Back in the day…

We were operating out of Diego Garcia, down in the Indian Ocean as part of the ‘Circuit’ as it was known, and the ENTERPRISE and her escorts showed up down there.

We were tasked with a ‘delouse’ to see if she’d picked up any unwanted trailers, and low and behold we found one…

To say she could haul ass would be an understatement, and I think her top speed is STILL classified! But it was interesting to note that she and her escorts left a very bright bioluminescent wake that we were able to follow all the way back to her without any problems in the dark! 🙂

And her trailer? Let’s just say it couldn’t keep up… 😀

Fun times!!!


TBT… — 13 Comments

  1. It looks like her top speed is the speed of light. 😀

  2. When discussing relative top speeds, and since I was the skipper’s phone talker, I asked him why the destroyers escorting/protecting the carrier couldn’t keep up with them. He told me the destroyers’ job was to engage & delay any attacker, while the carrier moved away at high speed. It was a sobering thought to a 19-year-old to be told that we were expendable – cannon fodder, if you will – to protect the air wing of the task force. But then the high speed made sense.

  3. One reason that we make nuclear powered carriers so fast is because we can. The power available with nuclear energy is so high and can be concentrated in such a small volume that having shipborne power plants that can drive carriers at high speed is quite doable. Another advantage, is that a nuclear powered ship can cruise at top speed for as long as the machinery holds up, no need to stop for refueling. Unfortunately with the retirement of all of the nuclear powered escorts, this advantage is diminished as the (conventional powered) escorts still need to be refueled.

  4. Old NFO, (citing the comment above), I still don’t understand why we chose to go to cruisers fueled by Navy Distillate rather than continuing with nuclear powered CV escorts. Is it one of those “green initiatives things” or was there a genuine reason?

    • My understanding is that it was a cost and personnel thing. Nuclear powered ships are more expensive to build than fossil fueled ships.Engineering personnel require significant training time, not just initially, but ongoing as well. Attracting and retaining the required number of trained personnel is an ongoing problem with the present fleet without adding additional escort vessels. Of course the Clinton “Peace Dividend” drawdown and the Democrat anti-nuclear bias hasn’t helped.

      Note this is my opinion based on observation, discussions with friends who served in the nuke navy, and 30+ years in the nuclear industry.

  5. I can believe Echo as most likely. I remember that picture in National Geographic, er, way back in the day.

    NRW, that’s a good question for the naval architects, because those were handful of escorts built around the reactors. I’ll ask it the other way round: guys, design a nuc power section that can mate with standard frames for cruiser and destroyer hulls to replace conventional propulsion section, give power/turns for XX knots, 20% fewer personnel, Y miles between refueling. Oh, and build 5-6 identical sections for overhaul of a test squadron. Just thinking out loud, but at some point the science project ends and you build realistic lots of standard engineered sections.

  6. Had an employee who was a deck officer on the Big E until certain personal indiscretions ended his career. He did have some interesting stories.

  7. Psycho- Yep! As NRW says, the cost of ‘training’ and upkeep was what doomed the Nuc CRUDES.

    WSF- And probably all true! 🙂

  8. I trained on the Enterprise nuclear plant prototype in the Idaho desert in the late 70s. The lore was at 100% power the propeller on the longest shaft was 1.25 revolutions behind the bull gear at the other end. The proverbial s**t load of torque.

  9. Back in the early 70’s. We watched a SSN leave Apra Harbor in and return asap. Checked the elapsed time.
    We knew where they went.

    That trip was fast, very fast.