Posted by: guinness222 | April 28, 2018

So about Oceanography,….and life!

Where we left off I had selected a College, Hillsdale College in Michigan, that I wanted to go to earn my degree, and that degree would be in US History and our great CONSTITUTION. That is what really holds our country together, and the current assaults on it are both despicable, and totally deplorable. It, The Constitution, needs both explainers and defenders. (I’ll write on that next time).

Anyway, in 1966,starting my “U.S. Navy Career”, I received orders to report to Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, to attend an advanced school in “Anti-submarine Warfare Environmental Services Prediction”, ASWEPS.

HUH? I was a weather observer,hopefully someday, a full forecaster, (what’s going on?) Seems like the increase in the “Cold War” increased submarine warfare, we all played the game, both offensively and defensively because we both we needed to know where the others submarines were all the time.

After my 6 or 8 weeks, of intensive study, (like 8-10 hours per day, Monday – Friday) I was then assigned to COMCARDIV 20, and the staff of the Commander of Carrier Division Twenty, a Rear Admiral, “TD”is a good Davies, who had his own legitimate claims to fame and bravery during WWII,” and after the War, the record non-stop flight of a P2V aircraft from Australia to Ohio”. He was aboard the his Flag Ship an Aircraft Carrier, (the original WW2 World War Carrier USS Essex) formerly a CVA, and the original of the Essex Class. (It was launched in 1942 as an attack carrier with a Squadron of Fighter Planes), It had been recently re-classified to a “CVS”, a Support Carrier, whose mission was to maintain a full surveillance and support base, for aircraft and Submarines, particularly from Russia during the “Cold War” in (1965-69) . It was their job was to detect, identify, track and maintain observance of our Nations foes, a/k/a trying to gain a leg up on us in intensity UNDERWATER, in the event that it was necessary to be a “hotter” surveillance and it could make us the inevitable winner by knowing where they were at all times, and their capabilities for an undersea attack, should we ever have to go to it!

To accomplish the goal two things were necessary, a solid knowledge of the Ocean, it’s currents, Temperature, chemistry and particularly the anomalies and their effects on Sound., It seemed to be a glamorous, and exciting” adventure, but from a nine to five position it could be very boring, and routine! And despite the vast and great Navy we had, it was aimed at the strategies of 19th and 20th century “warfare at sea”, and NOT the key that it was not your typical “land battle” as warfare strategies that existed for centuries, but an all new stage of warfare, tactics, and staffing requirements, particularly those being developed through the rapidly development of science!

We had some ideas as to what their weaponry was, it’s limits, it’s ability and capacity to damage our fleets, flyers, and ships, and they had an idea of ours. We were the real “chicks” in the game of chicken. We were NOT in a defensive war, but in creating both an offensive strategy, and defensive shield for our homeland, and the rest of our fleet.

Since we had all kinds of “time-off” between shifts in this new field, I was doing a lot of questioning and discussing with the Pilots of our squadrons, (I had to brief them all before missions with both weather and “sound” conditions and “thermocline” cuts, (the depth at which the water ceases to go down temperature wise, and gradually rises to reflect the effect of our planet’s molten core temperature on our “Big Blue Marble, Planet Earth.

I deviate, with that much time to read, research, study, it was a little “heaven on earth” for me, time to learn more and think more. But after my “hitch” of six years, I knew FINALLY where my interests lye,…….in our History as a country, and our world as a Jar of fluid of quicksilver. When you juxtapose them you come to realize the immensity of the problem. $/5’s of our planet is under a “blanket” of water, of which we know virtually nothing, YET the next war will be fought on and particularly UNDER it!

Interestingly enough our Navy had never really “focused” on the waters on which it had made it’s fame in sailing and advancing the engineering and development of better ships. But consider that Admiral Hymen Rickover, beginning in the 1950’s was both championing it, and working on an “ultimate weapon” in the form of a ship which could sail the seven seas, SUBMERGED for a large part of a year, yet be self sustaining. Going to untested depths, moving in virtual silence amongst the topography of the undersea world. With it came a myriad of problems, first being able to actually do it, without imploding, and working it with a much higher educated crew, of experts, enlisted as well as officers, all while being locked in an oversized “cigar tube” for extended periods of time, as well as the effects on the mental health of everyone, and maintaining the “structure” of a United States Navy ship.

The bottom line is that we had to “invent” the entire thing, (and it was the equivalent of putting a man on the moon in isolation, surrounded by a totally unsurvivable atmosphere, and an unrescuable potential, if disaster struck!

I personally learned as much as was humanly possible both inside and outside the limitations and restrictions of the Navy’s available data. I sought additional information and exchanges of ideas with the world famous WoodsHole Laboratories, and even received permission and travelled to Woods Hole, with Admiral Davies to see if we could glean better inside for the Navy’s missions. (I was subsequently offered a position at WoodsHole, which I had to decline, aboard the Research Vessel “ALVIN” which discovered the site of the sunken wreckage of the Titanic.) I wanted to complete my enlistment in the Navy, and return to my family (Wife Barbara, and children Shawn and Christine) who had been holding down the fort while I was at sea.

There were virtually no Colleges or Universities I could even consider price wise, with Oceanography disciplines that I could consider even with my GI Bill of Rights. So I had to fallback to my second love “History” and began Junior College and then State College,….and ultimately became an entrepreneur and businessman. But enough about me!

We have ultimately accomplished the goals form the 1960’s, and gone far beyond them from whaat I can tell. Obviously it is probably still classified and held tightly to the chest. But what we now know we should not only feel proud and secure of MY Navy and how they have acquitted themselves into the 21st Century.

My only wish for the Navy would be to establish a “Rating” for “Oceanographer” and give more Sailors the opportunities to play a bigger role in our countries protection!

-30-

April 28, 2018


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