Friday, October 8, 2021

An Unexpected Guest

(U.S. Navy/Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith)

"Conn, Sonar."

"Sonar, Conn, this is the Captain."

"Submerged contact, bearing 033. Just popped up."

"On my way..."


USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) came up slowly through the layer¹, the boat's passive sonar immediately began to show a trace on the waterfall display at a bearing of 213.

"Conn, Sonar, contact bearing 213, very faint."

The OOD² answered immediately, "Conn aye, any ID yet?"

"Negative."

The OOD picked up one of the phones and punched the number for the captain, "Captain, OOD, we've got a faint sonar contact at 213."

"On my way."


JDS Toryu (SS-512) was an extremely quiet submarine. Her captain, Commander Yamashita Goro, was in sonar watching as another sound source started showing on the passive waterfall display.

Sample Passive Sonar Waterfall Display
(Source)

"Watanabe, do you think those are the American boats?"

"Hai, Nisa-san." Pointing at the display the young petty officer continued, "This one we've been tracking for some time, definitely a Virginia-class, Block IV I think, the computer agrees. As to this one, give the system a few more minutes. She was below the layer, perhaps she is rendezvousing with the other?"

"Keep me informed, Sanso.³"


Colonel Jeff Tanaka, United States Marine Corps, eyed the admiral standing in front of the desk for a long moment before speaking again. "You understand what's going on here, right? My unit has taken control of the Pentagon, along with a number of Marines from 8th & I, and we've placed a number of officers in confinement. Some we know cooperated with the UN forces who have invaded the United States and..."

"Invaded Colonel? They were invited in." The admiral spoke up.

"Yes, by criminal elements in the government who, we believe have been undermining the Republic for years. Some of us felt that..."

"...committing mutiny was a good idea?" The admiral finished Tanaka's sentence.

Tanaka stared at the admiral "in Marine" as his wife liked to say. Before he could say another word, the admiral undid his shoulder boards, the shoulder boards of a four-star admiral, and tossed them on the desk.

"For what it's worth I agree with you Colonel, and I'm willing to help. It's going to be hard to communicate across the Defense network without someone who knows the protocols." Turning to the sergeant who had brought him to Tanaka he asked, "Sarge, can you find me some commander's shoulder boards? I think I'm done being an admiral for now, as this seems to be an affair of colonels..."

SFC Levine, United States Army, looked at his Marine boss who shrugged.

Levine dispatched one of the Privates in the outer office to run that errand, as he came back into the office he heard Tanaka say, "You understand that I'm going to have the sergeant keep an eye on you for now?"

"Understood. I think I, or someone Navy, should get on the horn to Guam and get a SITREP on that convoy attack."

Tanaka nodded and said, "Joe, take him to a secure phone, if he talks in code or tries anything funny, shoot him in the head."

The admiral raised an eyebrow.

"We are not screwing around sailor, you'd better understand that from the git-go. If I, or any of my people, think you're dirty, you're gonna die on the spot. Wakarimaska?"

Former Admiral, now Commander, Harry Fairchild, who had also served in Japan, nodded and said, "Wakarimasu, you're the boss."


"Cap'n, it's Rickover on the Gertrude. Says he's got some minor damage, apparently one of the Red's ships rained parts on them."

"Rained?"

The Chief of the Boat (COB) Master Chief Petty Officer Winston Burke handed the captain the handset, "That's what he said, Cap'n."

"CONN, SONAR!! New contact bearing 110, quiet as Hell, computer says Soryu-class Japanese boat!"

The COB gave the signal to breakaway to Rickover, this Japanese boat was, to him, an unexpected wildcard. Commander Gregory looked at the COB, "You didn't hear this from me, COB. We were expecting this guy."

"Friend?"

"God I hope so."






¹ The layer is, in simple terms, a depth at which the sound propagation through the water changes. Sound above the layer stays above the layer, the same can be said for sound below the layer. For my submariner and sonar readers, yes, that's very simplified.
² The Officer of the Deck. The OOD is the direct representative of the ship's commanding officer and is responsible for the ship when the captain is not on the bridge or in the conn on a submarine.
³ Nisa-san is an abbreviation for "Commander." Sanso is an abbreviation for Petty Officer 3rd Class.

48 comments:

  1. National guard and Patriot civilians up against the chicom invaders in upstate NY, Military Constitutionalists against the deep state/chicom allied traitors at the Pentagon, and a very complex Westpac situation. So many new characters and situations. Gonna be having to go back and review previous installments periodically to be able to keep it all straight! S'pose I aughta go back now and start at the beginning again...gonna need some coffee first.

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    1. My Muse takes me in many directions, then leaves it to me to tie up any loose ends.

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  2. The plot thickens, a Soryu class attack sub...........hmmmmm. Keep it coming Sarge.

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    1. Yeah, what is she doing there?

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    2. Getting ready to shoot ChiComs in the face, like all good people of course.

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  3. I like that Marine!! And easing above the layer to find two contacts has to be no fun atoll. I saw the reciprocal. That is a great little factoid that makes this....... right. WELL DONE! BZ Boss!

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    1. Yeah, come up through the layer and have two contacts almost immediately? That's a real "oh shit" moment right there.

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  4. Nice developments, Sarge. Muse is in good form.
    Nit to pick - you explain Nisa-san in footnote 3 but no corresponding 3 in the body at that term, although I see it a bit later at Sanso.

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    1. Rather than have two footnotes in that little span, I went with one. Me being lazy.

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  5. Sarge, does my mind wander or is there some sort of phrase about revolutions being a colonel's revolution?

    One underestimates the Japanese Self Defense Forces at their own peril.

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    1. TB - I've heard that phrase before, haven't tracked it down though.

      The JSDF are very professional and extremely capable.

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  6. Ha. Ha ha. Hahahahhahahahaa....

    I love the picture at the top. Just as I predicted, again. I am so in your head some days. Muhahahahahahahhahaa

    Did not expect there to be two US fast attacks subs and a JNSDF sub there. Those straits are gonna get awfully crowded with underwater wessels. As long as no ChiComs show up before the good guys detect them, the world will continue getting better.

    "An affair of colonels" you say. Hmmmm... seems I've heard that phrase before. Can't place it and the google-fu ain't working this morning.

    Excellent tale yet again. Please feed your Muse appropriately.

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    1. Well the skull and crossbones was a logical step. I thought about going with the broom, but these days a successful sea trial for a new boat apparently merits a broom on the mast, I don't agree.

      They're not in the Taiwan Strait, the Chicom convoy was coming down from Ningbo, East Sea Fleet headquarters. They figured a direct crossing of the Strait was too obvious, so they came from the north. But someone knew about that and got the word out to the US Navy.

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    2. As to the broom being devaluated, yeah, goes along with the current mil-fashion of Everyone Gets An Award! Which I heartily disagree. I hate the 'Everybody wins, nobody loses, everyone gets a trophy' society that we now have. You can learn much from losing, like, well, you suck at what you are losing at no matter how hard you try, so it's time to try something else.

      Grrrr. The Broom means it's a clean sweep during a war patrol, no ships got away. It does not mean "We didn't sink and we're alive." That's what tying up to the dock means. Grrrrr....

      As to the Taiwan Straits, okay, makes sense. ChiComs pool ships on their side of the Straits and draw all the attention away from other bases. Then try a Dieppish raid against Taiwan? Are they stupid? Does Taiwan not have probably the biggest collection of paid coast watchers and search equipment per mile of coastline of any place on the Earth? Idiots. That whole "Come from the North" thing worked for the IJN because we didn't have satellites and listening bouys and coast watchers and radar and sonar and, for all I know, actual manned bouys with actual men in them and, for all I know, people who can talk to the fishes and cetaceans keeping track of every cubic centimeter of Taiwan's waters.

      Yeesh. Morons. But the ChiCom military has always shown themselves to be morons of one form or another. Seriously, get beaten by Indians in a non-gunfighting skirmish? Yeesh. Morons.

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    3. Not sure what point you're trying to make. The Chinese were counting on the Americans being distracted by events in their own country and division at the highest levels of government. The approach from the north was less obvious than an assault directly across the Strait. Get the northern force ashore and then come across the Strait.

      What do coast watchers have to do with it? At best they can see to the horizon, by the time enemy ships show up there it's too damned late. How do you know the satellites are still operational?

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    4. Intel, from coast watchers, fishing vessels, pleasure craft, satellites, listening posts. All valuable sources of intel. Coast watcher (on a mountain, Taiwan has some good ones) can see vessels that don't act 'right' and can be tagged for checking out by Coast Guard.

      Yes, by the time coasties see something, it's too late to stop the ships, but it gets intel on what the ships are doing and what they are dropping off.

      And no other point than glad to see ChiCom ships go down.

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    5. Well, we're all glad to seer that.

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  7. The Japanese were expected?

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    1. Yes, but not by all parties aboard the US boats.

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  8. So the Pentagon has been taken and so far only the CNO is aboard. That leaves Army and Air Force outlying. When is the Pres and Congress going down?

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    1. That's coming, well, something is coming.

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    2. I wonder what the Space Force is thinking? Control the orbitals and you control the planet. How safe is that Chinese space station?

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    3. What Space Force? The comic opera band we have now? You don't need to "control the orbitals" you just need to shoot them down or disable them. By what means does one "control" an asset in space?

      As to the space station, who cares? Fixed in place, send an aircraft aloft with an anti-sat missile and BOOM, no more space station. Hell, a small piece of orbital junk can take that out, imagine what a missile purpose-designed for that task would do?

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    4. Well, yes on what space force. But there's always questions as to exactly what the X-37B has been doing in orbit besides running 'experiments.' Could one of those experiments be some sort of kinetic energy device? Latest AF deep penetrators are short enough to fit in the X-37B cargo compartment...

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    5. Do you think the current maladministration would fund anything like that to make it operational? I don't. Which leaves us down the road holding our d**ks in our hands when the bad guys come a'calling.

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    6. (Don McCollor)...Depends. An orbital kinetic energy weapon need not be complex. Depending on the orbit and available maneuvering delta V of the X37B, a bag of scattered bb shot deployed to intercept (intersect the path) of a satellite in a different orbital plane or direction would have very high impact velocity velocity. Hypervelocity impacts are impressive...

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    7. Yes they are, however such weaponry has no place in the current story.

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    8. (Don McCollor)...But now a dense blivit in the cargo bay would remain mostly on course on deorbiting. The craft would have to target it down. A one-shot deal...

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  9. I'm really enjoying this story! Nice work, my compliments to the muse.

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    1. Thanks Tuna. Guess who's going to Sandy Eggo again in four weeks.

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  10. Found it? https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/oberstenaffare

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    1. Thanks, htom, for finding that. Interesting... At one time Swiss politicians decided to get political and were told 'No.'

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  11. Hi, first time commenter, long time follower. I think the Regime of the Colonels from the Greek junta is what everyone is thinking about.
    Dennis in Poland

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    1. Not the first time colonels took over a government. Wasn't Ghaddafi a colonel before he took over?

      Witamy na pokładzie Dennis!

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    2. (Don McCollor)...In the Third World military, there seems to be no rank lower than a colonel or at least a major...

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    3. If you believe what you see in crappy newspapers and magazines...

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  12. TORYU got the SONG? The JMSDF use French sonars?

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    1. You're assuming quite a lot from the scant information given. No, the picture is meant to show readers what a waterfall display looks like, that picture (from a French film) was the best of the lot.

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  13. This one might require some rewriting: Service dress blues don't have shoulder boards; rank is indicated by the stripes on the sleeves of the uniform coat. Now, if he took off his coat, the uniform shirt has a set of epaulettes that indicate rank. So those could be easily changed.

    The problem then becomes nobody really keeps extra epaulettes lying around, you just put them on another shirt when you send the one you've worn off to be destroyed by the ship's laundry. I believe that a small uniform shop was opened in Fort Fumble some years ago, they may have the epaulettes. But I don't know if they do alterations. If not, they can't redo the coat's insignia. There is a NEX uniform shop at Henderson Hall that may do alterations.

    (I might be too deep into the weeds, here.)

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    1. Very few might recognize that detail. I'm going to go with the Admiral not wearing his coat while he was confined.

      You're right about the extra epaulettes, those aren't cheap as I recall (Five kids in the Navy, all officers, three of ours, two son-in-laws).

      You are pretty deep in the weeds, but it's those details I hate missing. I shall be more careful in the future. (Truth be told, sometimes the Muse just starts writing and the story flies so fast I do miss things. I shall attempt to keep a tighter rein on that!)

      Thanks for the attention to detail!

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    2. I know how that goes. On my projects, I keep going back and rereading and revising to ensure that I'm not dropping synch.

      I kind of miss the colonial war stuff, but you gotta write what calls to you.

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    3. No matter how many times I read and revise, I always miss something. I may go back to th colonial stuff at some point. I kinda miss it myself.

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    4. The "soft" boards that go on the white shirt under the blue blouse are about the cheapest of the whole lot. "Hard" boards for whites get expensive and are "passed down". Striping the sleeves of the blue blouse is expensive and time-consuming.
      During WWII, gold was in short supply so instead of changing all of the sleeve striping (as done now so the stripes match in color) the new were added above the old. "Wetting down" the new stripes with booze was supposedly done to make the new stripes as salty looking as the old.
      Boat Guy

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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