, you should let people know then that you HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN NUCLEAR.

    Secondly, you show your ignorance or bias in saying reactors don’t leak radiation. ON February 21st (as one example) an underground pipe burst at Entergy’s Indian Point Reactors…they have no idea how long the pipe had been leaking, but what they do know, is the BURST PIPE leaked over 100,000 gallons of tritium contaminated water into the Hudson River.
    Federal and Indian Point officials last week announced – and quickly moved to repair – a broken pipe that was leaking radioactive water into a discharge canal that drains into the Hudson River. Federal regulators said that the tritium leak was not a safety risk to workers or the public. Here is a comment from an activist opposed to the relicensure of Indian Point.

    Once again, Indian Point unexpectedly springs a leak and releases more radioactive material into the environment and directly into the Hudson River. This leak of tritiated water, at a rate of 18 gallons per minute, highlights a serious issue in the relicensing process that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has refused to answer.

    It’s funny…Federal Authorities ALWAYS CLAIM there is no safety risk to workers or public…usually they toss in the word Immediate. Now, if there are no leaks, how come the NRC has refused to released the Leak Inventories for Indian Point? I can answer that for you…those reports would create serious problems for the reactor right now while they are desparately trying to get relicensed for another 20 years of operation.

    You want to BRING THIS THREAD back on target…it is on target…where are the test results of the water directly underneath the USS Hartford? Why is Fifth Fleet Command refusing to answer a simple question or two…were there any burst pipes and broken seals in the reactor cooling system, and if affirmative, were the sailors at any time exposed as a result of these releases into the submarines environment. So that you know, Yes I have posed these questions to Fifth Fleet Command.

  56. You’re right, I do have a vested interest in nuclear power. I worked on a nuclear powered vessel for 4 years, and taught at a nuclear power training facility for 2 years before that. Surprisingly, during my 4 years on board, there were many a time when that nuclear powered vessel kept the lights on and provided the needed electricity to make the water and the fresh air to keep me alive, so yeah, i had a vested interest.
    Now, I work at a shipyard that services nuclear powered and conventionally powered vessels, so i guess i still have a vested interest.

    I’m sorry to hear about a power plant’s plumbing problem, but that doesn’t confirm that the reactor plant “leaked radiation” by design.
    Accidents and design flaws happen. That is why Naval Nuclear Propulsion is built and designed with a much higher design margin then that of a conventional nuclear power plant.

    I could explain to you in very clear detail why your concerns of damaged piping in the reactor plant is proposterous, but quite frankly, you don’t have the need to know, nor the security clearance to be told about the design factors involved. Also, I don’t think your closed-minded look at nuclear power would allow you to believe that the navy has been operating over 100 reactors safely for the past 50+ years.

    Again, I reiterate, accidents happen in any category of life. As a human race, it is our responsibility to learn from those accidents and try our hardest to prevent them from occurring again.

    As for why 5th Fleet hasn’t responded to your questions. Frankly sir, they don’t give a damn about your request, and are more concerned with an entire fleet and not some anti-nuclear, tree hugging, let’s save the planet one nuclear reactor at a time egghead. They have no legal obligation to release that information to you personally. They will release there findings, if any, when they have concluded the investigation. Anything that is not classified as Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information, or NOFORN, will be released to the public. At that time, you will get the information you need to continue your anti-nuclear power campaign of futility.

    I’m sure that in a couple of years, when wind turbines become even more prominent on the landscape of our country, you’ll read some report about the sound waves that the wind turbines emit being bad for the environment and you’ll toil away for another few years creating websites that nobody looks at to “fight the good fight” against wind energy.

    To sum it up, GET A LIFE, control the things you can control, and if you don’t like nuclear power, move to a country that doesn’t utilize it in some way shape or form, and leave the rest of us alone!

  57. Dolphin Wings…as suspected, you are BIASED…a perfect example of why there is no real barrier between the Commercial and Military. Without the Commercial Nuclear Industry, there is no place to put Nuclear Sailors when they get out, and that does create problems. IE…take yourself…you have knowledge that the Government wishes to keep secret, and if you were unable to find work in your field, we both know that “Loose Lips sink ships,”…yes, for the record I was in the Navy back in the 70’s, permanent duty station was now closed Cecil Field.

    Let’s have some HONESTY here Mr, Dolphin Wings…care to explain to me, to the readers why the NOFORN folks have not released nuclear accident information? Care to explain to me why Admiral Skip Bowman (formerly the head of NEI, and before that, in charge of the nuclear Navy) used to make the FALSE CLAIM that the Nuclear Navy has never had a serious accident (two sunk nuclear subs)?

    Let me quess…you are only willing to defend the rights of Americans when they AGREE WITH YOU? You are upset that people like me through persistance find out little secrets that our Government, that the nuclear industry (both Commercial and Military) would prefer we not know…I’ve spent a whole lot of time on EPRI…it is scary what they admit there as relates to the SAFETY of nuclear power. Care to talk about NERAC? Yes, have reviewed a whole lot of the information surrounding that Special Committee created in the DOE back in the days of CLinton to evaluate A) the state of the nuclear industry, and B) decide if it was worth saving. It was decided the industry needed to be saved for National Security Reasons. Further, it was decided that the Commercial Nuclear Industry could only be saved if the NRC rubber stamped the license renewals of every currently operating nuclear reactor…reason…Wall Street, even with loan guarantees would not touch the industry if it could not maintain market share during the transition to a new fleet of reactors (more than likely the AP1000’s).

    GNEP came out of NERAC as a hopeful means to deal with the waste streams from nuclear power. First, the program should be rejected because it makes America the DEFACTO waste dump for the entire world’s nuclear reactor wastes. Stripping away all the fluff and spelling it out in simple terms.

    1. Other nations sign onto GNEP, and agree not to pursue THE BOMB.
    2. In exhange for the promise America gives them access to the technology to have nuclear power/reactors.
    3. We further agree to meet/supply all of their fuel needs.
    4. When said fuel has been burned up in the energy cycle, we agree to return said waste for storage and eventual reprocessing.

    Now the GNEP fuel reprocessing plant (that carries a price tag of up to $5 Trillion Dollars…talk about bailout) is unproven technology. Even worse, the fuel it would create has no customers, would have no customers for at lease 150 years. Do your homework…the ODDS ON FAVORITE for the new generation of reactors (envisioned at 4000 world wide) is the AP1000, or other reactors that operate on the same principles. NONE OF THOSE REACTORS has the ability to burn this proposed HYBRID FUEL.

    Simply stated, GNEP is smoke an mirrors, just another way to push further down the road the day when the Nuclear Industry actually has to deal with its waste streams…for those that do not know, the Nuclear Fuel Industry after 50 years has yet to safely dispose of one ounce of thier waste streams. Seeing as both Senator Reid and President Obama have KILLED YUCCA MOUNTAIN, there is no ANSWER for this very real problem.

    Which is why the NRC is seeking to push out to 130 years the time reactor licensees can temporarily store thier wastes ON SITE where they sit…even though DOE was/is legally responsible to remove those waste streams from said sites by 1998. Dry Cask storage is not the answer either…FACT…the casks currently being deployed are licensed for a period of 20 years. Which means in 20 years the spent fuel will have to be moved into NEW CASKS…in short, the Dry Cask Storage system currently deployed A) just buys time, and B) creates even more waste streams requiring disposal at a disposal site THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

  58. To the parents of sailors serving on the Hartford as well as the New Orleans, I apologize for my rant on “Strke Force”. I am just as concerned as you are about the safety and security of your children. The submarine community is a tight knit brotherhood that believes in protecting our own. I wish you all the best, and hope that your fears and worries can be calmed by the educational posts made here.
    I will be happy to comment on any further responses by parents and family members of these sailors. It is there concerns that need to be addressed during the recovery from this incident.

  59. My goodness guys!!

    Strike Force News…I am so sorry about your wife and cats!! You must be absolutely devastated! It is heart-breaking to see someone you love die from such a destructive disease and not be able to do anything about it. My heart goes out to you right now.

    Blessings, Karen

  60. Thanks Karen…

    For now, my wife is doing good. She is finished with radiation (which comes with its own issues). She was/is estrogen dominant, so to avoid (hopefully) a recurrance we had all her female parts taken out this past December. We now are in our five year watch, which seems to be the magic window we are all told to look towards. She just had her six month out Mamogram…thank God nothing was there.

    I obviously wear a different pair of rose tinted glasses than Dolphin Wings does…does not make either of us right or wrong, it is just the way it is, and this thread exemplifies why Nuclear is such a difficult subject to bridge…there is NO MIDDLE GROUND.

    Again, thanks for your blessings.

  61. Sorry, he posted while I was apologizing, and managed to piss me off…

    I believe that you have the right to voice your opinion. However biased it may be. I did, and would if called upon again, defend your right as an american again.

    With regards to Admiral Bowman’s comments, the naval nuclear propulsion program has not had a major nuclear accident. Yes, we lost two nuclear powered submarines, and all hands (including civilians in the case of the Thresher), but neither of those tragic losses were due to the operation of the reactor plant. Those ships would have been lost regardless of the type of propulsion. The Thresher was believed lost as a result of flooding and a poorly designed Emergency Blow system. The Scorpion was lost as a result of a problem with a torpedo. Again, nothing to do with the Nuclear Power Plant. Tell me, how would these losses have been changed if the submarines were powered by diesel-electric systems?

    Yes, the commercial nuclear power industry is filled with prior naval nuclear propulsion sailors. The reason for this, is because of our past experience with nuclear power, and the fact that we have a propensity for learning things at a rapid pace. Why would you want to hire someone with zero experience when you have a perfectly well qualified candidate with prior operational experience? Seems pretty logical to me.
    As for my continued affiliation with nuclear power, that is because I took my experience and chose to continue working for the Department of Defense in the ship repair industry. If commercial nuclear power went away tomorrow you wouldn’t see me bat an eyelash. I would be upset that our national energy grid would be crippled due to the loss of electrical energy, and that our energy bills would rise dramatically, and that as an economy we would be crippled by the hit to our infrastructure, but other than that, I think I would be okay with it.
    Do you really think that the “National Security Concern” of nuclear energy was purely routed in the by-products of nuclear power plants? Or could it be some of the things I mentioned above?

    With that being said, I’m done with my rant on those that are stupid. (and yes, I will still defend your right to be stupid even though I don’t agree with you.)

  62. Dear Jesus:

    Today I pray for Strike Force’s wife. I pray that you would provide continued healing from her cancer and give her renewed energy and strength. Give her and Strike Force hope for their future and a sense of your presence. You love both of them so much and I just ask that you would show them the many ways You care for them. I pray that you would strike down any cancer cells that want to start growing again. Give her doctors the wisdom they need to take care of all of her medical needs and for her entire well-being. Today, I ask that she feel your enormous love and care for her.

    In Jesus Precious Name, Karen

  63. Dolphin:

    You know what scares me…is that you, that the Nuclear Navy are so arrogant that you believe your own propaganda, believe you are doing A GREAT JOB of keeping your secret safe. You folks need to find yourselves a few old crusty turds like me to give you a clue, to teach you how to think OUTSIDE of that box you are in.

    Let me splain….in your post, you tossed out NOFURN.

    Now I already have a certain knowledge of that term…as I said, I was in the Navy, and my brother at one time was in Logistics at the Pentagon. That said, your use of that term allows me to illustrate a point…you people have no clue how to PROTECT your information, are not near as secure as you pretend to be.

    Do a simple Google Search for NOFURN and you quickly get (amonog a great deal of other things) this term:

    Nuclear Capable Intermediate Maintenance…Google Search that, and you will find (among other things) a link an article on nuclear from 2006 on the Defense Daily web site:

    There you will see an active link advertisement for defense industry conferences that will give you all kinds of new search terms that take you to all kinds of PDF files downloadable for free…terms like:

    Infrared Countermeasures and Counter-Countermeasures
    Future Military SATCOM Systems
    Future Surface Warfare
    Future Military Data Links
    C4ISR Systems & Requirements
    C4ISR Architectures
    Airborne Electro Optical Sensor Systems
    Tactical Battlefield Communications
    Space-Based Surveillance & Reconnaissance
    Software Radios
    Software Communications Architectures
    Sea Power 21
    Network-Centric Warfare
    Multi-Intelligence Fusion
    Multi and Hyperspectral Imaging
    Military Sensor Networks
    Link 16
    Joint Tactical Radio System

    I even found a message from top Navy Brass scolding the Defense Suppliers…why? Having Nuclear Propulsion System Information on their websites…WHOOPS. Did you know you can actually find a lot of that information on FOREIGN WEB SITES?

    My point here…you tell me you are a BRIGHT MAN, that you learn really quickly. How about learning how NOT TO USE Military terms and abbreviations on open sites…I’m just a crusty old Boomer, a long haired tree hugging liberal, and I gaithered all that information in about three minutes of interernet searching off ONE WORD YOU POSTED…I did not even try, did not do any serious DATA MINING. I was able to download seven new PDF files to my collection I did not have before. Now if I can do that, what can a serious GEEK MALCONTENT DO?

    We may both love America in different ways, and you may be the one with the Security Clearance and the job, but its us idiots out here in the masses that have a much better handle on things than you people do because you cannot see the forest for the trees.

  64. Hi folks. I am just another USS New Orleans relative hanging about looking for relevant information on the collision. I found Sean’s blog courtesy of the Google and have found some great insight and information here over the last couple of weeks.

    Recently I noticed that well-meaning individuals seem to be ignorning the Cardinal Rule of Cyberspace. This Prime Directive of Public Discourse was promulgated by Al Gore the day after he created the Internet.

    And so in the spirit of the ongoing JAGMAN investigation and any Inconvenient Truths that may subequently revealed, I offer the following reminder and guidance as a gift:

    *hangs up sign* “DON’T FEED THE TROLLS”

    Everyone has a right to their opinion, as well as the right to express it. And those of us who disagree or disapprove have a right to ignore those people. And I’ll leave it at that. There will be no further posts from me unless there is meaningful, unclassified information about either ship that I can share.

    On a personal level, my prayers go out to all those facing times of trial and tribulation as well as to their relatives and friends. And to my fellow friends and family members of sailors on USS Hartford and USS New Orleans, hang in there.

  65. SFN,
    Wow. I have never encountered a person who could use so many of the right words in such an unusual manner that it demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the topic. You actually had a couple of good thoughts in your many rants, but you carefully camouflaged them with such inane dribble that nobody will ever take you seriously. Also, it would probably help your credibility some if you would just slow down a bit and work on getting the spelling right – I mean “NOFURN”? (Twice!) When I google that term, as you suggested, all I get is ads for unfurnished apartments.
    It is clear that both of us have done a lot of research in this area. I studied scientific journals and conducted experiments at the University of New Mexico (they had an operating reactor that they allowed the undergraduates to operate!). You studied the manifestos of conspiracy theorists who want to rid the world of nuclear power.
    But let’s put your knowledge deficiency aside for a moment and discuss the only issue that is important in this forum – you have violated the most important dictum for authors: Know your audience. What are you trying to accomplish here? Do you suppose that anybody who could have any perceivable effect on the way that our military establishment functions would actually be reading Sean Percival’s blog? The only people who are here are people who are friends and family of crewmembers of these two ships. They may or may not agree with the party in power, or with the way the DoD handle things, or even with the war on terror (excuse me, I meant Overseas Contingency Operations), but they absolutely support their servicemen. So you come in here and, and, and – I’m not really sure exactly what your are trying to accomplish, but it seems like the opposite of showing support for the crewmembers.
    So, I’m done responding to your conspiracy accusations. I will point out that I hope that the other readers on this blog don’t actually accept as scientific facts the things that you have accepted. Background Radiation is not a “Scam” – you cite it yourself when you mention the mines in Utah.
    The fuel used in nuclear reactors is not some unnatural thing that men have created. That is the whole point of the gaseous diffusion plants that you claim to know so much about – we don’t “create” the nuclides necessary to fuel nuclear plants, so we have to filter through piles and piles of the natural stuff and pick out the nuclides that will work. All radioactive particles that are created in the fission process are completely contained in the fuel rods, which you mentioned. You imply that the government has contracted with civilian companies to create tritium because the goverment supply is leaking away, when the real reason is that it is decaying away, half of it every 12.3 years.
    Hartford (or any other submarine) families, if you are still reading this, I hope that you will do your own research about the things that SFN mentions. The design, construction, operation and maintenance of every naval nuclear propulsion plant is the best in the world. The Navy may not tell you everything you want to know about everything that you wonder about, but I can vouch for the fact that the principles they teach in nuke school and enforce in the fleet are valid scientific principles and are backed up by scientific research. Please continue to let your crewmember know that you support him. He’s going to need it because it is going to be a long year.

  66. How did this get to be a rant about nuclear power. I think we established that the power plant was not damaged. They made it to port under their own power. So please lets keep this focused on the matter at hand. Lets praise EB and all of their efforts and technical know how and thank the Lord above for watching over these sailors. I can tell you that the buzz going around the sub fleet is that they are very lucky that they did not end up on eternal patrol like the Thresher and the Scorpion. The only thing that probably saved them was the bridge trunk.

  67. Keith:

    The fact that two people look at the same material and draw two different conclusions is not unusual…what I find amusing in a sad way, is the way you as a pro nuclear person want to attack me personally, want to impunge my sources…since when is EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) a conspiracy source of information? Almost any nuclear energy report, study, investigation going on right down in the nuclear industry, involving the NRC, NEI or DOE has EPRI involved in the process. Until 9/11, it was one of the greatest citizens resources around, but now under the guise of “Need To Know” our access to studies paid for with our taxes have been hidden away behind the fortress like walls of that once open institution.

    You show your inability to discuss the issues when you start picking on my typo…IE FoCURN…try changing the U to an O…meanwhile, you have not RUFTED WITH ANY facts any of the points I made, but instead simply want to wave some magic wand and say GO AWAY, you have NOL Bro suggesting I am a troll…read what Ex Philly says….those sailors are lucky they did not end up in Davy Jones locker…you know that is true, I know it is true, and so does Naval Command. We just missed having a nuclear fast attack sub SINK off the cost of Iran, and that is an inconvenient truth the Navy does not want out.

    Two sources in Bahrain have stated that water samples are being requested by LOCAL AUTHORITIES for independent testing to ascertain the severity of radiation leaks…I did not make that up, and that reality concerns me, gives me pause to worry about EVERY CREW MEMBER on the USS Hartford.

    Your terrorist reference…lets put it into perspective, and perhaps in doing so put into perspective what extremes our government goes to in the name of preserving the military/commercial nuclear industry. Oyster Creek is the oldest Nuclear Reactor in America, has even more problems than Indian Point. The NRC is desparately trying to keep the evaluation and cost of recovery from a Terrorist Attack out of consideration in the GEIS for License Renewal…the citizens of New Jersey appealed this case and lost because the Judges (in the name of National Security) embraced the NRC’s belief that the chance of a terrorist attack on a reactor is too remote to even be considered…yesterday, one day after that court decision, and before New Jersey even had a chance to file their appeal the NRC approved the License Renewal, making appeal to the Supreme Court somewhat an academic arguement.

    I can give you links to over 100 DHS and other government documents that admit an attack on the critical infrastructure of a nuclear reactor is a National Security Threat….but let me guess, you smell nothing odd in that legal decision by the court? Or perhaps you think it is OK in the name of National Security to FORCE COMMUNITIES to host these reaactors?

    By the way…since you are the self proclaimed EXPERT on exposures, want to tell those that have crew members on the USS Harfford the difference between EXPOSURE AND INGESTION?

  68. Please can you two just stop, go to your corners. This is not about nuclear power. It is about 2 ships the hit each other in the forward ends and thats that. If you want to debate over nuclear power go to a forum that does has those. SFN greenpeace has a great forum that you can go and plan your little protest and rank and raves and talk about how monooxygen dihydrogen kills or is a major factor in more people deaths each year than any other single source. Keith do what ever you do.

    Everyone else just pray for your sailors and soldiers.

  69. Global Warming??? Are you kidding? You’ve obviously drunk too much kool-aid there guy. You do yourself harm every time you speak. I recommend you stop before you loose all credibility.

    Now, anyone have any further knowledge on the actual incident or the follow-up?

  70. From my son who was on the NO who talked to some sailors on the sub (or whatever they are called), the guys on the sub are thankful that the sub is “over-engineered” and they were thankful they weren’t in the kitchen when the sub hit the NO.

    As a mom, I am thankful that everyone was fine and any injuries were minor.

    Blessings, Karen : )

  71. More speculation as to the cause… After reading about a prior collision between the Newport News and a Japanese tanker, it seems plausible that something similar happened between the New Orleans and the Hartford. Imagine this – The Hartford, being in a restricted navigation area with her mission requiring she stay submerged, doesn’t have much navigation latitude so to speak (pun intended), and can’t easily “clear her baffles” and most definitely isn’t towing a sonar array. Now, if the Hartford somehow came up on her in her baffles (from behind) then it’s possible sonar wouldn’t have the New Orleans on her contact list. Then bam, the New Orleans passes over her, and sucks her into the belly of the New Orleans.

    After all, neither the New Orleans nor the Hartford would intentionally make noise or go active on their sonar. Both are designed to be as undetectable as possible. And the timing, exact course, depth, speed, etc. are only constrained by operational orders, which in my (obsolete) experience leave much to the discretion of the skippers.

    So I speculate this it is possible the Hartford made all reasonable efforts to competently detect and track surface contacts, had little choice as to her course, depth and prudent speed, and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is certainly risk associated with transiting a busy, relatively small and shallow shipping lane in hostile waters, even if you do everything right.

  72. Sorry to hear about your cats and wife. Sorry to hear about your disatifsication with your service to this country. Kieth put it as best and politely as he could. Know your audience. This site is not for you bud. I did click on your “STRIKEFORCENEWS” link, which, coidincincly is actually the name of a USCG web site for US Citizens who proudly serve their country. I also noticed a donation area for what appears to help bring troops home. I tried to go to the site but it does not exist. How strange that the site does not exist! Not tax deductable? Astounding! I Googled it and came up empty handed with the exceptions of some conspiracy theorists sites and anti-goverment sites with links aimed at the same donation link. Sir, onbehalf of most everyone here, please stop with your rants and raves, tend to your wife, who needs your help, and leave the family and friends of those concerened about the incident alone. To everyone else, PLEASE STOP TALKING TO HIM…

  73. Bottom Gun to answer your question……
    A simple answer to your question that starts with a W.
    “Whinny and Moo”……………….DBF!

  74. Bottom Gun……good call.
    So “crusty” skivvies have to be chipped off with a hammer!

  75. My son was born in 1983 and joined the Navy 8 months after he graduated from HS in 2001 and 5 months after 9/11. He was in college, but he felt he needed to do more for himself and the Country he lives in. He did not discuss with me that he was joining or that he had joined until he was already sworn in, and he was gone 2 weeks after that on his only siblings 9th birthday. I knew it took alot of courage to make that decision on his own and as a mother I felt that very deep in my soul. He went through 2 years of Nuclear Power Training and is a Nuc on the Hartford. He has completed 2 6 month deployments ( 1 around the world), many other shorter runs and an Artic excursion on another sub in Groton before joining the Hartford. Their deployment started a few days before Thanksgiving and I had only heard from him one time in Jan until this accident occured. The Hartfords ombudsman phoned within 48 hours letting us know that our sailors were safely in port and they would be calling home within 24 hours, in the meantime of course we had heard about it on the news and were scouring the internet for any information we could get our hands on. I would not leave the house until I got his call.
    Hearing him say Hi Mom was such a relief! He was 2 hours short of duty in the engine room and in his rack when the Hartford was hit.Being asleep and waking up disorientated , stuck in his rack with bodies,mattresses, and everything else flying around that wasnt connected to the boat -his thought for about 10-15 seconds was that they hit an underwater mountain and they were sinking due to the 85 degree roll the sub made. When they were able to get their grounding they got dressed quickly and did the jobs they are trained to do smoothly. The worst injuries I was told were broken ribs, alot of scrapes and bruises. It definetely was a sound he will never froget when the collision happened and yes….he was shooken up! Its a bidding situation now on where the Hartford will go for dry-dock and repairs. When I spoke to my son 7 days ago, they had a time frame of when they were planning on pulling out of Bahrain but not sure where they were going yet. Iam waiting to hear from him anyday, as Iam sure all of the sailors family and friends are. I have to say, all this talk about Radiation leaks and exposure to the crew, the possible dangers of not being able to submerge in hostile waters, piracey and staying above the ocean to their destination has me scared and worried! In a way, I wish I had never read any of this!!! Also, whether you served in any of our armed forces before the 1980s or after, were drafted or joined on your own free will- you are all human beings fighting for the safety and freedom of our country! I thank each and everyone of you for doing that for me and my family, and I cant say that enough! The first call I recieved from my son in Bahrain- he told me he re-enlisted on this deployment- I asked him why he made this decision and he said……….” I love what I do!” What can I say to that?! I pray for a safe return home to all aboard the Hartford and the NO.

  76. Proud Hartford Mom – My prayers are with your family. Your son and my nephew, Will, are boat mates. I’m proud they have each other and their mates onboard during a crisis. God Bless them all.
    Aunt Kathi

  77. Proud Hartford Mom, I happy to see that your son is doing fine, but I did have a little laugh also. Being a Nuc I betting that another good reason for his reenlistment was the tax-free bonus that Obama is taking away. I can’t blame him I would have done the same thing.
    As for the transiet thru hostile waters don’t worry. They will not be alone. Subs may not be able to defend themselves on the surface but a couple of frigates or destoriers would probably escort them all the way home. Just leaving port from Groton they get escorted by a USCG Cutter. So PHM i leave you with this, don’t crush him with your hugs and kisses when you get to see him in a couple of months.

  78. Aunt Kathi- My prayers are also with you and your family. I will have to ask my son about Will the next time we talk 🙂
    A Sailorbornafter1980- you are right- of course he got a tax free re-enlistment bonus, He better! I have to say, it throws a curve in the final decision- but I also know he is a natural at what he does and loves it. He would not of stayed in if he did not. He is ready for shore duty and trying to settle down for alittle while. Hopefully he will get stationed on the west coast where he is from and I ll get to see him more than once a year. I feel better reading your response about the transit where ever they go, although you did say PROBABLY. I hope that is a FOR SURE. I hope it will only be a couple of months before we see each other. If anyone hears anything-please let us all know. Thanks to all of you for your blogs, thoughts and prayers!

  79. I am keeping my ear to the ground here in Groton about any news. All I have heard is that EB has already started work on a new sail, but that means about as much as it cost me to write it. Will do what I can.

  80. Hey Asba1980- I heard from my son today. The pull out date is 1 week now and they will be escorted. At this point he said its still leaning towards EB but like you said-that doesnt mean much right now. They are welding away, reinforcing, placing new periscopes, camera, and all else they need to replace and then training the guys for the new stuff they are placing. We didnt get to talk too long- they’ve been busy but still time to get some R&R. Well, Ill keep checking back daily- Happy Easter to all! 🙂

  81. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the sailors and families of the USS Hartford and the USS New Orleans.
    Proud Hartford Mother, please for the safety of your son, the other sailors, and all of the people that will support the boat in its transit home, please refrain from mentioning when the boat is due to pull out of port or what is being done to the boat in preparation to leave. Remember the submarine force is the silent service.

  82. What good news for the USN and Captain Phillips! Very relieved to hear that and he is in good spirits and safe along with his crew. I ditto the Kudos to the USN.
    Navy Family member- I totally agree with you and am well aware of Silent Service….but it is no secret what has to be done to the boat for transit. As far as the date, investigation takes at least 30 days- we all know how long it has been and I didnt give an exact date , route, length of time it will take for travel or their porting destination. I appreciate your comment though and my lips are sealed. Thank-you.

  83. Hartford CO relieved of command, sad but necessary for them to do. Waiting for the boat to come home. EB has officially won the bid. Estimated cost $65-$85 million to repair. Going to do SRA while they are there since the Navy already guaranteed that $$ to EB anyways…going to be a long time before she sails again. My estimate is 12-16 months.

  84. Well, with just coming out of Depot Modernization Period in Mid 07 up in Portsmouth and then being deployed…’s very fortunate for the crew and families that EB is doing the work. I think you’re looking at 2 years before that boat is on Sea Trials………….

  85. We are extrememly pleased they are headed home and going to EB that is for sure!

  86. When I heard yesterday that EB had definetely won the bid- that was a great feeling for the men on the Hartford. They can go home! Sorry to hear about the CO- my son is disappointed Iam sure.

  87. I am sure there are a few more to go on the way Hartford mom…can’t be helped, sucks for the whole crew I am sure, it’s not easy to make that kind of transition under normal circumstances. We’ll rest easy when they are finally home.

  88. I was able to findout the schedule and everything today of when they are leaving which is soon since EB has offically won. It will be surface all the way under heavy guard. So PHM don’t worry they will make it back here, (Groton), safe and sound. Everyone pray for the Hartford sailors bc they are about to embark on the worst trip of their lives bc submarines hate the surface. They are all going to be sooooooo sea sick its not even funny. Probably by the time they get back maybe we should get them “swords” to wear. I going to hell for that one.

  89. I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to speculation, but PLEASE don’t post or confirm any more information (unless officially released by the US Navy), about ship movements, dates, durations, force protection, in-transit ports, etc. Even general information on these topics can be dangerous to the men and mission. Remember the old saying, LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS! Even more true on the internet…Nuf said.

  90. Born after 80, EB won the contract sometime last week, and as far as the official date they are leaving that remains to be seen as they haven’t had or passed their recertification yet, which I am sure they will, but their date has bounced around so much in the past week or so it is just speculation as is any other date on any given submarine or surface ship. We all wish the best to CDR Harkins and the crew this week and the weeks to come. We’ll be happy when they are back on US soil.

    Laker girl, my best guess is 30-45 days to steam back home on surface depending on how fast they are going to be allowed to go.

  91. Crusty
    Your right as with all navy schedules they are written in warm jello at best. All my info comes from the water front here in Groton so yeah maybe good info maybe not.

  92. born after 80- Thank you for your update. I dont know what heavily guarded means in Navy terms- but thats alright, they are guarded and that helps me feel more at ease considering the rough ride home the Hartford has to endure. Unfortunately, my son gets car and air sick..! He has ensured me he has stocked up on a Sea Sick Pharmacy! God Speed to all the Hartford Crew and a safe journey back home!

  93. LOL I sure they will a couple of years worth of those little sea sick pills on board. I know that when we were close to the surface the guys started breaking out the pills and tieing trash bags to their belts so they could stay on watch while being green as a pickle. Well when they get here they will have a good welcome and we will take care of them.

    We are all praying for their trip home.

  94. From a site concerned with the welfare of ships and men, a concern we can all equate with whether we be parents, serving members, retired servicemen or women of whoever’s nation, or just thinking people, I was real disappointed to see this site become a battle ground for (C)old war warriors..good to see the ships/boats and their crews making it safely home and the real relief of their families expressed so openly.
    Hopefully, the other protagonists have gone elsewhere to vent their spleen.
    Was also seriously disappointed, as an old and retired intel officer, to see so much material being floated about by people who should have remembered their security briefings and debriefings, and kept their acronyms and info to themselves.
    The villains out there just love these bloggs, and no doubt can pick up enough good intel which they will spend ages sifting through (Remember your shredders in your Embassy in Tehran?..these are real patient bastards).
    Guys, I’m essentially on the same side as you, but please, some of you are really your own worst enemies. Dont go spruiking your often still classified knowledge around if you really want to stay the land of the free…there’s more than a few out there would jump at an opportunity to take OUR freedoms away, and every little bit of the jig-saw puzzle you give them brings their goal one step closer!
    To all the mums, dads, bros and sisters, and any others who cared about the crews of these two vessels – I share your happiness that they all came home safely.
    Oh – and BTW – I was born before 1980…1970..1960..and just after 1950…

  95. OldAussieSailor, you’re absolutely right… too much info concerning the
    USS Hartford on this blog.. It’s just enough to peek curiosity.
    I have a friend on the Hartford and he won’t tell me a thing. He is very smart and discreet. I guess what he doesn’t realize is that I have learned enough right here on this blog. So much for the Silent Service. Those young men calling home to their mothers and wives need to stop disclosing security information. Maybe they don’t know that their family members are blogging the info on the net. I wish my friend and everyone else on the Hartford a Safe trip home..

  96. My husband doesn’t get sea sick, he is a lucky one indeed. Says he was going to load up on sardines for the ride back…he’s so mean. COB not making trip back with the boat, he has been relieved. Not sure about anyone else.

    I know they are all glad to be on their way…too many days spent in port, ready to be home. Hoping for a safe transition, espically back through the Straits.

  97. Saw the pictures of the boat with the sail cocked of to one side. No way it had any reactor plant damage, far too over-engineered. Look at the USS San Fran, survived a head on collision at flank speed and returned to port under her own power. Truly a marvel of engineering and the result of well constructed ships, thank you EB / NNS.

    I spent 5 years directly handling the reactor coolant and working around radioactive materials. The guy Strike Force News doesn’t know what he is talking about. Radiation is all around us, just like Keith said. I used to process the dosimetry (radiation dose detectors) that sailors wear on nuke boats. It’s true, guys like the CO, XO and NAV who spent most of their time “up front” would have a lower dose after a month submerged than they would after a month in port. You are getting “zapped” as you read this….

  98. For the safety of those on the boat we request that you remember what we have all been told about keeping information to ourself. Please remember that we have loved ones on the boat that are still trying to come home safely. It’s nice that our loved ones feel they can confide in us but wont it suck for them to find out that some of us just can’t keep secrets. But then again they will know which ones it is anyway. Blogs don’t just go away.

  99. I think everyone should wait for a full assessment of the incident before passing judgement, the men aboard this submarine are the finest in the Navy.

  100. Hey everyone good news the hartford arrived in Groton today. Everyone thank god for providing these men safe passage back to there home.

  101. Great news about the USS New Orleans and praying for a safe passage back home to San Diego !


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  106. Hi there Keith (Nav) : ) I am that guy that got attacked by a certain first class right after you arrived on the Hartford : ) Glad to know you are out and in the city of one of my favorite radio show personalities (Alex Jones) lol I have been watching the stuff thats been happening to the Hartford since I got out in 97. Weird is all I can say about how many accidents have occured since commision. I was kind of thinking perhaps a watch section clean up detail might have hit a power switch by accident and caused some sonar issues. Late at night big contributor also plus I am not sure how shallow the straight is….. That and a gator freighter sitting with engines shut down bad luck issues I guess….. I have done allright and am very greatful that you stood up for me during the fiasco I was having to deal with at the time. Older now and much more aware ; P I hope life has been good to you sir.

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