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USS Batfish (SSN-681)

Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am
by Radwaste
There are some of you that have served on SSNs as well as SSBNs - you know some of these things. Some of you might wonder...
I was transferred to the Batfish in mid-1983. Wow, what a difference!

1. You could get called out to sea with no notice.
2. There were absolutely NO Priority 1 parts. Those were for boomers. Some of you might remember the Madison sending an SK to Norfolk from Rota, directly there and back, for an XC valve... to get the boat out in time for target coverage?
3. Of course, there was no "other" crew to turn over to.
4. When you went to sea, you could go other places than the Sargasso Sea and Holy Loch: Portsmouth, England. Bergen, Norway. Brest, France. Hamilton, Bermuda. Did you know other navies dip their colors to us? (I wonder if they still do...)
5. Where is the Batfish anchor? The Firth of Clyde, on approach to Holy Loch!
6. Non-sonar guys would be shocked at how much power active sonar on an SSN puts out. The golf ball puts out enough to kill a diver, and the beam is steerable. It sounds like a guy whistling, but it bogs both TGs!
7. General Electric 300KW SSMGs DON'T EAT BRUSHES!
8. It's a PITA having the compartment bills in a different place after you've drilled for years on another boat!
9. The sonar crew I remember as being distinctly more lax than Madison's. I found bulkhead valve noise and went forward to the Sonar Supe, who asked me why I was telling him!

Batfish has been cut up for awhile, now. It had a shorter life than Dolly, not being part of the Triad. Now, back to Dolly!