USS Arizona

Welcome aboard.... back log

Posted on 17 Apr 2023 @ 8:17am by Petty Officer First Class Rebecca Robinson & Petty Officer Second Class Dex Gracia

Episode: E1: A Historic Voyage
Location: Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Submarine Pier
Timeline: Date 2024-06-24 at 1630

He had his backpack, and garment bag (with his dress uniforms, two dress civilian shirts's, and 3 pairs of tan-colored civilian pants.) And on his back was his crammed full seabag. He was in his dress whites, and even with that 2-liter bottle of water, thirsty. He had filled it up every chance he got, but it was still not enough. He had pulled his orders out four times and showed his Navy ID card with it. First the main gate, and then when he got to the Sub gate, then the pier, then at the brow. This was not even where his flight had landed. he had thought that C-Tac, would be close to the sub-base. In NOB, Norfolk, VA. The sub base was at one end of the piers, and the carriers were at the other end, with cruisers and tin cans in the middle. The Air Base was butted up against the NOB and the main Freeway into the base, ran beside the Airfield and runways. NOB was so big, they had to stagger the Carrier liberty times to keep congestion down. Not here, Ctac was two taxi ride's and a ferry ride to get to the right island, peninsula or whatever it was. He was totally lost, and just asking directions. They pointed to the end of the pier. He didn't believe it at first. He didn't see anything. They explained that at low tide you could not see the Sail from the end of the pier. He shrugged and staggered down towards the end of the pier. His sea bag didn't seem that heavy yesterday, but after two days of carrying it around, he was starting to regret all of his extra gear he had packed. The guys at sub-school, said, "If you don't bring it, you won't have it!" But you only get so much room, so pack carefully.

He came to the end section of the pier and followed the shore power cables. Where he was expecting a platform and a ladder up, was an ACOM ladder down. He carefully went down the ladder. Thankfully he was a farm boy and could handle heavy loads. He got to the bottom of the ladder set his backpack down, turned and saluted the Ensign on the Jack staff, turn and saluted the Officer of the Deck, then said, "FT2 Dex Gracia, reporting for duty." He pulled his orders out of his backpack, handed them to the officer, then pulled his ID out of his front pocket. He was wobbling a bit, and looked down to see the waves of a passing boat causing the sub to rock slightly. The OOD looked at him and said, "You get seasick already?" Dex replied, " I knew subs were small, but I was expecting stability." The OOD smiled and said, "Import, you get used to it, low tide and waves are constantly nudging us." The OOD looked at his orders, then had the Messenger go get someone from his department.

Rebecca had been at the fire control station troubleshooting some areas that had been causing her some concern after she had been told about it. She knew the issues wouldn't be too hard to troubleshoot, though when she looked at her watch she saw that she was needing to meet the new FT. She got up and was about to head to see if they had arrived when the messenger came informing her that the new FT was there. She made her way there and stopped smiling at the new FT. "Welcome to the ship I am FT1 Rebecca Robinson let's get you to your bunk."

She motioned for him to follow her to the bunk area and stopped upon arriving to the area. She stopped to see if he had any questions.

DE's look at the FT1, and Said, "Good afternoon mam, FT2 Garcia, reporting for duty. So most important question first, does the soft serve machine have a redundant server, and how many flavors are installed? I heard that Sub's get the better equipment than surface sailors!"

Robinson wasn't quite sure as to the reason for the specific questions, but she realized she had been on submarines since her career started. She looked at Gracia and answered "We serve for flavors here, but as to the machine itself that would be a question for culinary staff as I really don't pay attention if I am being honest."

Dex replied," Well the Tin can I was on, only had vanilla most of the time. The chocolate was inop 99 percent of the time. They would get it working, and then the next day it was out of order. I successfully resisted the urge to try the soft serve, for the first half of my first deployment. Everyone said don't do it, once you try it, you are hooked. I didn't believe them, but they were right. When we pulled import, they took the soft serv-machine offline. But it's not like it worked right anyway. It was when I was assigned to the mess, to get my service period out of the way, that I found out that the Chief's mess had strawberry and chocolate syrup. I opened my mouth, and was transferred to the ship's crew galley's deep sink, that afternoon."

Robinson than notified someone about the arrival of the new crew member, so he could be assigned to his bunk.

Carrying his gear to his rack, it took 45 minutes to stow/cram/fit his uniforms and possessions in the coffin locker, under his mattress. He had to admit the mattress was at least twice as thick as any other he had ever seen. He managed to get all of his stuff in his lockers and went to find FT1 Robinson. Finding her at the Combat control stations. She appeared to be troubleshooting or doing maintenance. "Problems, ma'am, or do we have a backlog of preventive maintenance to accomplish?"

Robinson had gone back to the combat control area and was troubleshooting the systems in front of her when the new FT arrived. She didn't look up and continued to keep her eyes on the screen. "No problems here I like to troubleshoot the systems to make sure that any issues can hopefully be fixed instead of it happening when the systems are needed. It doesn't always work, but I try to keep issues at bay."

"Ahh." Dex Replied, "Stress test the equipment, to work the bugs out now, rather than when were 2000 miles from radio shack. There was this electronics store in Chesapeake, Virginia, that had everything, and I do mean everything. I picked up a Fluke 77-N multimeter for 99 buck's. It was reconditioned, but I had it calibrated by the guys I knew on CVN-69, USS Eisenhower, in their cal lab. Just to be sure. It passed with flying colors. Any way Chester Electronics was the name of the store, they were in an old huge warehouse. They had one full isle dedicated to electronic instruments, they had microscopes, and telescopes that you plugged into your computer, and assorted other items. They have all kinds of anything that anyone and everyone could possibly need. Power supplies, coil's, transistors, resistors, inductors, and even some old fashion mag-amps. Those were cool. But they were way out in the boondocks.

I was Department Supply PO on my last ship, how cantankerous is the supply system, how are our ready service spares, and how long does it take to get spare parts.?" Dex paused to take a breath. "Sorry I get excited and talk fast."

Rebecca could see the newbie got excited and talked a lot, but she stayed calm "In most cases, the equipment is easy to fix with troubleshooting and we don't need parts, especially when we are at sea for months. If I may ask why did you switch from a supply PO to an FTC? That's a huge change." She hadn't heard of it before and was curious

"I was the Weapons Department Supply Petty Officer, I handled all the spare parts, and Ready Service Spairs, and ordered anything we needed. I was the junior petty officer, and had to go get the Duty vehicle to make the supply run to the SERVMART, Where all the common supplies like toilet paper, pens, paper, tools, forms, and Etc, were kept at The Navy Operating base in Norfolk, VA." He said, Then drew a breath. "I was an FC, and I got qualified in the Radar systems for the missile systems, then the Gun systems, but since I was the junior Petty officer, I got all the fun jobs, that no one else wanted. Especially when they found out I had a talent for getting things. I had contacts all over the base, friends on tin cans, and carriers. I ended up scrounging for parts when the ships had spent 3/4's of its OPTAR (Operating target) budget in the first half of the year. Then we could only submit Priority or mission-critical supply requests. This tended to happen every year. I was just starting to build contacts in the Airwing maintenance groups when I transferred."

Rebecca nodded "Well we hope that your time with us is just as fruitful. We will be getting you on the station as soon as possible. Do you have any questions about the station?"

Dex looked down at the station, grabbed a headset, logged into the net, and replied" No mam!"
Such a small thing to start his first act in this chapter of his destiny.

Rebecca nodded and sat down in her station looking through any updates that the system may need. Dex was headstrong, but seemed to be capable which in this position was the most important thing.