The official crest of USS BOSTON SSN703 is symbolic of the ship's namesake, the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
The banner held by the dolphins saying `Freedom's Birthplace' signifies
the role the City of Boston has had in our country's pursuit of freedom.
The Minuteman with the 688 Class submarine silhouette behind him symbolizes
BOSTON's participation in keeping our country free both then and now. Above
the minuteman's head are seven stars representing the seven ships which
have borne the name BOSTON.
This crest is unique, and is the result of a U.S. Navy
League-sponsored contest that was held among Boston school
children. Twelve year old Joanne Russell's design was chosen, and she received a $100 award for her creativity. Plus, she was treated to a special visit to the BOSTON.
This crest is unique, and is the result of a U.S. Navy League-sponsored contest that was held among Boston school children. Twelve year old Joanne Russell's design was chosen, and she received a $100 award for her creativity. Plus, she was treated to a special visit to the BOSTON.
The seventh BOSTON continued a tradition dating back to 1776, and was the first submarine to bear this name. BOSTON was launched by her builder (Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation) in Groton, Connecticut on 19 April 1980. The BOSTON was sponsored by Mrs. Karen Hidalgo, wife of the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Edward Hidalgo. The 44-day period from the ship's first sea trials on 8 November 1981 to the 22 December 1981 delivery of the ship to the Navy was the fastest ever for a nuclear submarine built at the Electric Boat Shipyard.
Upon commissioning BOSTON was assigned to Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE and home ported in Groton. In October 1991 the ship was assigned to COMSUBRON TWO. BOSTON's operations since commissioning included Tactical Development exercises, weapon certifications, a Depot Modernization Period, Post Shakedown Availabilities, and deployments to the Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and South America.
|1983||CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award|
|1983||Red "E" for Engineering Excellence|
|1983-1984||Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|1984||Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon|
|1984||Arleigh Burke Award Nominee for Greatest Improvement in Battle Efficiency|
|1985||Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon|
|1985||Red "E" for Engineering Excellence|
|1985||Green "C" for Communications Excellence|
|1985||Silver Anchor Award|
|1985||Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|1986||Green "C" for Communications Excellence|
|1986||Red "E" for Engineering Excellence|
|1987||Yellow "M" for Medical Excellence|
|1987||CINCLANTFLT Silver Anchor Award|
|1987||CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award Runner Up|
|1988||CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award|
|1989||CINCLANTFLT Silver Anchor Award|
|1990||Green "C" for Communications Excellence|
|1991||Supply Blue "E" for Supply Excellence|
|1991||Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|1993||White Tactical "T" for Tactical Proficiency|
|1995||Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon|
|1995||Arleigh Burke Award for Greatest Improvement in Battle Efficiency|
|1996||Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon|
|1995-1996||Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|1996||Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for Most Battle-Ready Ship in Atlantic Fleet|
|1997||Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|1997||Red "DC" for Damage Control Excellence|
|1998||Red and Green "N" for Navigation Excellence|
USS BOSTON SSN703 is a LOS ANGELES-Class fast attack submarine. This submarine class is designed specifically for the direct support of high speed carrier task forces. BOSTON is a high speed, very quiet ship designed to search out and destroy enemy surface ships and submarines as well as strike targets ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
BOSTON is armed with sophisticated Mark 48 Advance Capability (ADCAP) torpedoes, mines and Tomahawk cruise missiles. All of the ship's weapons can be launched while the ship is submerged. Target detection and tracking are accomplished with the computerized AN/BQQ-5D Sonar System. Targeting and weapons control are accomplished with the computerized Combat Control System, CCS Mk 1.
Because of the relative difficulty of determining the ship's position accurately while submerged, the Navigation Department uses complex computerized electronic equipment to provide reliable position information.
The ship's high speed capability is the result of an advanced design, pressurized water nuclear reactor. The reactor is used to create steam which supplies the power for generating electricity and propelling the ship.
When submerged, the ship's atmosphere is closely monitored and adjusted in order to maintain our air as close to normal as possible. The oxygen generator and carbon dioxide scrubbers produce the oxygen breathed by the crew and remove exhaled carbon dioxide.
The ship's crew of 142 is offered 4 meals each day while the ship is underway. BOSTON's supply department, in addition to planning and serving each of these meals, also maintains a large spare parts inventory to support maintenance of the thousands of different pieces of equipment on the ship.
Few modern institutions can rival the nuclear submarine for complexity and absolute self-sufficiency. The often inhospitable environment of the vast sea only intensifies the need for coordination of each crewman's activities. The keystone of the submarine organization is the Commanding Officer, the Captain of the ship.
The absolute responsibility for the safety, well-being and efficiency of the ship an crew rests with the Captain. The specific duties of the Commanding Officer are established by U.S. Naval Regulations, general orders, customs and traditions. With these responsibilities comes the authority to establish policy for the ship. He must strike a balance between maintenance requirements, personnel issues, and mission accomplishment.
Second in command is the Executive Officer, always next senior in rank to the Captain and not far from attaining his own command. The Exec, or XO as he is informally called, offers his wide-ranging experience to the submarine organization through direct coordination of the administrative and training activities of the ship. His knowledge and position extend his responsibilities and interest to every aspect of submarining.
The remainder of the ship's force is composed of four Command and two Support departments. The four Command Departments, Navigation, Operations, Combat Systems, and Engineering are led by senior officers of the ship who rank just below the Executive Officer. Supply and Medical are the two support departments. The Supply Officer is a specially trained Staff Corps officer who heads the Supply Department. Medical Department is led by an independent duty Hospital Corpsman, a specialist in emergency medical care. Junior officers are assigned within these departments to act as Division Officers. Divisions are the smallest organizational units, and consist of groups of enlisted specialists organized according to skills.
Every piece of material on the ship from the propeller to the paint job is assigned to a Division and finally to an individual technician among its crew. Each of three men soon becomes an expert not only in the technical functions to which his special training has been directed, but also in the demands of administration, leadership and instruction of his shipmates.
There is a second organization on board the ship: The watch organization. Whereas the first organization is designed to maintain equipment, train, and administer to the various groups of men, the watch organization is designed to conduct and coordinate the actual operations of the ship around the clock. This organization is ordinarily divided into three similar groups called Sections. At any given time on the submarine, one of these Sections `has the watch.' Each watch section is headed by an Officer of the Deck who carries out the Commanding Officer's orders during the hours of his watch. It is the Officer of the Deck who orders the ship's course, speed and depth and conducts all combined shipboard evolutions. He is assisted by a second officer, the Engineering Officer of the Watch, who controls the reactor plant and all engineering evolutions in the propulsion plant.
Each watch section consists, for example of a helmsman, who setters the ship; a throttle man, who controls the steam turbine engines; sonar operators, who silently probe the ship's environs; a reactor operator, who controls the ship's remarkable energy source; torpedomen, who service and launch BOSTON's weapons; radio operators, who maintain an invisible link with command centers ashore; and electricians, who supply power from the reactor for virtually every service on the ship. These watch standers, among others, stand alertly by their equipment and stations throughout the duration of each watch.
The tempo of the watch is the heartbeat
of the ship and, since one-third of a submariner's time is spent standing
his watch, it is also the principal determinant of his day-to-day routine.
Steven Mitchell is a fictitious name for a typical BOSTON submariner (usually pronounced submareener, not subMARiner). He is, we will imagine, a second class Quartermaster. As such, he works in the Navigation Division in the Navigation Department. (In the Navy, quartermasters are specialists in navigation.)
On a day when he has the 0600 to 1200 watch (6 a.m. to 12 p.m.), Steven is awakened at 0500 by a messenger. This gives him 45 minutes to dress, shave and enjoy a large breakfast. In keeping with tradition, he reports to his watch station in the Control Room, where the Officer of the Deck also stands his watch. Steven will report fifteen minutes before his watch begins, in order to be briefed on the activities of the previous watch stander on his watch. This custom is most appreciated by the departing Quartermaster. Quartermaster Mitchell plots the ship's position on the chart and assists the Officer of the Deck by recording and maintaining the ship's log.
After his relief has taken the watch, Steven cleans up for the noon meal. Today's meal is followed in the Crew's Mess by a `School of the Boat' lecture given by the Auxiliary Division Chief Petty Officer on the ship's hydraulic system. Since he is already qualified on BOSTON, Steven passes up the lecture in order to spend some time preparing for his First Class Quartermaster examination. At 1500 (3 p.m.) he has an appointment to examine a newly-reported seaman on his knowledge of the ship's periscopes and antennas for submarine qualification. Steven Mitchell's immediate supervisor, Chief Quartermaster Thompson, had told him to make some changes to several navigation charts and publications and to prepare an order for some new training materials—which took the rest of the afternoon.
The ship's daily drill, which today was unannounced, interrupted the task for about thirty minutes. Drills are conducted to test the crew's reaction to casualty and combat situations of various sorts: fire, loss of power, toxic gas, depth charge, and so on. Every drill is an `all hands' effort, even those catching up on lost sleep are summoned by the ship's alarms. Fire hoses are unrolled, medical bags opened, gas masks worn, equipment operated; everything that can possibly be done to enhance the realism is included.
The movie after the evening meal was one he had seen before, so Steven read some more of a book he obtained from the ship's library. He then slept for a few hours before standing his next watch—the mid-watch, from midnight until six in the morning.
The schedule of our mythical Steven Mitchell
is not at all imaginary or exceptional. It is typical of what every submariner
does during a usual workday at sea. It is perhaps a fair answer to the
oft-posed question: What on earth do you DO out there for sixty days or
more? Why, he thinks about coming
The power plant of a nuclear submarine is based upon a nuclear reactor which provides heat for the generation of steam. This steam drives the main propulsion turbines and the ship's turbo-generators for electric power.
The primary system is a circulation water cycle and consists of the reactor, loops of piping, primary coolant pumps and steam generators. Heat produced in the reactor by nuclear fission is transferred to the circulating primary coolant water which is pressurized to prevent boiling. This water is then pumped through the steam generator and back into the reactor by the primary coolant pumps for reheating in the next cycle.
In the steam generator, the heat of the pressurized water is transferred to a secondary system to boil water into steam. This secondary system is isolated from the primary system.
From the steam generators, steam flows to the engine room where it drives the turbo-generators that supply the ship with electricity, and the main propulsion turbines, which drive the propeller.
After passing through the turbines the steam is condensed, and the water is fed back to the steam generators by the feed pumps.