Scoop Deck blogger Lance M. Bacon took a day trip with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead this week. This is the play-by-play report.
Scoop Deck is aboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where one-half of the nation’s guided-missile and ballistic-missile submarines are based.
We have Lt. j.g. David McCabe at the helm, also known as the steering wheel of a Mod 1 Type A 15-passenger van. He is a very knowledgeable young man, as well he should be having graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a degree in mechanical engineering.
If you are wondering why the Navy has such a brainiac serving as a chauffeur, realize it’s only a temp job. But we were glad he had it. McCabe was a walking fact sheet, spouting off details such as the diameter and length of the Trident II D5 (83 inches and 44 feet, respectively).
Also with us is Lt. Jessica Gandy, one of the CNO’s public affairs officers. In addition to coordinating media access (which is akin to herding cats) she is multi-lingual and is now tackling Swahili.
So, if ever you need to use the phone-a-friend lifeline …
Our tour of the Trident Training Facility begins. It is a massive complex with more than 12 acres of floor space in which every area on a sub is replicated.
Our tour guide is MTCS (SS) Nicholas Davies, a submariner of 24 years with 19 patrols under his belt. The missile tech serves as the senior enlisted adviser for the Strategic Weapons Department. He has 100 young students under his charge for 159 days, but their training doesn’t stop there.
When the dual-crewed ballistic-missile or guided-missile sub goes out (which is up to 70 percent of the time for any boat), the alternate crew is training in this facility until they swap out in Diego Garcia.
We’re eager to see some of that training …