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Weapons on Submarines?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jmurman, Jun 24, 2005.

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  1. Jmurman

    Jmurman Member

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    Do our Sub crews carry weapons on board? I'm not talking about the SSGN's or the Special Service sub's that carry SEAL's but fast attack boats or boomers?


    By the way, I really need to talk with someone that has served on either a fast attack or Ohio class sub. I am writing a book and I have some questions regarding them...nothing TS or anything like that.

    Feel free to contact me either here or by email.

    Thanks!
    Jerry
     
  2. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I was an officer on an Ohio Class boomer up until 2000. The ship had a small arms locker to provide pierside and topside security and for repell boarder's situations. Pier security was a mossberg pump shotgun w/ 00 buck and the other guy carried a beretta. Certain watchstanders in the missile compartment were armed with nightsticks in port and at sea. We had M14's as well, but they didn't see the sun very often. A fast boat would have M16's instead of the M14. The locker also had a pile of flak vests (one of which was supposed to float but due to it's international orange color, it was wildly unpopular during the weekly commando drills) and MKU2P assault masks.

    Everyone who was part of the security force (made up of the off-going watchsection) had to qualify on the 9mm I think annually--it ended up being a good portion of the crew. Maybe every two years. The number of guys qualified on the shotgun and M14 was very low because the squadron didn't like spending money on ammo.

    You can PM me if you need more info. There isn't much about how a sub operates that I don't know. I was qualified as everything except Navigator and Captain (which were things department heads and XO's had to work on).
     
  3. xdoctor

    xdoctor Member

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    I have an old friend that works on one of the Seawolf class subs. Don't know if he can help but I'd be happy to ask him if he minds chatting with you about it. You likely won't get much info, most everything on a sub (in my experience talking with him) is super hush hush.

    Send a pm if that might help.
     
  4. Jmurman

    Jmurman Member

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    Xdoctor,

    Thanks for the offer...Seawolf subs are pretty dag-gone hush hush, so I don;t think you're friend would be much help.


    30Cal...PM sent.
     
  5. mete

    mete Member

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    Yes . I have photos of submarines in the arctic, with polar bears on them !! They have M14s for that and they also carry snowmobiles ! On one of the subs there were pictures of a bear chewing on the rudder.
     
  6. ETCss Phil McCrackin

    ETCss Phil McCrackin Member

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    I am an ET1 (E-6) and my first boat was the Ohio class USS Tennessee (SSBN734G), I am scheduled to report to the USS Kentucky in July, and I was the small arms PO on shore duty. The Tennessee had M9's, Mossberg and Remington shotguns, M16's and a MK 46 mod 0. That was pre-911 so they have probably armed up a little more since then.
     
  7. priv8ter

    priv8ter Member

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    Okay

    I am on and off Tridents every day. There are usually a few guys on watch topside, with a wide variety of weapons.

    Usually, each topside watchstander carries an M-9, one will also have a Shotgun(either Mossbergs or Remingtons), the other will have an M-16. The M-14's have been phased out, the USS Parche being the last boat I know of that carried them for the topside watch.

    In the past year or so, due to OPSEC issues, the below decks watch, as well as at LEAST two engineroom watch standers have started carrying M-9's also.

    I'm afraid I can't help you as far as total number of weapons on board. I can tell you they take it seriously. I was trapped on board for 45 minutes day because following a security drill, they came up 1 shotgun shell short. Access to and from the ship was secured until some poor sailor found the shell in his pocket.

    Phil...you going to the Gold or Blue crew?

    If you are ever bored, swing back by the RC Control Point, and there is a chance you can find me...just ask the RadCon guys which one the 'Gun Nut' is.

    greg
     
  8. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    One thing I always wondered about was the firearms and ammunition we carried. We used to run your basic repel boarders drills as well as nuclear weapons security drills. Being the off-going watch, I was one of those that was handed a firearm, generally a M16A1 and three full magazines, but on occassion, I'd get the Remington 870 or a 1911.

    Now, being as a submarine's hull is round and made of steel, and most of the walls inside the boat are made of steel and there are generally lots of people in close quarters, what happens to all of those FMJ bullets should someone actually fire a weapon in the boat?

    It reminds me of the scene from Undersiege where Casey grabs two SMGs. crosses his forearms and runs down a passageway with the subguns going full blast. With real bullets, in addition to killing the BGs in front of him, he'd have shot himself and everyone behind him too.
     
  9. ETCss Phil McCrackin

    ETCss Phil McCrackin Member

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    Priv8ter, I'm going to the Blue crew.
     
  10. twency

    twency Member

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    Reminds me of the scene from The Hunt for Red October.
    Our Hero ™ Jack Ryan is about to go after the KGB secret agent in the missile room, armed with a handgun. (Paraphrasing from memory)

    Cpt. Ramius: "Ryan, be careful. There are things in here that don't take too well to bullets."

    Of course, the safety mechanisms presumably would prevent a disaster even if a nuclear weapon was hit by a bullet, but it's probably not a bad idea to know your backstop when shooting in the missile room, just like any other time. :)

    -twency
     
  11. Plumber576

    Plumber576 Member

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    Mete, is there any way I can get a look at those pictures? Are they digital?
     
  12. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    i think there was a National Geographic article that had some similar pictures in the last year or two. A search may turn them up. The pic showed a guy on watch with an M-14.
     
  13. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    Last time I saw a boomer get underway the topside party had an AT-4 among other goodies, probably not the right boat to bring your pleasure yacht too close to. :evil:
     
  14. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    I can't imagine standing 6-hour SRO watches at night with a M-9 to play with. Probably a good thing they didn't arm us back when I was in. :)
     
  15. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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  16. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Now a question. When the Government moves nuclear material/weapons cross country it is with VERY heavily armed folks who are reasonably well trained in the judicious use of violence.

    Now what you guys are saying is that the average submarine has a few guys with 9mm handguns, 12 bores and maybe a real combat rifle or three and that none of these folks is all that well trained in this type of fighting. Now is this because your average sub is either out to sea and just about completely inaccessable or they are in a friendly well locked down port?

    It just seems to me like a sub with possible nuclear weapons, not even a full bird boomer, would make a rather juicy target to any number of criminals, terrorists or other nogoodnicks who I would think would have the capability to both outgun and be better trained in close quarters combat and small team assault tactics. I realize I am making this out to be far easier then it really is but when you look at the Air Force and the teams they use to guard their silo's and other nuclear material, they are very well trained and very very well armed.

    Just an observation for the idiot in the back of the peanut gallery.

    Chris
     
  17. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Navy guys, please don't take my above post as a flame or rude comment in anyway. I am just curious and going by what was posted above and by some other info I have been given. Just seems like if I was in charge of something with the raw power of a modern submarine I would make darn sure all the folks on board could do some serious boarder repelling.

    Chris
     
  18. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Jmurman, read ''Submarine". One of Tom Clancy's non-fiction books.
    Matt G. Geezuz, those pictures are slick. Silly ass bears. And it's very refreshing to hear from somebody else who understands the research value of the Internet. Thanks. I thought it was just me.
    "...the idiot in the back of the peanut gallery..." "...I am just curious..." cslinger, that says it all. If curiosity made any of us 'idiots', we'd all be idiots. The real idiot, is the one who doesn't ask questions. Take note of my comments to Matt.
     
  19. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    cslinger....

    It's a lot easier to find the silos..... ;)

    Things may have changed since I played the game, but boomers generally didn't spend a whole lot of time in port.

    Phil, maybe I've asked you this before, but my mind is going so.... are you a Nuc ET? I still can't figure out how I wound up as a Nuc ET when I went in.
     
  20. mete

    mete Member

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    Plumber, The photos that Matt G posted are the ones ! I used to have more on my computer but they were lost. My brother met an admiral that had been on one of those boats .He wanted to take a ride around on the snow mobile .They stopped him, explaining that polar bears would have him for lunch !!
     
  21. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    cslinger,

    It's been a while since I did the submarine thing and at that time, and probably even today, I think a handful of trained guys could actually steal a fast attack submarine (not fimiliar with boomers).

    In port, there is usually about 1/3 to 1/4 of the crew aboard. At night, there would be one topside watch armed with an unloaded handgun, one non-nuke on watch in the forward half of the boat and two nukes on watch in the engine room.

    Simply board the boat by shooting the topside watch and then the crew with suppressed weapons. Even if they heard you, since you know where they keep their guns, it's simple to block them.

    Have a couple of guys start up the diesel generator, a couple disconnect shore power and maybe 4 or 5 nuclear trained guys start up the reactor plant and engine room. Have two guys man the helm/planes, one on the bridge and one to navigate. Once shore power is disconnected, head out on the diesel. Skipping a few procedures, you can have the reactor up and running by the time you are out far enough to dive. Shut down the diesel, pull the plug and vanish.

    As Richard Marcinko states in Rogue Warrior, security on submarines is/was very poor.
     
  22. BTR

    BTR Member

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    I had a friend who was on the backup security detail of a nuke sub (don't know when)... said they had shotguns and .45s.
     
  23. priv8ter

    priv8ter Member

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    Let's see..

    I'm trying to see how I can address csslinger's question without getting myself in any trouble.

    Where I work, to get on a boat, you have to make it past 4 sets of guards: Main Gate, OA Gate, Water Front Gate, and then the ships topside watch.

    To inspire your confidence even more, these first three sets of guards are usually the best GS-5's the government can buy/rent from Johnson Controls.

    Once upon a time, there was usually one guy at each of these check points, but now there are at least three at each, with at least one guy being armed with a long gun(Usually an M-14 at the front gate).

    But, to address your main point, a dedicated team would find little resistance to getting on the boat.

    Now, the good news.

    When a ship comes in, the weapons come off, and they don't go back on until right before the ship goes to sea. When nuclear weapons are involved, at least of Platoon of Heavily Armed, not very sociable Marines are on guard around the boat.

    The other good news, is uaually these ships start getting taken apart for major maintence as soon as they hit the pier, so even bad guys did get on one, they would more than likely find it with half of the drain system sitting on the pier with bubbas working on it. A broken sub does no one any good.

    Finally...even if they get on a boat that is put together and has a few torpedos...so what? They aren't exactly the easiest things to drive. The power plant takes at least 2-3 hours to fire up. Even using Hkmp5sd's plan, let's say you do get some disgruntled nukes who are thrilled at the opportunity to start-up with out using procedures...well, you still have two hours or so the boat is vulnerable, limited to 4 knots on the EPM on the surface, while planes from Whidby Island an McCord AFB are looking for you. That would be as good of a way as commiting suicide as any, I guess.

    And to address the FMJ inside a metal tube question...all we ever issued below decks were Shotgun's, but I was a fast attack guy while I was still in. SSN-21, the fast, deepest diving, quitest boat to sit next to the pier :evil:

    greg
     
  24. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Unless you come in on the water side, of course.

    Unless you take over the boat during a port visit at a non-military location. You could easily have 5-6 hours of darkness plus several more hours after sunrise with no one knowing what's going on. With the reactor in hot standby, which it always is whenever in visiting ports, you can be making steam in around 30 minutes. Even if it took longer, you can always dive and snorkel if needed.

    You could even sit at the pier and let the entire crew come aboard, subduing them as they arrive, and take the boat out as scheduled with no one in the world knowing it wasn't under the Captain's control.

    I spent several years starting up the reactor plant and engine room prior to getting underway. We were extremely proficient and fast at it.

    But hopefully, there is much more security in place in the post 9-11 world to prevent anyone even attempting to gain access to a boat.
     
  25. rbmcmjr

    rbmcmjr Member

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    Start-up is easy...

    ...blow off the pre-crit, latch and snatch, you can be critical in the power range in about 15 minutes, depending on the platform. Give it another hour to warm up the engine room and you're golden.

    On the other hand, it would be trivial for a "partisan" to make it impossible to operate the plant. Take an axe to the scram breakers, throw a handful of nuts into the reduction gears, vent off the hydraulic accumulators and air flasks, etc.

    I think you guys are underestimating just how hard it would be.

    Rick - ex-nuke (S1W, CVN-65), one time civilian instructor at MTS-635, general nuclear guy
     
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