Talk:USS Houston (SSN-713)

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The article states that the USS Houston was launched on March 21, 1981 sponsored by Barbara Bush, First Lady of the United States. As Mrs. Bush was not the First Lady of the United States in 1981 should the article be updated to reflect this?

Very accurate potrayal of the events of July 2001. I know since I was a crew memeber on board. This was one of the tow times I had ever feared for my life in my 15 years on board submarines. I only wish more poeple really knew what went on and how it was attemped to get covered up. TM'S Rule !!!

I thought the anchor broke off during the 98 or 99 (can't remember the year) Thailand port call. Maybe it broke twice. But I was there in 98/99 and I remember steaming, but we didn't steam around the bay, we just steamed in one place. The article makes it sounds as if we were taking a joy ride around the bay. Additionally, we didn't steam because the anchor broke, we steamed because there was no place to tie up to and get shore power from, so we could shut down the engineroom. Regardless of whether the anchor broke, the nukes got screwed with keeping the plant up (as always). This was the 98/99 Westpac I am refering to but the situation is the same.


Tagged because the entire "Service" section contains unsubstantiated first-person accounts of historical events. Unless these claims can be cited using appropriate references, it should be removed.Ereisch (talk) 03:26, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

R12 toxicity[edit]

Not sure how to create a citation, when one is required. Its not that R12 is toxic, its that it is heavier than air and displaces Oxygen. So an R-12 leak in a sealed submarine can lead to suffocation deaths in lower levels and in the bilges. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.169.70.10 (talk) 21:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Crew member confirmation[edit]

I was on board from 1989 to 1993 and can confirm the accuracy of events mentioned in the article for that time period. Being in Hunt for Red October, destroying the towed array, the flooding through snorkel mast, the almost getting hit by torpedo (I was on duty and heard it explode), snagging the tow cable of the tug, etc. We had a bit of a rapid turn-over of captains back then, since they take ultimate blame. Needless to say, the mishaps and incompetent senior enlisted are why I got out after my first enlistment term. These are sea stories I've been telling co-workers every since I got out in 1993, now I can send them to wikipedia. 131.107.0.87 (talk) 08:48, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Events between June of 2000 and November of 2004. Specifically the "Crash Back" drill.[edit]

I served on board USS Houston (SSN-713) as a member of the ship's Auxiliary Systems Division between June of 2000 and November of 2004. During the "Crash Back" drill described in the article I was in the ship's control room, having just been relieved of the planesman watch station prior to commencing the drill and taking over the messenger station. It should be noted that both watch standers on the sticks (Stern Planesman and Helmsman/Fairwater Planesman) at the time, the Diving Officer of the Watch, the Chief of the Watch, and the Officer of the Deck failed to see what was happening for what it really was on account of the instrumentation failure mentioned in the article (if you'd like citation other than eye witness, see if you can dig up the official critique of the event which should have been included in the official report to squadron, it mentioned the instrumentation failure as the root cause). The event, as currently written, is accurate enough for a publicly edited online encyclopedia, but I will point out that if you are going to insist on throwing the sailors under the bus for this event, you really should go with complete accuracy and include the entire ship's control team as the point of failure seeing as how every one of them failed to see the problem and any one of them could have called it if they'd seen it. Aganger (talk) 21:25, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Corrections to article "crash back" entry[edit]

My corrections to this entry are based on first-hand accounts as the on-watch Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) at the time of this incident and as the billeted Ship's Diving Officer at the time. My corrections are noted in italics

On 21 June 2001 Houston was conducting normal training operations in the Pacific off the coast of Washington state, which included a "crash back" drill, in which the ship goes from ahead flank (maximum forward speed) to back full emergency correct annotation is back emergency (maximum engine power in reverse). The maneuver proceeded well, despite the tremendous shaking, noise, and stress the maneuver creates, until the boat began to gain sternway (actually moving backwards through the water).

When a vessel is moving backwards, her rudder and in the case of a submarine, her planes, function in the opposite manner than when she is moving forwards. The stern planesman failed to compensate for this phenomenon due to instrumentation failure (the ships EM log still indicated that the ship was making headway at ~3 knots) Actually this was not a failure of the ship's EM log but a function of how they are designed. The ship's EM log is incapable of distinguishing between speed in the ahead or astern direction [citation needed], and continued to try to trim the boat as if they still were making headway. When the stern began to rise, he raised the stern planes, which would have depressed the stern if they had been moving forward. While making sternway, it had the opposite effect, increasing the down-angle. The stern continued to rise, more rapidly as the boat accelerated backwards. Before the problem could be corrected, Houston had attained a 70 degree down-angle (the actual down-angle is not verifiable as the onboard instruments do not measure to 70 degrees, however it is certain that the ship exceeded a 45 degree down-angle based on over-ranging the instrumentation at the ship's control panel) and her screw broached the surface while still turning at a high rpm (this did trip the ship's main engines (M/E's)). The control team performed a partial emergency ballast tank blow and safely surfaced the boat, and the engineering team safely scrammed (emergency shutdown) the reactor plant to prevent damage (This last statement concerning the reactor scram is false. The reactor remained at power during this entire process. The only time the reactor was close to being scrammed was when someone called away "flooding in Engine Room Upper Level". At that time I had to close the main seawater (MSW) and Auxiliary Seawater (ASW) valves to isolate the flooding (there is a remote switch for this in the Maneuvering area above the EOOW desk). However, the Engine Room Supervisor (ERS) reported that there was no flooding but simply displaced water from the ship's evaporator unit. MSW and ASW were restored and propulsion was shifted to the emergency propulsion motor (EPM). The Ship's Service Turbine Generators remained online throughout the event. The critique after the event later revealed that the back emergency bell was maintained for too long of a period and was outside the guidance specified in the Steam and Electric Plant Manual for 688 Class Submarines [1]. An additional mitigating factor that might have prevented the event was to shift speed indications to the ship's Electrostatic Gyro-Navigation (ESGN) system instead of using the EM log for an accurate reading of speed and direction over ground.) --Mikecoursey (talk) 18:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Steam and Electric Plant Manual for 688 Class Submarines