On a chilly, gray and slightly rainy February 27, 2015 nineteen fortunate Navy Leaguers were given a warm Hawaii type welcome to USS Bremerton SSN 698, a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine home ported at Pearl Harbor, HI. Bremerton was visiting its namesake city as part of a shakedown cruise following yard work in Pearl Harbor. Sadly this will be the last visit followed by a departure since Bremerton is slated to be retired and decommissioned in or about 2017 and will return to Bremerton one final time for that purpose at PSNS.
Our first location to visit aboard was the control room where the control party steers the submarine. There are two periscopes, one with infra red capability, the other with an integral camera. We also saw and heard about the operation of fire control, navigation and SONAR. When underway this is a very busy and crowded place.
We moved along to the torpedo room where up to 22 MK 48 ADCAP torpedoes can be stored for eventual launch from 4 torpedo tubes. Tomahawk missiles were once carried for horizontal launch but Bremerton was decertified for that purpose because necessary technological updates were not implemented due to the short time before decommissioning. There were a number of bunks placed on the empty torpedo racks so as to provide a bunk for every crew member and avoid “hot bunking”.
In another area we were shown the equipment that generates oxygen, scrubs CO2 out of the air, makes water, etc. Also the “old fashioned” diesel engine which can be used for non-propulsion emergency power.
Commanding Officer CMDR W.P. Bringham bade us farewell and so concluded our great tour. Thanks, of course, to everyone aboard USS Bremerton, and also to Byron Faber for setting up this special tour.