It ain’t bragging


ASW orange

There always seems to be a guy (or gal) on the playground that everyone chooses first because the team that lands him will almost always win. The one that doesn’t, well, is like team Orange. No matter how hard they try, they eventually lose.

In Anti-Submarine Warfare exercises, American submarines play the part of the gifted athlete. Surface ships, no matter how hard they try, are on the other team and will almost certainly lose.

Oh, the Surface Warriors will protest that things have changed. Ships are better. They are quieter.

I am sure they are. Meanwhile, this is how submariners view surface ships.
ASW pointsA

In an ASW exercise, torpedo or missile attacks by submarines are simulated by launching green flares. If memory serves me correctly, I do not believe there are any flares to simulate a ship firing on a submarine, and even if there are it doesn’t matter since ships never get to shoot before being sunk.

ASW green flare

It isn’t fair, when you think about it. Submariners are the smart guys. They even go to nuclear power school, for crying out loud.

ASW space invaders

ASW exercises are Revenge of the Nerds on steroids. For the first time in their lives, they get to play the bully. And just like the gifted athletes on the playground, they let their actions do the talking for them. No need to talk when you are skunking your opponent. That being said, you couldn’t blame them if they bragged a little, and I suspect they do when they get alone with other submariners. After all, they are only human.

ASW sub stories

A wise man once said, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.”

I think he was a submariner.


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