This place is such a dive.
December 7, 2012 5:04 AM Subscribe
What's life like aboard a nuclear submarine? For starters, here's over eight hours
2, as they took their cameras aboard the USS Wyoming SSBN
back in 2000, co-hosted by Rear Admiral Malcolm Fages and writer Robert Holzer.
More about some of the topics covered in the program:
1. SSGNs: The conversion of four Ohio-class
nuclear submarines to carry guided missiles was completed
2. Schedules: The submarine works on a 6-on/12-off schedule.
This “is operationally valuable because it allows 24 hour coverage with only 3 watches. This is required by the space limitations on submarines. The schedule also limits the duration of each watch to 6hr. The shorter watches are considered necessary to assure maintenance of alertness during sometimes monotonous work performed at all hours of the day.
” (pdf, p.7, with thanks to MuffinMan
) And, hey, it could be worse
(fifth paragraph down).
A little background: “Since the 13th century, maritime workers have utilized a 4 hours on, 8 hours off (4/8) watch schedule that continued into the Polaris submarine patrols of the early 1960s. However, because modern Submariners must also train, qualify, and conduct drills when not on watch, the 4/8 schedule prevented them from obtaining sufficient sleep during their off-watch periods. During prolonged patrols, Submariners suffered from progressive sleep debt. To remedy this, the 6 hours on, 12 hours off (6/12) schedule was adopted.
” (pdf, p.1)
More recently, though, the Navy has been looking into changing to a schedule
more in line with the natural human circadian rhythm
, based in part on reports like the ones quoted above. Sailors weigh in
in the comments on the ever-enlightening blog, The Stupid Shall Be Punished
3. Food: The submarine forces reportedly get the best food in the Navy
, although not everyone agrees
. Here's an extremely '70s clip
discussing the effect of food on morale.
4. Women: Since the program aired, the Navy's long-running goal
of placing qualified women aboard submarines has been achieved
, and the first female officers
earned their "unrestricted line" Dolphins
just this week. Unsurprisingly, one must be wary of the comments on articles such as these.
More: HowStuffWorks discusses life aboard
a ballistic missile submarine
, while Helium provides a look at life
on a fast attack submarine
. War Is Boring gives us a look inside the USS Toledo
. Mefites talk about their experiences in the Nuclear Power program
. British submarine life previously