USS Charlotte Achieves Milestone During Under-Ice Transit

Friday, December 02, 2005
By Lt. j.g. Dave Ozeck, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs The improved-Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Charlotte (SSN 766) arrived in Norfolk, Va., Nov. 29, following an historic transit that began in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and took the boat under the arctic ice cap. During the transit, Charlotte surfaced at the North Pole, ascending through 61 inches of ice - a record for a Los Angeles-class submarine. Upon reaching the Pole, the boat commenced a 12-hour underwater search of the ice canopy, utilizing specialized ice avoidance and side scan sonar systems. Once an ideal location was found, the ship performed a flawless vertical ascent. Even though the wind chill factor reached a low of –50°F while surfaced, the 137 crew members and 17 officers on board reveled in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for "ice liberty." Some of the men took pictures, while others filmed a “Spirit Spot” for the Army/Navy football game. A few even played a game of football themselves. Charlotte Commanding Officer Cmdr. Dennis Carpenter was thrilled that the crew enjoyed a fun and safe 18 hours of ice liberty. “Conducting an under-ice transit presented both unique challenges and rewards for the Charlotte team,” Carpenter said. “I am very proud of the men on board who engaged the situation head-on, and I am ecstatic that they were able to experience a North Pole surfacing.” To ensure safety, several sets of floodlights were arranged on the surface to compensate for the complete lack of sunlight. Also, the submarine’s independent duty corpsman verified that each crew member wore appropriate clothing for the extreme temperature. Underway for the transit were two guests, Lt. James Winsor, a submarine qualified officer of the Royal Navy, and Travis King, known affectionately by the crew as the “Ice Pirate,” a civilian arctic expert of the U.S. Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory who has made countless under-ice trips throughout his career. The newly-christened crew of “Bluenoses,” a nickname for Sailors who have crossed the Arctic Circle, had nothing but positive things to say about the whole experience. “I couldn’t believe how dark it was at the Pole. It was pitch black and incredibly cold, but it was still really exhilarating,” said Yeoman 3rd Class (SS) Guadalupe Deleon, who was one of the first crew members topside. “After all, how many people can say they have been at the North Pole?” Prior to commencing the transit, the crew underwent a demanding workup period designed to train the crew for the unusual Arctic environment. Specific attention was paid to proper and safe navigation in the polar region and ice avoidance. Charlotte is undergoing a temporary change of homeport in order to undergo a major Depot Modernization Period (DMP) at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va.
Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Southern California Port Congestion

Hapag-Lloyd informs about the congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that has reached a critical point. I. Several container ships are anchoring

GAC Starts Hull Cleaning Op'ns in Oman

GAC EnvironHull hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free HullWiper system starting at the port of Sohar, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz. This

Bulker Arrives to US on Her Maiden Voyage

The Port of Vancouver USA welcomed the Kypros Unity, commanded by Capt. Wilfredo F. Itable of Cyprus, on her maiden voyage Oct. 28. Capt. Itable and his 20-member

Navy

Italy Ending Med Sea Rescues

Rights groups warn of risk of more deaths; EU mission Triton will have more limited scope. Italy said on Friday it would close a sea rescue mission that has saved the lives of more than 100,

Libyan Government: Ports, Oil Fields Safe

Libyan oil ports and fields are safe and under government control, the country's interior minister said on Friday after visting the eastern Brega port. "This

Keel Laid, Fabrication Started on 2 Navy Warships

This week, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated two milestone events for the Arleigh Burke-class program. On October 30, Bath Iron Works held a keel laying

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1284 sec (8 req/sec)