Monday, August 18, 2008

TSR Tours the USS Texas (SSN 775)

Lets just say that volunteering for the community has its perks once in awhile.

A good friend of mine that works for USA (United Space Alliance) asked me if I would like to tour the USS Texas. I'm like, are your kidding. The USS Texas was in Port Canaveral Florida for a Liberty visit and did tour exchanges with NASA. So the crew got a behind the scenes tour of NASA and likewise for NASA employees and their families for the Boat. My friend Glenn Davis volunteers with me at Astronaut High School. He ironically has some kind of public affairs/liaison type job with the real Astronauts. Now Astronauts don't attend Astronaut High School, that's just the name the school received because of the Space Center community it is located in, Titusville Florida.

A couple things of note that I found interesting on the tour. There is free flooding grates along the bottom of the sail, which I figured might cause sound transient problems. But they say its no problem at all. They have a new hull coating that is called MIP or mold in place material instead of the tile type material on the LA Class subs. A new type of O2 generator that appears smaller and easier to maintain. It no longer has the name the "Bomb", apparently much safer to operate. The control room is smaller than I thought it would be, but very Star Trek high tech looking, just like the photos the Navy has put out so far. LT. Sierpien noted by having all the rates in the same room such as Navigation, Sonar and Fire Control, it makes it easier for the (OOD)Officer of the Deck to not only receives reports but also observe all work stations simultaneously to make quick tactical assessments.

Our tour guide also revealed that the newer Virginia class subs are being built with 2 Tomahawk canister type tubes that you see in use on the Ohio SSGN class instead of using VLS Tubes.

The boat is very cramped except for the Torpedo room in which you could probably put 4 ping pong tables in there and play comfortably. You can tell that tactical weapons are the main business of the Virginia Class based on the large space and functionality of the Torpedo Room.

Click Here for Tour Photo Slide Show (80 Images)

We were greeted Topside by our USS Texas Tour Guide LTJG Jim Sierpien.


The Commanding officer Cmdr James Gray was also giving a tour.


Some of the other crew members we met on the tour:

Chief Evan Davis (FTC/SS)


YN3/ss Alexander Kuen

ET3/ss Joe Gladney

I didn't get these two crew members names, but they said they were busy monitoring vital in port ships functions via a Play Station 2. I told you the Virginia Class is high tech. Talk about the use of COTS (Computer off the Self Technology)!


USS Texas topside watches or pier guards, not sure which.
Not your hey, shipwreck types either. These guys mean business.

ETSN Fisher and MMFN Robb

Special Thanks to LTJG Sierpien and the Commanding Officer CMDR James Gray for a fine ship and crew and a great tour.

Click Here for Tour Photo Slide Show (80 Images)

Here is another interesting related link:
Ship Control Stations on different class of submarines



CS1(SS) Tim Poole said...

"I didn't get these two crew members names, but they said they were busy monitoring vital in port ships functions via a Play Station 2. I told you the Virginia Class is high tech. Talk about the use of COTS (Computer off the Self Technology)!"


Of all of the sailors to pick on that boat to portray high tech sailors. Those sailors in the pictures are cooks! The dude on the left was the LPO of the Maine Blue back in '04. Too funny!

Anonymous said...

WOW....grrrreat pictures!!! ☺

blunoz said...

Eric - I hope you and yours are safe and not flooded out by the tropical storm.

esryle said...

Lot of flooding just south of me. Ok here so far. My cable is compromised, was getting electric shocks from the computer. Performing ground isolation procedures. uh oh, just got a flash flooding warning for Titusville. "Prepare to dive the ship!"

Anonymous said...

ETSN Fisher was a student of mine back at Trident Training Facility in Bangor, WA. I always told him when he got to the boat the were just going to call him "ER" since he didn't have his "FISH" yet. Nice to see that he made it to the boat in one piece and is supporting the watchbill.

Majin Shinsa said...

The 2 playing games are CS1/SS Duregger and ET2/SS Glass (now an ET1)

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