USS Arizona
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All Ashore

Posted on 17 Feb 2023 @ 6:36pm by Commander Nathan Lewes
Edited on on 28 Feb 2023 @ 6:42pm

Episode: E1: A Historic Voyage
Location: Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Submarine Pier
Timeline: Date 2025-05-28 at 1012

“Double up all lines!” the officer of the deck called over the megaphone to the line handling parties both from the base on the pier and from the crew on the deck of the submarine. The crews were being overseen by the watchful and experienced eyes of the Chief of the Boat and Assistant Navigator.

The submarine was officially docked at home port and Lewes knew that the crew would be anxious to get ashore. He himself wasn’t particularly anxious and would be requesting BOQ for the duration of their stay in port. His few belongings secured in his vehicle that he’d brought on the cross country trip from his home. He stood on the bridge alongside the officer of the deck and the executive officer who was giving orders over her portable radio. They were making preparations to accept shore power and go into hot standby. The power plant would be running in a much lower and reduced capacity while in port so that they could start up and move out in a moments notice instead of requiring hours of preparation of the power plant before being able to generate steam for their electric generator and to turn the shaft for propulsion.

The Executive Officer made a comment to him and then disappeared below he looked down the pier and could see the anxious family members beginning to appear and wait for their loved ones to be released from the submarine. At least the loved ones that were being released from the submarine the duty section, extended for engineering due to the hot standby, would have to remain aboard the submarine until their watches were completed. A list of those who would be remaining aboard the submarine had been transmitted to COMSUBRON19 for distribution to the families to make appropriate arrangements. All in all Lewes was happy that most of the crew would remain below during these evolutions because seeing their families waiting at the end of the pier would just make them more anxious to leave than to complete their duties as attentive as otherwise.

“Sir request permission to prepare to take on the brow and accept the lines for water, sewer, IT, and power,” the Officer of the Deck asked, as the crane that would assist in moving the massive power line and other connections arrived pier side. Electricians from the crew began appearing topside as well as the usual groups from the base preparing the large transformer pier side to begin providing power to the submarine in lieu of its nuclear power plant.

“Permission is granted for all but power, let’s get the other systems connected, we can do power when engineering is prepared,” Lewes responded.

“Secure the maneuvering watch, secure the special sea and anchor detail,” Lewes ordered, over the 1MC. “Prepare to switch the breakers for shore power,” he added, hanging the microphone back in its cradle. He’d just heard over the portable radio that engineering was prepared for shore power. He was now standing in control, however, giving up his place on the sail for the ENG and the bull nuke to oversee the evolution topside with the personnel who had to actually get their hands dirty.

Securing the maneuvering watch meant that the watch standers in control were essentially dismissed, no need to have a pilot and co-pilot, no need for sonar, and the weapons panels were certainly going to be of no use tied to a pier. While in port there would be a small watch section handling security, a watch section in engineering, and a watch section from communications. All other members of the crew would follow normal working hours outside of their required watches. The watch rotation rotated through each department and division with he officer serving as duty officer, an engineering officer of the watch, a duty section chief, and various crew members holding down various positions especially in Engineering.

As the various panels and screens began to deactivate across the control center he felt strange standing there so he moved toward his quarters. He would begin working on all of the paperwork that happened at the end of a deployment. Anytime the submarine left the pier, logs, records, and things that would have filled his US Navy email inbox while they were unable to send/receive. He was not shocked to find his executive officer already firmly attached to her desk going to town on her keyboard surely anxious to see her new fiancé.

“This is a reminder to all crew that there is no stand down with this return to port, we are at hot standby, and prepared to be underway as soon as possible. Resupply operations will begin for all non-perishable items tomorrow at 10:00 hours and all crew are expected to be back on this base within ninety minutes of notification. Be sure that the watch section has up to date contact information at all times while ashore. Anyone who is late for working hours, watch, or does not return within the allotted time on a recall will be restricted to the boat. Any questions follow your chain of command. At this time begin modified shore routine,” Lewes commanded, putting the microphone back on its cradle.

“Have a goodnight XO, I‘ll see you tomorrow,” Lewes said, as the XO bid him goodnight. Despite being cut loose early today, just prior to 13:00, the 07:00 work day would start soon for everyone especially those who had to finish out the current watch and man the rest leading to morning.


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