Submarines

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Submarines

  1. 1. An Interview with Navy ________________________About Navy SubmarinesQ Some of us remember being inside the German U-Boat at the Museum of Science andIndustry. Are submarines still like that?A Even that submarine is way beyond where submarine service started, but U.S. NavySubmarines today are much larger and dramatically more sophisticated than the World War IImodels. As a result, we are able to do significantly more with our fleet.Q When did America begin using submarines?A The Navy began using submarines during the Civil War. Submerged vessels could travelundetected into enemy territory to gather valuable information about military activity. Thosevessels could only accommodate one or two people and could only remain submerged for briefperiods. Now, of course, our Navy operates under the water with our submarines, on the waterwith our ships and over the water with our aircraft.Q What are our submarines used for today?A As you might expect, all of our submarines are equipped for waging war as a strike forcein one fashion or another. That’s essential for our nation’s defense, even though we hope wenever need to use those capabilities. Perhaps more important is the ability of thesetechnologically advanced ships and crews to gather intelligence, provide surveillance andreconnaissance, and deliver specialized resources to parts of the world that might be practicallyunreachable via any other means – such as to the North and South Poles, for example.Q Just how large are these ships today?A Our fast attack submarines, capable of undersea, anti-surface, and special warfare, stretchmore than a football field in length. Ballistic and surface-to-air missile-carrying submarines arelonger than the Washington Monument is tall – almost two football fields long.Q Do people aboard submarines require special training?A Certainly it requires special training to deal with the special conditions that submarinelife presents, but sailors aboard submarines also have jobs to do. Those jobs range from runningspecialized equipment to maintenance and support work and more. The ship is a self-containedunit that has to remain operational in every respect. We need people to run engines, radarsystems and computer gear. We need tradesmen including cooks, plumbers, electricians,
  2. 2. mechanics, welders and a host of other specialties. That’s a long answer but, yes, a lot ofspecialized training is required to be a submariner.Q How long can our submarines remain under water?A Unlike the old submarines that had to surface every few days to recycle or replace air onboard, today’s submarines have systems that maintain air quality, handle temperatureadjustments, and produce fresh water from seawater so that they can remain submerged formonths at a time.Q When people deploy, for how long are they gone?A The length of a deployment will depend on the type of ship and the mission assignmentfor the ship. Some cruises may be limited to only two to three months while others might be ayear or more. On average, a ship and its crew are typically deployed for a period of about sixmonths.Q If our submarines are nuclear powered, how safe are they?A It is true that nuclear power means that the fuel source is a radioactive material. Althoughthe total amount of it is quite small, it is capable of producing enough heat to generate steam,thereby powering the ship’s propulsion system and also generating the electricity required for allof the ship’s on-board needs. Navy’s first nuclear powered submarine was put into service in 1954, so we have morethan a half-century of experience with nuclear powered vessels, and although some of these shipshave had some accidents, those accidents have not been related to the power supply. The nuclearpower plant on one of these ships, once in place, is designed to power the craft for 30 years.Q Are there other countries that have nuclear powered submarines, too?A Other countries do have nuclear submarines. Movies have been produced about theRussian submarines, but in addition to those, France, United Kingdom, People’s Republic ofChina, and India all have operating submarines, and Argentina, Brazil and several other countrieshave ongoing projects in different phases to build nuclear-powered submarinesQ Is some of our students are interested in submarine service, what is the best way to findout more about it?A Actually, the best first step is to contact the local recruiting station to find out about anyand all of the jobs that we have available. To reach us, simply contact our station by calling______________, or stop in most afternoons at __________________________________. If
  3. 3. you or an out of-town friend want to locate another station near them, visit www.navy.com andclick on “find a recruiter” on the right side of the home page, then enter your zip code number. Acall to 800-4go –Navy will do the trick as well.Additional comment:To put the Navy’s role in perspective, you need to recognize that 70 percent of the world iscovered by ocean, 80 percent of the world’s population lives along coasts and 90 percent of theworld’s commerce travels by water. Protecting all of that is our job, and that makes America’sNavy a global force for good.Sailors serve on land and from the sea; from ships on the water, submarines under the water, andplanes and helicopters over the water – all to meet America’s threats far away so that thosethreats cannot harm us here. We welcome the best men and women to join us in accomplishingtoday’s missions and meeting tomorrow’s challenges. - 30 –

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