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God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tragedy aboard the USS Nebraska.

HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy says a sailor died in an apparent accident on board a ballistic missile submarine off Oahu over the weekend.

Spokesman Lt. Cmdr. David Benham says the accident on the Bangor, Wash.-based USS Nebraska didn't affect the ship and no one else was injured.

Lt. Kyle A. Raines says the crew member was mortally injured while the sub was beneath the ocean's surface. He was given emergency medical treatment and placed on a medical helicopter, but Raines says he died before reaching a hospital.

The sailor's name hasn't been released.

Benham says the submarine was conducting routine submerged operations at the time of accident Saturday.

The Nebraska is an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. The ships are designed for stealth and the precision delivery of nuclear warheads.

God rest his soul. Those of us who've been there & done that know you ALWAYS have to pay attention to WTF you're doing. One misstep over an open hatch and you'll be lucky if you don't break your fucking neck. It happens, not just on subs either. Ask the target sailors, they'll readily affirm this point. Life at sea isn't like Mayberry, RFD.

When asked to describe life aboard a sub I always say it's like a bus ride without windows. That's a real simplification.

Sometimes it just plain sucks, which is why subsailors earn their sub pay.

UPDATE: The word is he was a qualified A-ganger crushed by the rudder ram during field day. Supposedly his femoral artery got sliced open and they couldn't stop the bleeding. I always hated working in shaft alley because of the rudder & stern planes rams and their associated mechanical linkages. Those damned things, no matter what boat I was on, looked like an accident waiting to happen. When my guys would go back there to clean I'd tell them to be careful for that reason. More than one sailor has been messed up by those things.

And yep, quite often it was because some O-ganger had a "work it may but shine it must" mentality. Screw the troops, we gots to look good for (fill in the blank with your favorite dignitary, inspection team, whatever).

Well, now the blame game starts. They'll blame the sailor, blame his Chief, blame the EWS, hell they'll blame the mess cooks if it makes some jerkoff wearing officer insignia look good. Phooey.

Hell, I might be as wrong as a football bat. Poor guy might have just slipped on some grease at the wrong time. It happens.

May he rest in peace.

UPDATE II: Now we know the victim's name:

A Navy news release Tuesday identified the sailor who died in an apparent accident on the nuclear missile-carrying submarine USS Nebraska as 21-year-old Machinist Mate 3rd Class Michael A. Gentile of Fairfield, Maine.

Few details have been released on what happened Saturday aboard the sub that is based at Bangor on Hood Canal.

Officers have said Gentile was given emergency medical treatment aboard the sub, which was off Hawaii at the time. He was placed on a medical helicopter, but he died before reaching a hospital.

The Associated Press

According to one source, Gentile was engaged in cleaning the rudder linkage when a hard rudder was ordered. Someone screwed up here if that is the case. If he was in that linkage at the very least the control room party should have been notified so no extreme movements would be ordered, (Hell, no movement of the rudder at all should have happened). Either the senior man on the scene (and not to blame the victim but it could have been Gentile himself) dropped the ball by not notifying Control or the Officer Of the Deck (OOD) got criminally stupid. I've my own assumptions that won't be aired at this time, all too often I'm full of shit.

12 comments:

dadwithnoisykids said...

What is a bubblehead?

I heard that term applied to one Navy vet to an active duty Navy man.

dadwithnoisykids said...

Rather I heard that term applied BY a Navy vet to one on active duty.

Subvet said...

A bubblehead is a sub sailor. It's a term often meant as an insult, much the same as "target sailors" does when applied to the surface navy. I've never found out the origin of "bubblehead", "target" is self explanatory when you realize surface ships are often sighted via the crosshairs of a periscope.

MightyMom said...

that's just sad.

AirmanMom said...

Such a sad story.. on so many levels. Regrets with a heavy heart to the sailors' family...his service for our country is deeply appreciated.
Sad for all who will be blamed... it was a tragic accident. Since 1981, I believe this is the first such fatality...a few serious injuries...but all in all not a bad record for the rudder-world. JAG is now involved and hopefully questions will be answered, if there are new recommmendations for safety needed ...they will surface.
It is always terribly sad when there is a loss of life in such a manner, that could have been avoided..or could it? Perhaps you are correct... simply a grease slip. Time will tell.
This is my first visit to your blog, needless to say...I'll be back!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

ignorant redneck said...

It's sad. In fact it's tragic.

I would say it's the tragedy of the noble: This boy died for us--died, really for his country. he would not have been killed in such a way, had he not joined the military, had ne not volunteered to protect us.

Military service, at it's easyiest, is stressful and difficult. Subs are not the easyist.

I have seen my share of accidental deaths and severe injury in the course of duty, and there is always some moral coward tyring to cover his own ass. It's pathetic.

Waging war is dangerous, but so--to an alarming degree--is training to wage war.

I've always been sure, that military folk who die LOD, get an extra conxsideration from the Lord, for "Greater Love hath no man, than he lay down his life for his friends."

"Eternal Rest grant to him O Lord, and make Your light to Shine upon him."

dadwithnoisykids said...

Thanks, Subvet! Those who were using the term were Navy vets who were involved in security before they retired.

Anonymous said...

I am told by my son on the Nebraska that bubblehead refers to those serving on a submarine because it just a bubble that is easy to pop. He still prefers that to being a target

Anonymous said...

What is a Bubblehead? That's not what you should be thinking about. Did you all know that this is the 2nd sailor that has died in the past 3 to 4 years on the Nebraska. The first one commited suicide. My husband was on the USS Nebraska giving CPR and medical treatment to a man that was already dead. So this hits close to home for us. He knew both man, he served with both man. MM3 didn't die for his country. He died because someone was doing something stupid. Investigations will be done and nothing will come from it. The boat will go back to sea as if nothing has happened and the sailors will be left to deal with the grief of losing 2 brothers in the same place that blood has been spilled. Ghost walk the USS Nebraska. Our heart goes out to the family and friends of MM3. And to the Nebraska; hang on, it will get better.

Subvet said...

Anonymous #2, don't come on this blog and try dictating what we should be talking about. FYI, dadwithnoisykids asked me a question via this thread due to having no other way to contact me. My email is not accessible from my blogger account. If I have no problem with it, no one else should either. You don't like that? Go somewhere else.

With all due respect to the memory of MM3(SS) Gentile, you are absolutely right about someone doing something stupid and that someone may very well have been him. As a retired senior chief A-ganger, I'm very familiar with the machismo exhibited by younger enlisted men.

I suggest you ratchet back on your hysterical hyperventilating, can the talk of "ghosts", and wait for the results of the Navy's investigation of this tragedy. The system DOES work more often than not. That may seem strange considering my own remarks about the CYA attitude exhibited by a certain type of commissioned officer. In all truth, that type is the exeption, not the rule. My own beef is that though there are very few of them, their number is still too many.

But a realization that the system should be allowed to perform it's job keeps me from saying anything more damning than I already have.

I suggest you do the same, you're just a dependent of an active duty sailor. Stop giving yourself undeserved importance.

Anonymous said...

My son is on the Nebraska and I cannot tell you how tragic this accident was.

Hearing his retelling of the story and how Mike was laid to rest would bring tears to anyone's eyes. You can imagine how every crew member suffered - Mike was well loved.

God Bless Mike and his family.

Anonymous said...

With a son on this sub I know what happened but it's not my place to say. What is important is to know that our service men and women face dangers that we "civilians" have no concept of on a daily basis. We as a nation need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Pray for their physical and mental strength. Pray for their families who must sometimes go weeks w/o letters or emails from their loved ones because they aren't allowed to communicate. Doesn't matter if their spouse is pregnant, ill or if a relative is facing one of these conditions. They must obey orders and so must their families!!! They miss out on so many day to day things babies first step,tooth,word,a child's achievements in school or scouts,sports,band etc. The spouse at home must be both parents while they are gone plus worry about ALL of the ways their loved one could be injured or killed while serving OUR country!!!
Most times the extended is not nearby and is only avaible through phone calls,e-mailsand snail mail. The best thing you can do is just PRAY and Send Well Wishes to these men and women as well as their families. I KNOW I AM.

Wldchld63

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