Pittsburgh Area Sea Cadet News
The Navy League was on hand to recognize the winners of the 2016 Regional Sea Perch Competition held in Pittsburgh in February. Hopewell High School was the top High School Team and Harrison Middle school was the top Middle school team. Both received trophy’s and medals from various sponsors including the Navy League and both received invitations to the 2016 National SeaPerch Competition and need help to raise funds which will allow them to compete at the National Competition in Baton Rouge, LA.
Sea Perch is part of the ongoing mission to encourage our youth to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This was a combined effort by the Navy City Outreach Northeast partnering with Penn State Center Pittsburgh and 4-H of Allegheny County and influential community leaders in Pittsburgh to make the SeaPerch program available to local schools.
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications. For more information, visit http://www.seaperch.org<http://www.seaperch.org/>.
The Pittsburgh Council of the United States Navy League (a 501C 3 organization) is supporting the fund raising effort by asking for you to send your donations through us to help them on their way. While the students are also working on local fundraisers, the costs for registration, travel and lodging will have to be met.
These funds will help to pay their transportation, food and lodging. We need your support as soon as possible but before April 15 2016
Individuals or corporations can assist in one of two ways:
- Contributing on line through the Go Fund Me web site: https://www.gofundme.com/4eqq9a9s
- Send a check made out to Pittsburgh Council U.S. Navy League (write Sea Perch Fund Support in the memo line) to:
Robert W. MacPherson, 3 Circle Drive, West Newton, PA 15089
We will be very grateful for your support. More important, this will help the program to grow for the future and encourage our area winners to pursue this unique opportunity.
I had a great meeting today (January 17, 2016) with the staff of the Pittsburgh Battallion of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This is a great organization sponsored in part by the Pittsburgh Council of the US Navy League. Because of recent changes in the security measures at their old location (Marine Reserve Building) they are seeking a new home in the Pittsburgh Metro Area. This program is a positive program for young people that supports leadership development, personal growth …and service to the community.
The kids learn about inner discipline while they learn about first aid, search and rescue, real world problem solving skills in a setting that is both fun and challenging.
So the challenge will be to find a facility willing to host the group on its drill weekends (2 days a month) and training events for the combined units from Pittsburgh Erie and perhaps some of the local JROTC groups. Funds are limited since the money raised goes towards uniforms, materials and supporting kids with limited incomes. Looking for ideas … Thanks
Mister Mac, CWO2 USN Retired (AKA theleansubmariner)
Some great reading on Deming’s 14 Points. Certainly worth the read for a lean practitioner or someone just starting out in the lean world.
W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points are the basis for transformation of industry. Adoption and action on the 14 points are a signal that the management intend to stay in business. aim to protect investors and jobs. Such a system formed the basis for lessons for top management in Japan in 1950 and in subsequent years.
The 14 points apply anywhere, to small organisations as well as to large ones, to the service industry as well as to manufacturing. They equally apply to any division within a company and to it’s suppliers.
As you read through each of the 14 points below, ask yourself if they still apply today, either within your current organisation, or within organisations you have recently worked for. The answers may be surprising.
1. Constancy of purpose:
Create constancy of purpose toward continual improvement of product and service, with a plan to become competitive and to stay…
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I have been having a lot of fun lately posting some submarine related points of view concerning modern college millennials who are struggling with the world. This is the latest in the series:
I was sent an article today that is very important to those who follow naval ship construction. The author is Hugh Lessig, a writer for the Daily Press at http://www.dailypress.com/
I am reprinting his article with permission.
New Generation of Submarines Is Biggest Question for Huntington Ingalls
Hugh Lessig, Daily Press, Dec 3
“The biggest question facing the nation’s largest military shipbuilder is how will Congress pay for the next generation of ballistic missile submarines, the head of Huntington Ingalls Industries said Thursday.
Aircraft carriers and amphibious warships aside, CEO Mike Petters said the funding strategy for replacing Ohio-class submarines is the number-one issue for the industry, not just the company.
“That could become our greatest opportunity and could also become our greatest risk, if it’s not done right,” Petters said at the Credit Suisse Industrials Conference in Florida.
The Navy plans to replace its aging Ohio-class submarines with a new 12-boat fleet. It wants to purchase the first submarine in 2021. By 2026, it will buy one each year.
But the new subs come with a significant price tag, so Congress created a special fund to pay for them. The National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund is separate from the Navy’s annual shipbuilding budget, and two lawmakers are credited with pushing it: Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn.
They are major advocates for the only two U.S. shipyards that build nuclear-powered submarines: HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat of Groton, Conn.
Some questioned whether a submarine program should be funded outside the Navy budget. Supporters say the nuclear-missile-armed subs are a national asset because they constitutes the undersea portion of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Newport News and Electric Boat are expected to share the work of building the Ohio-class replacement boats, although those details haven’t been worked out. Electric Boat recently cut the ribbon on a new facility in Quonset Point, R.I., to build components for the new subs. The company has added 600 workers in the past year, according to Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.
If Congress uses the deterrence fund like a savings account, socking away money for big bills coming due in the 2020s, the military shipbuilding base can stay healthy, Petters said. If it has to find the money for the subs in its annual shipbuilding budget, that could spell trouble.
At a Forbes-chaired hearing earlier this week, Eric J. Labs, a Congressional Budget Office senior analyst, laid out the sobering math in the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan.
The 2016 plan calls for buying 264 ships at $494 billion over three decades, according to the Navy’s numbers. CBO estimates those same ships would cost $552 billion — and the price is higher when mid-life aircraft carrier refuelings and other work is included.
In other words, if the shipbuilding budget remains static, “the service would not be able to afford its 2016 plan,” Labs said.
He also looked at how the Ohio-class replacement boats impact the 30-year plan.
The first Ohio-class replacement sub is estimated to cost $12.1 billion, including initial research, development and engineering, the Navy says. Boats that follow will cost about $5.7 billion on average. CBO’s estimates are even higher: $13.2 billion for the first in class and $6.8 billion for the 2nd through 12th ships.
Bottom line: With a static shipbuilding budget and a big-ticket submarine fleet, the Navy would end up buying 192 ships over 30 years, not its stated goal of 264, Labs said.
That’s a big concern for HII, which builds destroyers and amphibious warships at its Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss. Those ship programs are more likely to be affected than the aircraft carrier program at Newport News, because the law requires an 11-carrier fleet. There is no such protection for other surface combat ships.
“If the decision is, we’re going to pay for (the new submarines) out of normal shipbuilding accounts, then many, many programs will be impacted over a long period of time,” said Petters. “That will have a tremendously negative impact to the entire shipbuilding industrial base.”
One thing is clear: The new submarines will be built.
“This is a national priority, and it will happen,” Petters said. “It’s a question of, will it crowd out anything else?””
SUBSAFE is a quality assurance program of the United States Navy designed to maintain the safety of the nuclear submarine fleet; specifically, to provide maximum reasonable assurance that subs’ hulls will stay watertight, and that they can recover from unanticipated flooding.
SUBSAFE covers all systems exposed to sea pressure or critical to flooding recovery. All work done and all materials used on those systems are tightly controlled to ensure the material used in their assembly as well as the methods of assembly, maintenance, and testing are correct. They require certification with traceable quality evidence. These measures increase the cost of submarine construction and maintenance.
SUBSAFE addresses only flooding; mission assurance is not a concern, simply a side benefit. Other safety programs and organizations regulate such things as fire safety, weapons systems safety, and nuclear reactor systems safety.
From 1915 to 1963, the United States Navy lost 16 submarines to non-combat related causes. Since SUBSAFE began in 1963, only one submarine, the non-SUBSAFE-certified USS Scorpion (SSN-589), has been lost.
On 10 April 1963, while on a deep test dive about 200 miles off the northeast coast of the United States, USS Thresher (SSN-593) was lost with all hands. The loss of the lead ship of a new, fast, quiet, deep-diving class of submarines led the Navy to re-evaluate the methods used to build its submarines. A “Thresher Design Appraisal Board” determined that, although the basic design of the Thresher class was sound, measures should be taken to improve the condition of the hull and the ability of submarines to control and recover from flooding casualties.
SUBSAFE certification is carried out in four areas; Design, Material, Fabrication, & Testing. The exact procedures are documented in the initial design & construction for new submarines, while undergoing routine maintenance in naval depots, and in the fleet maintenance manual for operating submarines. During each step, quality evidence is collected, reviewed, approved, and stored for the life of the submarine. This process is reinforced with external and internal audits.
Long time readers of my blog know that I have some very strong feelings about Veteran’s Day. As someone who served his country in times of war and peace, I am always humbled when another person recognizes me as a veteran and thanks me for my service. I have struggled for a long time with a quick response that would be meaningful and am gladdened to just have the ability to say “You are Welcome”.
I joined the Navy in 1972 and had every intention of serving someplace where the action was. Call it youthful ignorance, call it just plain naivety, or just call it a lack of understanding of the sacrifices many men and women actually endured. But I was convinced that I was supposed to serve and survive to a ripe old age. The service I actually did was much less dramatic than I had imagined it would be. I became a submariner and served on five different boats with varying lengths of time in either a shipyard or at sea. While we sacrificed our time and endured some level of dangers, I am fully aware that the many years I spent under water paled in comparison to those who served in combat. I make a small joke from time to time about the aggressors we faced as being less personal; they were never actually aiming their weapons at me personally, just the sub in general (which makes it less intrusive I suppose).
My brothers and sisters who faced actual hostile fire knew combat as a much more personal affair. Someone with a gun was intentionally trying to kill them. Not very much about that is oblique or hard to imagine. The one with the better shot, advantage or opportunity was destined to be the victor. The combat was no longer about slogans or jingoes or flag waving. It was about survival. The men and women who found themselves locked in this kind of war more often thought about getting back alive or making sure they had their buddies six.
We as a nation, owe these people a lot. They were our hands and feet and placed themselves between us and people who want to do us harm. We will rely on their reliefs for a long time to come. The world is still a dangerous place and no amount of well wishing handwringing diplomacy has seemed to diminish that fact at all. Don’t get me wrong. I want the dreamers and the idealists to continue to try and find a way to bring peace to the world. I pray for them to do so. But I also pray that we will continue to have men and women willing to step up and do the things needed to protect all of us until that day comes.
For the restaurants and service companies who always line up to show their gratitude, I have a request. To all the restaurants that are offering me a free meal on Veteran’s Day, I want to sincerely thank you for your gesture. Its very nice of you to remember. I actually have plans that day. Here’s an idea though… maybe you can offer that free meal to one of my homeless brothers or sisters that really needs it. You don’t even have to wait until November 11, because I am sure they are pretty hungry tonight. While you are at it, can you have your corporate offices contact the White House and Congress and remind them they have a sacred obligation to care for the people who they sent off to fight the wars they engaged in? Imagine if everyone on that long list that always appears this time of year really did that for our brothers and sisters still trying to get all the way back home? God Bless You.
Special note: This is a personal request. I in no way would dishonor the men and women who really deserve the recognition like those who survived being shot at, bombed, gassed, taken prisoner, or depth charged. You are my heroes and you deserve so much more than a free meal once a year. But go ahead and enjoy the meal offered. God Bless you too.
To my country: It was and always will be my greatest honor and achievement that I was able to wear your uniform and provide one small contribution to your freedom. I would gladly do it again.
Another great video from a bygone era. The 41 for Freedom Boats were still in their glory and the USS Ohio was going through its growing pains at the shipyard at Electric Boat. While the patrol cycle is sometimes given short shrift by non-boomer sailors, it had a unique purpose and involved a large number of men in both operations and support. The operations tempo and the transition to the newer subs is very nicely described here:
But for a closer look at what it was like to be a seventies boomer sailor, click on this link:
As veterans day once more approaches, I am reminded how great a price was paid by so many men and women in my lifetime alone to preserve the peace. I salute you all.
My, how quickly the past 44 years have gone by. This documentary shows a bit about nuclear submarines during the middle of the Cold War.
Description from the You Tube site:
“This outstanding U.S. Navy film from 1971 — “The Submarine Part II: Backgrounds, Characteristics and Missions of Nuclear Powered Submarines” focuses on the nuclear submarines of the 1970s. The film shows how the nuclear attack submarine and the fleet ballistic missile submarines, with their sophisticated technologies and nuclear weapons capability, can provide enormous deterrent power for the United States and its allies. Both SSN nuclear attack submarines and SSBN nuclear missile submarines are shown, including Polaris missile submarines firing the A-3 missile and Poseidon. The film also traces the history of the nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy starting in the 1950s, including the USS Nautilus and the USS George Washington (see 18 minute mark). The USS Albacore is shown at the 5 minute mark, a boat with a unique hull design that ended up becoming standard for the Navy, including with the USS Skipjack. Some of the submarines featured include the USS Sturgeon, SSN-637, USS Greenling SSN-614, fleet ballistic missile submarines, and more. The Polaris A-1 and Polaris A-2 are also shown, as well as the Polaris A-3.
The SUBROC submarine rocket is shown at the 14 minute mark — predecessor to the submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missile.
Also shown in this film is the DSRV-1 (27 minute mark) deep submergence rescue vehicle and the Alvin (27:30) miniature submarine and AUTEC 1 and 2, as well as the Dolphin and NR-1 research vehicle.
The Polaris missile was a two-stage Solid-fuel rocket nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) built during the Cold War by Lockheed Corporation of California for the United States Navy.
It was designed to be used for second strike countervalue (CEP not good enough for first strike counterforce) as part of the Navy’s contribution to the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons, replacing the Regulus cruise missile. Known as a Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM), the Polaris was first launched from the Cape Canaveral, Florida, missile test base on January 7, 1960.
Following the Polaris Sales Agreement in 1963, Polaris missiles were also carried on British Royal Navy submarines between 1968 and the mid-1990s.
Plans to equip the Italian Navy with the missile ended in the mid-60s, after several successful test launches carried out on board the Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi. Despite the successful launching tests, the US never provided the missiles, due to political convenience. Instead the Italian Government set to develop an indigenous missile, called Alfa, with a successful program, officially halted by Italian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ratification and failure of the NATO Multilateral Force.
The Polaris missile was gradually replaced on 31 of the 41 original SSBNs in the US Navy by the MIRV-capable Poseidon missile beginning in 1972. During the 1980s, these missiles were replaced on twelve of these submarines by the Trident I missile. The ten George Washington- and Ethan Allen-class SSBNs retained Polaris A-3 until 1980 because their missile tubes were not large enough to accommodate Poseidon. With USS Ohio commencing sea trials in 1980, these submarines were disarmed and redesignated as attack submarines to avoid exceeding the SALT II strategic arms treaty limits.
Many new project management techniques were introduced during the development of the Polaris missile program, to deal with the inherent system complexity. This includes the use of the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). This technique replaced the simpler Gantt chart methodology which was largely employed prior to this program.”