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Old 12-08-2017, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,971 posts, read 41,600,559 times
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I was never in the Navy, but I went through Nuke School with them as a civilian.

Couple of things I have heard and am fairly sure are true about sub life:

First, the oxygen content in the sub is kept lower than normal Earth atmosphere, as a fire suppression measure (you *really* don't want to have a fire on a sub).

Second, watches are 6 hours, you work a set of 6 hour shifts, 6 on watch, 6 doing other work then 6 to sleep. So your circadian rhythms are all screwed up.

These seemed to mess with the health of the guys who were on subs. A few guys I knew as initial students, then they went to subs and came back to prototype. They looked, to me, as if they had been artificially aged. Skin tone and hair loss was typical of a 40 something, but they were still in their 30's.

Your mileage may vary.

The Chicago Museum of Technology has a WWII German U Boat that you can walk through, these things were very small.
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
11,174 posts, read 2,147,295 times
Reputation: 16976
I've read those conditions too...
I do respect them...very much.


[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsthomas View Post
I dont think you could be claustrophobic and serve on a sub. Have to respect these guys. I ran across this.

" Because of these conditions submarines developed a unique smell a combination of diesel fuel, sweat, cigarettes, hydraulic fluid, cooking, and sewage ".

I work for a company that does contract manufacturing for gov. projects, ships, subs, radar towers etc. Several guys served on subs. We all knew this. One of these guys didnt something wrong, screwed something up. One of the supervisors being sarcastic said, in the service, he must of been on a short sub!
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
11,174 posts, read 2,147,295 times
Reputation: 16976
Thanks for your responses...boxus

How did you deal with the "I might not get back home" question? Surely it must be in your mind...

And how miserable you must feel for those likely lost with the recent sub missing...but
I guess your family has learned to accept and support you.





/B]
Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
An SSBN is an FBM (Fleet Ballistic Missile) submarine. While we are at sea, we were under water, lol. Had enough privacy for me, kind of like a locker room type thing I guess, I think privacy issues are resolved in boot camp. There was not really any great degree of privacy issues, we shared common bunk rooms with nine per room, showers had doors, etc, not really a big deal about it to anyone unless they had some real issues, which again, would have came out and dealt with in boot camp.


I went through a psych test of some sorts, do not remember specifics, you take it while in submarine school (everyone except nukes go through this school, nukes have their separate thing) I think it is just to weed out the obvious ones, I do know that some people were booted from the submarine force because of the results of the psych evaluation.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,217 posts, read 46,429,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
... These seemed to mess with the health of the guys who were on subs. A few guys I knew as initial students, then they went to subs and came back to prototype. They looked, to me, as if they had been artificially aged. Skin tone and hair loss was typical of a 40 something, but they were still in their 30's.

Your mileage may vary.
I bet they all came back wearing dark glasses too [after a few years at-sea we tend to become photo-sensitive and loose the ability to focus long-distances].

Every year the Navy tests our hearing to track our hearing losses. Over broad spectrum our hearing is fine, but when tested specifically at 60 hz and 400 hz, we suck.

Unfortunately the VA only considers broad spectrum hearing loss to be a 'disability'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by xsthomas View Post
I dont think you could be claustrophobic and serve on a sub. Have to respect these guys. I ran across this.

" Because of these conditions submarines developed a unique smell ..."
One time I had a 'panic attack' of claustrophobia, it is a long story. Buy a fella a drink sometime and I may tell you about it.

I have seen other crewmen who were 'medically restrained' until we could surface to get rid of them. Doc lets them up once/day so they can use the toilet, eat and make a slow guided tour around the boat before Doc takes them back to their rack.

On a 'good' patrol nobody cracks. When someone does, they come off the watchbill. So their division goes from 3 section duty to 2 section or port/starboard, then they are 6 hours on and 6 hours off, for months.

If you lose too many crewmembers, you go into Port/Re-port. You stand a 6 hour shift at one watchstation then you get relieved to go stand at another watchstation. 12 on and 6 off, or 18 on and 6 off. I have spent many months doing Port/Re-port.

Subs stink. No question. My wife insisted that all my patrol uniforms be kept in the garage. There are odors that sink into the fabric that can never be washed out. My at-sea seabag was always kept packed and outside. I could bring it 'in' to wash/dry, but then it had to stay outside. I can not honestly smell it. But she can.

Anything that I have taken on patrol, she can smell it.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:59 PM
 
11,930 posts, read 11,522,105 times
Reputation: 16060
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I was never in the Navy, but I went through Nuke School with them as a civilian.

Couple of things I have heard and am fairly sure are true about sub life:

First, the oxygen content in the sub is kept lower than normal Earth atmosphere, as a fire suppression measure (you *really* don't want to have a fire on a sub).

Second, watches are 6 hours, you work a set of 6 hour shifts, 6 on watch, 6 doing other work then 6 to sleep. So your circadian rhythms are all screwed up.

These seemed to mess with the health of the guys who were on subs. A few guys I knew as initial students, then they went to subs and came back to prototype. They looked, to me, as if they had been artificially aged. Skin tone and hair loss was typical of a 40 something, but they were still in their 30's.

Your mileage may vary.

The Chicago Museum of Technology has a WWII German U Boat that you can walk through, these things were very small.
They come back all haggard looking because nukes have the toughest job on the boat. The drill, drill, and rill some more, constant training, and constant maintenance, it by far is the toughest job on the boat, I would never want to do it. It was a running joke about how old nukes looked.

As for oxygen, do not know what their strategy was behind oxygen, but I do not think it had anything to do with fire. I think it is difficult to maintain a balance if being submerged for a while without ventilating, they do oxygen bleeds sometimes also to bump it up. I am sure they have a target range they keep it at, not too high (which would cause a fire risk), not too low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Thanks for your responses...boxus

How did you deal with the "I might not get back home" question? Surely it must be in your mind...

And how miserable you must feel for those likely lost with the recent sub missing...but
I guess your family has learned to accept and support you.





/B]
I never one time had the "I might not get back home" feeling. I honestly felt perfectly safe I very relaxed during my time on board. I have tons of confidence in the boat and training of the crew, and while I was not complacent, I was not ever feeling like something could occur.

As for others, I do feel for not only them, but any naval vessel, like the two US destroyer collisions this past summer. But I find my self really trying to dig for info and analyze everything about it as if I am investigating the incident.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:09 PM
 
11,930 posts, read 11,522,105 times
Reputation: 16060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post

Subs stink. No question. My wife insisted that all my patrol uniforms be kept in the garage. There are odors that sink into the fabric that can never be washed out. My at-sea seabag was always kept packed and outside. I could bring it 'in' to wash/dry, but then it had to stay outside. I can not honestly smell it. But she can.

Anything that I have taken on patrol, she can smell it.
That amine stuff, to this day, over 15 years since been on a submarine, I can still smell it on my sea bags if I breathe deep enough.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:06 PM
 
2,672 posts, read 1,621,201 times
Reputation: 2870
Thanks to the submarine sailors for the input into your fascinating lifestyles.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,148 posts, read 2,690,809 times
Reputation: 10097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
One time I had a 'panic attack' of claustrophobia, it is a long story. Buy a fella a drink sometime and I may tell you about it.
If you ever make it to Alaska I'll buy you a drink. Or two. Or three.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:27 AM
 
699 posts, read 638,985 times
Reputation: 1136
I have a Grandfather still aboard/unaccounted-for the USS Scorpion (SSN-589).

I would'nt allow myself to be assigned to or go aboard a sub for all the tea in China...

...don't EVEN care how good it would look on a resume, or to add to my ribbons.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:05 PM
 
1,336 posts, read 520,709 times
Reputation: 1400
What is the jail setup and the justice system like aboard a sub?
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