US submarines are designed for speed and stealth. The Navy takes great pains to keep this technology a secret. The most critical part of that secret is the design of the propellers that drive the subs and keep them quiet.
Whenever the submarine is brought into the graving dock for service, one of the first things that they do is cover the propeller with a tarp so that it can not be photographed. Evidently, if you know what they look like, you can figure out how to copy them and make your subs quiet too.
This photo shows the USS Georgia coming out of the water to be serviced. Note the shroud over the propeller to keep it from being photographed.
Now, click on this link to be taken to the Sub Base at Bangor, Washington. You may have to be in Internet Explorer to see this…
The photo is of the graving dock on the “Delta Pier” and the propeller of an Ohio Class Ballistic Missile Submarine. Oops!! It really is an interesting design though. Seven blades with a “hook” in them. They actually look pretty fragile.
You can also use the zoom in and out keys and move around the Bangor Sub Base taking a close up look at the bunkers and magazines where they keep the nuclear weapons. You would think the US government would keep better tabs on this stuff.
I guess the Navy did not count on Microsoft’s Live Search Maps allowing the world access to the satellite images from orbiting cameras. As far as I know, images of this type should be classified. Instead, this information is available to anyone with an internet connection. I would think that Commanding Officers of military installations would have some person on their staff who takes a look at what is out there and makes recommendations on how to better provide security.
That’s an interesting picture of the Delta Pier at Bangor that I posted on MonsterMaritime.com. I ran across it when I was using Microsoft Maps (Live Search) to look at a piece of real estate to purchase in Poulsbo, Washington which is just outside the Bangor sub base. Did you try zooming in on the bunkers for the Nuclear Missiles? Oops… Isn’t that one of those installations that they are supposed to “fuzz” out? Just North of Bangor is Naval Magazine, Indian Island. You can zoom right in on the doors to the missile bunkers there too. Microsoft maps “bird’s eye view” function even lets you look at it from all sides. Do you want to see some subs? Take a look at Bremerton Naval shipyard. There are a dozen subs sitting there. Take a look at Norfolk. There is no date on these pictures but you can see the tugs moving the ships onto and off the docks. Make sure you use the “bird’s eye view feature and look at these photos from all angles.
How many Harriers can you count on the deck at MCAS Cherry Point? How many F-15s at Elmendorf?
Maybe we don’t have a policy for “fuzzing” that stuff out. Maybe we should… For instance, did you know that you can use Google Maps to zoom right in on the pool behind the CENTCOM HQ building in Doha, Qatar? I was posted there during the run up to the “major hostilities” portion of the war in 2003. Take a look at the tarmac at Al Udied airbase. Do you think the bad guys don’t know how to use a computer and free software?
This stuff blows me away but then again, I read today that the military has “lost track” of 190,000 automatic weapons that we gave to the Iraqis. 190,000 weapons!!! I think that maybe somebody is dropping the ball… We used to have to fill out all kinds of paperwork when we misplaced a couple of bullets. Where is the accountability?
I am amazed by what you can find on the internet (if you look), but I am not so sure national security is being appropriately protected and the American public is being appropriately served.…