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Old 12-07-2017, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
16,695 posts, read 3,443,933 times
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After watching Das Boot, German war film of a Uboat, I became very interested in life and work aboard a sub. I have not been aboard one but did see the Hundley, Civil War sub that was interesting and have read book accounts and seen as many sub movies as I can find. Don't laugh, I know it's only a simile of life on a submarine...

Anyone care to comment on life aboard a sub, your job there, the sub itself, your feelings as you live underwater??? Having a bit of claustrophobia, unlikely I would ever visit even a docked sub.

I deeply thank you for your service.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:40 AM
 
12,522 posts, read 12,009,262 times
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I was on an SSBN, communications. Life on board? 6 hours on, 12 hours off, drills in morning, training every Thursday afternoon, qualifications for watch stations takes up free time, especially if it is your first boat. No claustrophobia as the things are huge inside, it is basically like being in an office with a bunch of pipes and cables running everywhere.


I usually exercised before my watch, we had some treadmills and weights, plus it was usually empty at that time as everyone wanted to exercise after watch, not before. Food was great, four meals a day, some snacks left out and rinks available 24/7.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:46 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,926 posts, read 12,344,962 times
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Several years ago my family toured the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier and other vessels at Patriot Point in Charleston, SC. We took the walk through the submarine on display there and I found out exactly how bad my claustrophobia was. lol I was in front, with our two young sons between my (at that time) wife and I. She and I both felt the sides closing in and the person in front of me had to stop and look in every opening and read everything there was to read. My wife was pushing the kids forward as a hint for me to walk faster and I was pushing them back to keep me from running over the man in front of me. It was interesting but we were very glad to get out of there.

Tour & Explore USS CLAMAGORE Submarine | Patriots Point
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,671 posts, read 4,466,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
After watching Das Boot, German war film of a Uboat, I became very interested in life and work aboard a sub. I have not been aboard one but did see the Hundley, Civil War sub that was interesting and have read book accounts and seen as many sub movies as I can find. Don't laugh, I know it's only a simile of life on a submarine...

Anyone care to comment on life aboard a sub, your job there, the sub itself, your feelings as you live underwater??? Having a bit of claustrophobia, unlikely I would ever visit even a docked sub.

I deeply thank you for your service.
You should do yourself a favor and bring your family and self to Pearl Harbor and go aboard the Bowfin. You will not get claustrophobic there at least not much. You will also get a great lesson on life aboard a boomer. I wish I had spent more time but I had to rush through the boat. Fascinating stuff I could have been a navy member. I would have loved being aboard.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:16 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
3,805 posts, read 2,880,777 times
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I've been on the Bowfin and thought it was incredibly cramped. You have to give those WW2 submariners respect. Remember some of the bunks were just inches away from pipes, valves and gauges. One serious bump or jolt could cause some serious injuries.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
16,695 posts, read 3,443,933 times
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What is a SSBN...? Where were you while at sea?? How did you deal with lack of privacy?? Were you tested for personality traits prior to acceptance aboard??






[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
I was on an SSBN, communications. Life on board? 6 hours on, 12 hours off, drills in morning, training every Thursday afternoon, qualifications for watch stations takes up free time, especially if it is your first boat. No claustrophobia as the things are huge inside, it is basically like being in an office with a bunch of pipes and cables running everywhere.


I usually exercised before my watch, we had some treadmills and weights, plus it was usually empty at that time as everyone wanted to exercise after watch, not before. Food was great, four meals a day, some snacks left out and rinks available 24/7.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
16,695 posts, read 3,443,933 times
Reputation: 22355
I lived in Charleston...tried to visit that sub but just could not go on...
of course it was smaller than most,
if I remember correctly...




Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
Several years ago my family toured the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier and other vessels at Patriot Point in Charleston, SC. We took the walk through the submarine on display there and I found out exactly how bad my claustrophobia was. lol I was in front, with our two young sons between my (at that time) wife and I. She and I both felt the sides closing in and the person in front of me had to stop and look in every opening and read everything there was to read. My wife was pushing the kids forward as a hint for me to walk faster and I was pushing them back to keep me from running over the man in front of me. It was interesting but we were very glad to get out of there.

Tour & Explore USS CLAMAGORE Submarine | Patriots Point
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:19 AM
 
12,522 posts, read 12,009,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
What is a SSBN...? Where were you while at sea?? How did you deal with lack of privacy?? Were you tested for personality traits prior to acceptance aboard??






[/b]
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, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Happyville, North Carolina
2,336 posts, read 2,007,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
I've been on the Bowfin and thought it was incredibly cramped. You have to give those WW2 submariners respect. Remember some of the bunks were just inches away from pipes, valves and gauges. One serious bump or jolt could cause some serious injuries.
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, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,676 posts, read 47,382,203 times
Reputation: 17457
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
After watching Das Boot, German war film of a Uboat, I became very interested in life and work aboard a sub. I have not been aboard one but did see the Hundley, Civil War sub that was interesting and have read book accounts and seen as many sub movies as I can find. Don't laugh, I know it's only a simile of life on a submarine...

Anyone care to comment on life aboard a sub, your job there, the sub itself, your feelings as you live underwater??? Having a bit of claustrophobia, unlikely I would ever visit even a docked sub.

I deeply thank you for your service.
Das Boot is a great movie. Many parts of it still relate to modern sub life.

I served on:
USS George C. Marshall SSBN 654
USS Simon Lake AS-33
USS Casimir Pulaski SSBN 633
USS Alaska SSBN 732



ET1 SS - USN Retired



Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
... Where were you while at sea? Were you tested for personality traits prior to acceptance aboard??
One priority is to keep the assigned 'targets' covered. Each target needs to have a nuclear warhead programed to it, and each missile needs to have a 'package' of targets assigned to it. An SSBN can generally move anywhere that we can still reach all of the assigned targets. Basically, this means we can go anywhere on the planet. What becomes of greater importance is to remain hidden. So we avoid heavy traffic lanes.

I was on one patrol where our Navigator drew a Mickey Mouse face on the sea chart. Then just like a connect-the-dots drawing we spent the next 3 months slowly drawing Mickey.

'Personality testing' is done in a subtle manner. It is not handled with a psychiatrist sitting down talking to you.

For example, our school buildings are made of concrete block with no windows. We go to school in the mornings while it is still dark, and we do not get out of school until after dark. So even while attending school, you might go for months without seeing daylight. If you 'fail to thrive' then you get booted from the program.

Rotating shift-work is the norm, and they like to change our time-zones frequently. Sometimes I have gone months in a 'jet-lag' haze. Again if a person fails to thrive, or worse yet if a person lashes out from the stress by assaulting a co-worker, that is not tolerated.

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