Another update! Well as you know I don’t sleep very often and to add to my stress I was in talking to the captain last night and at the end of our conversation concering submarine tactics he asked me if I’m ready for my officer of the deck board. I told him that I was but I had not been able to schedule one thus far. He said consider it done, your Officer of the Deck [OOD] Board is this week. I walked out of his room and shook my fist at the ceiling.
I don’t know that I’m completely ready, but I suppose I am as ready as I’ll ever be.. He wants me to get it before our first port visit and that’s in 9 days! I feel very perplexed and even more stressed but I made some phone calls and I’m getting support from the other officers so I guess no sleeping for me at all this next week… I might actually have to drink an energy drink! How horrible 🙁
Last night 6 brittish officers and chiefs from the royal navy came onboard and stayed till this morning to talk tactics. A warrant officer equivalent to an E-9 or masterchief in our navy was the anti submarine specialist and his name was Rocky. What a great guy. An older gentlemen full of gestures and good humor. I just love the brits!
They were making jokes and overall have always been an enjoyable group this far. Of course I slide right into the british aire, if you will. I was walking around saying “top of the morning to you” at midnight last night and “bloody hell” when things weren’t going well. O how we laughed. Rocky has been in the British Navy for quite some time and is full of experience. I talked with him late into the night. They left this morning via helicopter. I bought him a ball cap and waved him off and he was just delighted.
Yesterday while I was studying for my OOD board in the wardroom [the place where all the officers hang out], a warrant officer came in and there’s one thing you should know about warrant officers. NEVER PISS THEM OFF. They are a bunch of sea rugged, well educated, specialized in a very specific area, who become officers because of their high stature and they can do pretty much anything and get away with it. It is not advisible for a junior officer to walk in their way at any time.
You don’t believe me, just ask a few of Junior Offiers on my ship. But me, I disregard all of these politics and I have become good friends with all of them. ha. He tells me many stories about the days of the gulf war and there’s one in particular that I would like to share.
He told me about his first deployment during the gulf war when he was only 18. We had been going over engineering situations and I got into a debate with him over a casualty and how long you could steam before having to pull in somewhere to fix it. He said, “trust me, I win, my first ship steamed with this casualty for 4 months while deployed before we got home and had it fixed.”
“I said “what!? no way.”
He told me that he was off the coast of Iran on christmas day [his first deployment lasted 11.5 months instead of 6 due to continuous tasking] and they had just been authorized to attack Iran with all the tomahawk missles they carried on board. On Christmas day! And so they did. They put in the firing keys turned on the missle switchboards and unloaded every opposition missle they carried until they only had defensive missles left. And while they fired all of these missiles two at a time the captain from the bridge blasted here comes santa claus over the 1MC [the loud speaker system]!! O my! That would have been quite an
He also told me about how he joined the navy at the ripe age of 18. He had actually been pulled over across the state boarder and had 5 jugs of moonshine in his trunk. If you get caught across state boarders with moonshine then this is a federal offense. The judge gave him two options, take 5 felonies and go to jail or pick a fine institution to join, hmmmm, military service. He replied, “hello water.” He also told me that deployments are nothing like they used to be back in the day.
Before you had no means of communicating except via letter. Now we have email and the internet and all of this stuff. He said, “I hate hearing kids complain about being on deployment, its not a deployment if my wife can still bitch at me.” Haha. I love his vulgar attitude.
For a complete listing of all of my deployment articles Click the Link: MY FIRST DEPLOYMENT
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