Friday, March 9, 2018

A Submarine Commissioning Approaches!

The crest of USS COLORADO (SSN 788) is contained within the silhouette of the head of a charging mustang, symbolizing the determined nature of the great state of Colorado. This nature of unbridled determination will carry on in the attitude of the crew of USS COLORADO. The fundamental elements of the background are derived from the Colorado state. Above the waterline lies the white, snow-covered Rocky Mountains standing tall over the landscape and concealing destructive power within their icy ridges. These mountains represent the mighty and majestic nature of submarines. Upon the reflection in the water rests a submarine, representing USS COLORADO, transiting forward, into the unknown. Along the collar of the horse lie seven stars that represent the Battle Stars awarded to the battleship USS COLORADO (BB-45) for exemplary service in World War II, and reflect the spirit of excellence present in the crew aboard the new USS COLORADO. Finally, the Latin motto, Terra Marique Indomita translates to “untamed by land and sea”. Although only three words and a straightforward translation, the motto actually has three distinct meanings: Terra Indomita: The first part above the water, recognizes the state of Colorado standing untamed by land throughout history ; Marique Indomita: The second part from the reflection, recognizes the submarine, USS COLORADO, standing untamed by the sea; Terra Marique Indomita: Together, the motto recognizes the spirit of USS COLORADO, both the ship and her crew, a spirit that remains untamed by the rugged terrain and weather extremes of land, and untamed by the rough waves and dark depths of the sea. From late 2014 into early 2015, the USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee coordinated a competition to design the official crest of the USS COLORADO. In April 2015, after receiving over 100 submissions from all across the world, the Commissioning Committee and the crew of PCU COLORADO evaluated the submissions and ultimately selected the design of Michael F. Nielson, to serve as the ship’s official crest. After the selection, the designer was contacted to provide some personal background information and finalize the design. It was at that time the command and the Commissioning Committee learned that the designer was both a naval officer and Colorado native who was completing initial training for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and had orders to report to PCU COLORADO. After completion of his training in October 2015, LTJG Nielson reported to PCU COLORADO as one of the first two Junior Officers. Be it hereby known, that this is the official crest of the USS COLORADO (SSN 788). (Source)
SSN 788 during her Alpha Trials
(Source)
If all goes well, The Missus Herself, The Nuke, and Your Humble Scribe will be attending the commissioning ceremony of USS Colorado (SSN 788) on the 17th of March over at Groton in Connecticut.

Because of her job The Nuke often has the opportunity to interface with the submarine fleet. She thought that it would be very special for us to attend the commissioning of one of America's newest warships.

It's special because Colorado is the first state which we lived in as a family after returning to the United States from Korea back in 1982. The Nuke was born in Colorado, in Aurora over at the old Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, we lived in Denver at the time. The WSO, though born in Wyoming (at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne), is a Colorado native as we lived in Fort Collins at the time.

I had two assignments to Lowry AFB in Denver during my career in the Air Force, I also received my bachelor's degree from Colorado State University back in the winter of 1986. (Yes, it was a long time ago.)

Most importantly, The Missus Herself considers Colorado to be her home state. Like I said, it was the first place in the U.S. that she lived.

So the Sarge Tribe has numerous ties to Colorado. I have a deep fondness for the place and had some great times out there. Of course, the most special thing about it was that it was the first place all five of us lived together. So yeah, while Vermont is my home state, and I currently live in Rhode Island, I consider Colorado to be home as well. Love that place.

So it's a real pleasure, and honor, to be able to attend the commissioning of this submarine. (Not to mention that I did do my own small bit in the development of the Virginia-class submarine combat system. Which was interesting and a lot of fun for an old Air Force fart. Some good people put a lot of work into those systems.)

Expect a full report when the day comes. I am really looking forward to it!



Terra Marique Indomita!


32 comments:

  1. Very Cool, Sarge. We expect a full report, with pictures (just not any in the reactor spaces. I mean who do you think you are? Hillary Clinton?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No photos from the reactor spaces, aye. If those are like a carrier's, all strictly off limits to non-crew. (Even off limits to crew members who don't work there.)

      I hope to get a good post out of the affair!

      Delete
  2. How exciting! I'm genuinely envious. I love these sorts of things as well, and the best thing is that you're going with your whole family. NOTHING is better than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very excited about this LL.

      When my daughter asked us if we'd like to go, I hesitated not a whit.

      Delete
  3. Look forward to reading about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only hope the weather is decent. Last commissioning I went to, in Norfolk, it was cold with a rain that turned to snow!

      Delete
  4. There is a special excitement in seeing a new naval vessel being "brought to life." I'm sure that you will enjoy the experience. The submarine service lives up to their motto, "The Silent Service" while doing some incredible things to defend our nation. You might want to read "Blind Man's Bluff" for a fuller appreciation of what they do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that right there is an excellent book, one I need to re-read.

      Delete
    2. It is a great book although a little dated. I was at Mare Island during part of that period and could hardly believe some of the stories I heard. And, by the way, I just finished Beck's second book and found it just as good a read as Ignighting. The depth of his research is awesome, and he is very even handed in his writing. I do wish he would provide more maps.

      Delete
    3. I was reading the chapter on the assault on Quebec, the one map was insufficient. There is no such thing as too many maps in a work of military history. Even so, both books are superb.

      Delete
  5. I was once given the complete commissioning package for those invited to attend the commissioning of USS Nimitz. It was marvelous. I hope Dave Harvey found it and kept it. Hopefully they continue the tradition on USS Colorado. I am surprised there is no photo of the earlier USS Colorado.
    We hope you have a grand time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The crest of the USS Missouri (SSN 780) includes the silhouette of USS Missouri (BB 63).

      At least Colorado's crest displays her predecessors seven battle stars.

      Delete
  6. I've been to one Commissioning, USS Nicholas FFG-47 at Bath Iron Works and one decommissioning, USS Midway CV-43 at NAS North Island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This will be my second commissioning ceremony. I was at the christening and the commissioning of USS Nitze (DDG 94), at Bath Iron Works and at Norfolk, respectively. The former was a brisk, though sunny, spring day. The latter was cold and rainy. Which turned to snow as we toured the ship. (My son is a plankowner, he was her first navigator.)

      A decommissioning seems like it would be a sad affair for former crew members.

      Delete
  7. Blown away by that logo. Even though a firmly committed dry land inhabitant, the YouTube videos where the words, "...man our ship and bring her to life" is stirring and awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the logo, first time I saw it was really awesome. (It was on the invitation.)

      Delete
  8. The logo is striking, but is that the actual crest? I thought they were ovals or circles, like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=USS+Chicago+(SSN-)+Crest&client=firefox-b-ab&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=dsZkcbOST9rv_M%253A%252Czic7kZWZDIttpM%252C_&usg=__m9lu7Iga954vmwxiIS62wEgI1bs%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjol4GS6N_ZAhWmw1QKHeL_B2UQ9QEIKzAA#imgrc=dsZkcbOST9rv_M:

    I always like to read about what all the crest symbolism means. Enjoy the commissioning, but stay warm. Sorry I've absent 'round these parts lately. Been in a PPBE Course all week, so my nights have been catch up time and I haven't had enough of it. (Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully this is their official one. I think the Navy lost a lot of the history and tradition once all the Spru-can and FFG blue-oval-rope things took over. Homogenization, no character.

      /
      L.J.

      Delete
    2. Tuna - so far I have not been able to find any reference to a Colorado coat of arms. I'll know for certain after the 17th.

      Delete
  9. I wonder, if this sub had launched during the prior administration if the motto would not have been omni umbra domita?
    (Tamed by every shadow? -Okay! Latin is not my first or even second language!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. There be much happenin' at Naval Station New London right around the time you be heading there. OPSEC and all that but there be happy people soon. I will be there April 20 for the Change of Command of SSN 783. Pleased to see another VA class join the fleet. Hooyah Colorado!

    That said, I attended SSN 787 commissioning in Norfolk in October and Ray Mabus' daughter was the sponsor. She took great opportunity to be a snowflake leftie, making it about her instead of the folks waiting to 'man the rails'. It was painful to hear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I suspected as much. "Rainbow" Mabus' daughter was the sponsor of SSN 788.

      Hoping she won't be at the commissioning...

      Delete
  11. Another highly informative post; it often seems that you can do no other kind.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to avoid duds, but they happen anyway. Glad you liked this one Paul.

      Delete
  12. That is one impressive crest! Needs a Badger, though.

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)