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Del
02-10-2007, 07:13 PM
Would it be permissible for any sailor to carry a digital camera onboard their battleship?

And do seamen have regular access to the internet from the ship?


In context of the story, I want a sailor to take a picture of a phenomena at sea and email the image to a friend. Is this probable during peace time?

I imagine every ship has a photographer. If a ship was damaged at sea, would pictures be sent quickly and to where?

Histry Nerd
02-10-2007, 07:32 PM
Delarege -

My experience is in the Army, so this is a SWAG (Scientific Wild A$$ Guess, more reliable than a WAG but not by too much). I would imagine a sailor could have a camera on board ship, but there would be parts of the ship where photography was not allowed. Off the top of my head, the reactor, magazine, Operations center, and hangar (if the ship carries aircraft) would probably be off limits.

They do have email, and I think full Internet access on most ships these days. They would be using government computers, so it is probably monitored, but to what degree I don't know. I would not think it would be too far-fetched for a sailor to email a picture of a "phenomenon at sea" to a friend. Of course, depending on the nature of the phenomenon, he might have to move quickly to avoid a comms lockdown.

As far as photos of damage, I would guess any damage to the ship would result in a lockdown of all but official comms channels (especially if sailors were injured or killed). Photos of the damage would be classified, so they would go through a secure channel to the ship's higher headquarters. The Navy would control (as much as it could) the release of any photographs to the media.

Perhaps one of our squids/former squids can enlighten us further.
HN, former grunt

A.M. Wildman
02-10-2007, 08:02 PM
Delarege -

My experience is in the Army, so this is a SWAG (Scientific Wild A$$ Guess, more reliable than a WAG but not by too much). I would imagine a sailor could have a camera on board ship, but there would be parts of the ship where photography was not allowed. Off the top of my head, the reactor, magazine, Operations center, and hangar (if the ship carries aircraft) would probably be off limits.

They do have email, and I think full Internet access on most ships these days. They would be using government computers, so it is probably monitored, but to what degree I don't know. I would not think it would be too far-fetched for a sailor to email a picture of a "phenomenon at sea" to a friend. Of course, depending on the nature of the phenomenon, he might have to move quickly to avoid a comms lockdown.

As far as photos of damage, I would guess any damage to the ship would result in a lockdown of all but official comms channels (especially if sailors were injured or killed). Photos of the damage would be classified, so they would go through a secure channel to the ship's higher headquarters. The Navy would control (as much as it could) the release of any photographs to the media.

Perhaps one of our squids/former squids can enlighten us further.
HN, former grunt


Yep, and if us former grunts can figure out how take pictures, oh inside, North Korea, and other places we weren't supposed to have cameras. (I'm not admitting to anything. It's just something I've heard.) ;)

I'm sure some enterprising swabbie could manage the same thing.

Jamesaritchie
02-10-2007, 08:43 PM
Have you seen all the soldier/sailor pics and video on MySpace and YouTube?
Must of it right from the front lines.

You don't even need a regular camera. These days, a cell phone tacks pics and video.

Histry Nerd
02-10-2007, 08:48 PM
Good point, James. Of course, that doesn't mean the cameras are authorized--just that the chain of command either doesn't know (they have better things to do than search YouTube for videos) or turns a blind eye.

But the pictures get out, authorized or not.

HN

Del
02-11-2007, 09:59 PM
MySpace and YouTube; I'm trying to cut down.

I wouldn't have thought cell phones would be allowed on Navy ships at sea...even so, I can't imagine getting even a stray signal when you're hundreds of miles from shore.

Is shipboard internet (regarding email) freely accessible or is it regulated?


ETA: The image is sent within 15 to 30 minutes of the event.

thethinker42
02-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Would it be permissible for any sailor to carry a digital camera onboard their battleship?

And do seamen have regular access to the internet from the ship?

Yes and yes.

My husband is at sea right now, and has his digital camera with him. He sends me pics on and off the ship all the time. There's places he can't shoot, of course, but he has taken pictures inside his shop, etc. In fact, right now, he's waging a battle with the ship's safety dept about some recurring issues. He's using his digital camera to document things. :)

And yes, he has regular internet access. He e-mails me on a very regular basis. I just got an e-mail from him about ten minutes ago. LOL


I wouldn't have thought cell phones would be allowed on Navy ships at sea...even so, I can't imagine getting even a stray signal when you're hundreds of miles from shore.

Yes, you can bring a cell phone onto a ship. You cannot, however, use it except when the ship is in port, and completely moored. On one of the last exercises my husband's ship went on before the current deployment, they were apparently fairly close to shore...close enough to pick up a signal. Someone went outside and made a call. When he got off his phone, his phone rang. The caller said, "Is this (name)? Congratulations on finding a cell phone signal. Now please report for your Captain's Mast." (Mast is, to make it really short, similar to a court-martial -- you can be passed on to a court-martial after mast). SO...yes, sometimes you can get a signal. Yes, you can bring the phone on board. No, you are not allowed to call from the ship.


Is shipboard internet (regarding email) freely accessible or is it regulated?

Heavily, heavily regulated. My husband can't access his webmail, myspace, etc. As far as ship's e-mail, you just have to assume everything is read by someone else, because it is. Always. When we planned my trip to Guam during the last deployment, we had to be WAY careful what we said in the e-mails, because he wasn't technically allowed to say where they would be and when. People have gotten in trouble for revealing where they are, where they're going, etc.

Hope that helps.

thethinker42
02-11-2007, 11:12 PM
Good point, James. Of course, that doesn't mean the cameras are authorized--just that the chain of command either doesn't know (they have better things to do than search YouTube for videos) or turns a blind eye.

They're allowed. Just not in certain places, of certain things, etc.

thethinker42
02-11-2007, 11:16 PM
Off the top of my head, the reactor, magazine, Operations center, and hangar (if the ship carries aircraft) would probably be off limits.

No, the hangar is ok.


As far as photos of damage, I would guess any damage to the ship would result in a lockdown of all but official comms channels (especially if sailors were injured or killed). Photos of the damage would be classified, so they would go through a secure channel to the ship's higher headquarters. The Navy would control (as much as it could) the release of any photographs to the media.

E-mail would undoubtedly be shut down immediately. As slow as the military is, I highly doubt a sailor would have time to snap a pic, upload it, and e-mail it before communications were shut down. He would also need to have a damn good reason for doing it: sending pictures lke that would get him into a LOT of trouble, depending on the situation, especially if it's of damage to the ship or some such.


Perhaps one of our squids/former squids can enlighten us further.
HN, former grunt

Will a squid's wife be sufficient? ;)

Histry Nerd
02-11-2007, 11:35 PM
E-mail would undoubtedly be shut down immediately. As slow as the military is, I highly doubt a sailor would have time to snap a pic, upload it, and e-mail it before communications were shut down. He would also need to have a damn good reason for doing it: sending pictures lke that would get him into a LOT of trouble, depending on the situation, especially if it's of damage to the ship or some such.

Will a squid's wife be sufficient? ;)

Thanks, thinker. Sounds like the Navy does it a lot like we did it in Iraq--when we had somebody hurt, comms were blacked out immediately until the family could be notified. We could not shut down the unofficial channels the way they can shipboard, but we posted guards to keep soldiers from using them. Anybody caught breaking the blackout would be in big trouble.

I hope your squid--er, husband--comes home safely. We like to rib each other, but in the end we're all on the same team.

HN

thethinker42
02-12-2007, 12:08 AM
Thanks, thinker. Sounds like the Navy does it a lot like we did it in Iraq--when we had somebody hurt, comms were blacked out immediately until the family could be notified. We could not shut down the unofficial channels the way they can shipboard, but we posted guards to keep soldiers from using them. Anybody caught breaking the blackout would be in big trouble.

Yeah, same basic idea.


I hope your squid--er, husband--comes home safely. We like to rib each other, but in the end we're all on the same team.

Thanks. :) And I call him a squid all the time. There's plenty of ribbing on his ship: it's a Gator Freighter, so lots of Marines as well as sailors. I'm a third generation Navy wife...believe me, I have heard ALL the jokes ribbing the different branches (every branch of the military is represented in my family...I'm sure you can imagine the sh!t-talking at family gatherings!!!)

I always like:
MARINE - My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment
ARMY - Aren't Ready for the Marines Yet
NAVY - Never Again Volunteer Yourself
Didn't really have one for the Air Force...just "Chair Force". LOL

MattW
02-12-2007, 01:27 AM
I think the sotry about being close to shore fits Delarege's bill, unless the story requires you to be far out at sea.

See something, snap a pic on your phone, shoot it off, get a call back that your comm was intercepted but not prevented.

Del
02-12-2007, 02:00 AM
It looks like I'm going to have a hard time getting my advanced warning out.

I need an information leak from a pair of ships (Aircraft carrier and battleship) that are out and about, 250 miles east of Hawaii, during peace time. One gets struck and damaged from the storm (for lack of a better word) while the other watches. Both ships stay afloat. Those on these ships are the only living souls to see the storm from the back as it moves away from them.

I need some way to jumpstart the panic on the mainland.

(drumming fingers)

:Huh:

MattW
02-12-2007, 02:16 AM
There are no more battleships in service in the US navy (or any for that matter). The last Iowa class battleships were used during Gulf War I, but decommissioned shortly after.

MattW
02-12-2007, 02:18 AM
I need some way to jumpstart the panic on the mainland.
Hmmm - how about satellite intel losing track of the ships? Analyst leaks to press buddies in Washington?

You've got a toughy...

thethinker42
02-12-2007, 02:48 AM
I need some way to jumpstart the panic on the mainland.

(drumming fingers)

:Huh:

Have someone on the bridge radio the beach; they're usually in constant communication with shore. You could also use satellite images, or a submarine that was in contact with the vessels in distress.

As someone else mentioned, battleships are no longer used. Destroyers and frigates are, as are various supply ships, etc.

If an aircraft carrier is involved, chances are there's a sub nearby. Carrier battle groups include one, if not two, submarines. Are the involved ships on a deployment or a training exercise?

As far as the mechanics of your scenario...the people on the ships are the only living souls that know what's up...that's easily 5000+ people (on the carrier alone) unless you've killed a LOT of them. Also, if it's the carrier that gets stuck, whatever manner of storm or disturbance got it stuck would probably do some wicked damage to a smaller ship. If the other ship is stuck, chances are the carrier can either a) contact the beach for help, or b) if all communications are down, they can sail back to shore.

Also, are you using a nuclear carrier (there are still a couple of non-nukes...the shitty kitty -- er, I mean, Kitty Hawk -- is being decommissioned soon, and I THINK the JFK is not a nuke, could be wrong)? You could use some sort of problem with the reactor -- a radiation leak, an explosion, whatever -- to expose a large portion (if not all) of the ship to dangerous levels of radiation, making rescue operations difficult. Anyway, just a thought.

That's enough thinking about potential ship catastrophes for me for one night...LOL...these kinds of things give me nightmares when he's at sea. LOL

Histry Nerd
02-12-2007, 06:56 AM
Maybe they have a press crew on board for something? A press crew with a Sat Phone? Just a thought.

HN

Del
02-12-2007, 09:31 AM
Why are there no more battleships? I was sort of finding that out on my own. I kept hitting dead ends.

Interesting tip on the subs. I was going to involve subs but I didn't know a sub escort was routine.

I have to involve the Navy and the Army in the story, despite the fact I know little about either. It's a matter of believability that they be there. There has to be a way for the world to find out about the storm and I had put it on the Navy BUT...

What are the regulations of private vessels being in proximity of Navy vessels at sea? I can still put a small yacht in the vicinity that could send a message to someone on the mainland.

With regard to that, isn't the Pacific between Hawaii and the US coast still international waters? Don't US waters only range for 3 miles from land?

After I get through this first chapter, I will be passed all the stuff I don't know. Until then I'll just grit my teeth and keep digging.

Thanks!

MattW
02-12-2007, 05:10 PM
Suggestion 1 - Use a destroyer or missile cruiser for your other vessel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticonderoga_class_cruiser

Suggestion 2 - I was thinking about your panic problem. What if the carrier had a few fighters up during the storm, one gets blown off course, crashes into near a civilan vessel? Still doesn't get pictures out, but it could be one piece of evidence...add in some garbled comm from the ships, loss of trans-oceanic communications (are hard cables still used?), and maybe a leak or two.

Jerry CL
02-13-2007, 03:48 AM
Why are there no more battleships? I was sort of finding that out on my own. I kept hitting dead ends.
Because of the rise of aircraft carriers and torpedoes. No matter the range of the gun on a battleship, an aircraft carrier can easily launch an aircraft out of the gun's range, arming the aircraft with some goodies that go boom to take out the battleships without the carrier itself ever be in danger.

Also, with the rise of torpedoes, lighter vessels can easily pack as much punch as a battleship, and being fast as well as smaller (harder to hit), render a battleship easy target.

Or so I've been told, staightleg ground-pounding grunt here.

rtilryarms
02-13-2007, 06:18 AM
When I was on a Tiger Cruise, 10 days on maneuvers as a civilian guest aboard a Nuclear Missile Cruiser, I could have cameras on deck and under supervision. I was not allowed to take pictures in the engine room, the command or operations rooms, steering or missile sections, 1996 if that makes a difference.

When I was aboard a Nuclear Sub, cameras were absolutely prohibited (1986).

didahdit
02-16-2007, 08:38 PM
I just retired after 23 years in the Navy. I enlisted in 1984 and retired as an officer, what is called a "Mustang". Specifically, I was a Communications Officer, and I was also 30 miles east of Hurricane Katrina's landfall. I joined just to reply to this because a lot of the questions and answers show a basic misunderstanding of the Navy that would cause me to close your book in disgust after the first chapter.
The military are public servants, first and foremost. The first thing the Commanding Officer would do in response to a storm bad enough to damage a ship or endanger shore is to send messages to warn everyone. The ship's photographer would document it, and those pictures would be sent to the staff ashore immediately. The staff ashore would release those pictures to the news media within hours (1 or 2 if it's a bad storm) through their Public Affairs Officer.
When there is an incident, the Navy does secure unofficial communications, and please understand a Navy ship at sea is made of steel. Radio signals don't go through the hull or bulkheads so the degree of control by the Navy COMMO (Communications Officer) is much more extreme than in other services. When I tell the CO that comms are secured, they're down. There won't be a leak. Visitors or a news crew with a SAT phone would be escorted at all times, and they would not be allowed to use their phone (which they can only do from the weather decks) at all.
If someone is injured or killed, would you as a Navy wife want to hear about it from an email? Or worse, hear about it in the media before you even know about it?
But also understand the Navy does want good PR. Being the first to warn others about a danger is good PR. There would be little delay.

I could go on and on (e.g., one ship close enough to see another damaged but remain unharmed: no way!), but here's your best bet to "jumpstart the panic", in my opinion.
A Navy Strike Force (a collection of ships surrounding a carrier) gets a distress call from a merchant or private vessel. (The vessel lost power and were stranded in the path of the storm.) They immediately send jets followed by helicopters to investigate as they steam toward the area. The aircraft take pictures, and the carrier sends it ashore to COMPACFLT. At the same time, the ship's CO would automatically send a message to warn all military and civilian ships and aircraft of the storm.
COMPACFLT notifies the Secretary fo Defense and then COMPACFLT's PAO releases the pictures and details to the media.

What kind of storm is this? It must be a freak storm because the first warning would be from the civilian media anyway.

Is that helpful? Anything else I can do for you?

Kate Thornton
02-16-2007, 08:56 PM
Welcome to the retired ranks, Mustang! The water's fine & the pay is good...!

And Lori, a squid's wife is a blessing to the world - hang in there (my mother was a Navy wife for 23 years)

Kate (CW3 USA ret.)

thethinker42
02-16-2007, 09:03 PM
And Lori, a squid's wife is a blessing to the world - hang in there (my mother was a Navy wife for 23 years)

Awww, thanks! :)

I'm a 3rd gen Navy wife...5th gen military wife...I guess some of us don't learn from the mistakes of others... (kidding! kidding!)

Del
02-16-2007, 10:23 PM
Thanks didahdit and welcome.

I'm sure there is plenty an old Navy man could offer. Perhaps you would stay in touch? In the least, I hope you find AW interesting enough to hang around and comment now and then.

It isn't a natural storm. It is an attack designed to eliminate all traces of mankind on earth. It starts east of Hawaii and wraps the planet. For explanation’s sake, imagine if God were to wipe a destructive hand over the planet, scraping us from existence. He starts at a point in the ocean 250 miles east of Hawaii. One ship gets caught at the bow, the other is missed. The hand moves away from them. In 24 hours it will stop at the point where it started.

How is the world going to cope with certain destruction? How will they find out? What would those 24 hours be like as, one by one, the countries of the world are obliterated? Communications are failing as each satellite is destroyed in turn.

I want pictures from the initial contact to leak into the public domain so speculation and panic can start. Mind you, the hand is moving at 1000 miles per hour. There is little the people before the hand could do. There just isn't time. The only witnesses to the destruction are the sailors on the ships, who realize something is drastically wrong but have not equated it to the end of the world.

I call it a storm because it would come like fire from the sky. The sea would froth and steam as a wall of heat moved across it, causing a surge of water to build into a massive wave. The wall is moving away from my witnesses. How would the Navy handle such a thing? Being an unknown, I suspect it would remain classified. Their first action would likely be to notify (who?). Within 30 minutes Hawaii no longer answers to the thousands of communications it had been receiving. It is now only a sandbox. There are no landing strips. There would be jets from the carrier dispatched to investigate; fly over. Following that, helicopters would be sent to the Hawaiian shores. By now fish have started washing up on the beaches. These fish contain physical evidence of the weapon used in the attack. The evidence is rushed to (where would they rush it?) the mainland. Within 5 hours the Navy is examining an unknown metal. By then, all of Japan and half of Australia are gone.

This is part one. Part two deals with the aftermath; survivors, who will be mostly from underground military installations -- which I also know nothing about. (Thanks Kate!) :)

didahdit
02-16-2007, 11:49 PM
Thank you for the welcome! That sounds like a fascinating premise for a novel, and I'd be glad to help in any way I can. Is it permissible to send you my email address? I've not really been here long enough to read all the rules, though I will soon.
I still don't agree the Navy would keep such an event classified. I'm beginning to find out, every time I tell someone I was in the Navy, that there are some pretty incredible stereotypes I'd never heard about.
"Into the Valley of Death, rode the six hundred...." It makes for a good story about following orders, but I still can't imagine a superior in the chain of command who would give such an order. I will think about it more, though.

You don't have to be Navy or ex-Navy to ask some questions:
1. A wall of water rushing at 1000 miles per hour and the first sighting is 250 miles east of Hawaii. Just with basic math, they would be wiped out in 15 minutes, not 30 minutes, right? Or did I miss something there?
2. The Navy leases its trans-Pacific fiberoptic lines from commercial industries by law. The vast majority of Hawaii's communications would immediately go down as soon as the weapon hit. The only thing left would be their satellite dishes. If the weapon is to wipe out all traces of humanity, including satellites, then they'd lose all comms immediately ... due to the location of the commercial satellites over the Pacific. The comms would then be re-routed automatically towards the West, but the "traffic jam" in messages that caused would be immediate, too.
I can't think of a way the Navy could contain the news of the impacts of such a weapon.
3. The sea would boil and cause a wave moving to the west, you said, but if it comes from the sky, then it would cause a wave radiating 360 degrees. Destruction would actually go west and east. The entire Western Seaboard would be wiped out long before Japan and Australia.
4. Have you ever heard of the Dresden effect? "Fire from the sky" would set the atmosphere on fire before it caused the seas to boil.

It seems we're talking science fiction. (I'm a slow study.) For me, there needs to be some explanation for why the air doesn't burn and why the direction of the destruction only goes in one direction.
Believe me, I still think it's a fascinating premise, and I'm trying to help. I do have some good news: your readers aren't going to know anymore about "secret underground installations" or facilities to analyze unknown metals so you can use your poetic license freely on those.

Just please get the Sailors' dialogue a bit more human than what I've read lately. It all seems to be a lot of profanity or robotic to me.

Del
02-17-2007, 03:11 AM
I strive to accommodate you. :)

The wave of water is just the reaction. The wall of (secret alien doomsday weapon) will reach Hawaii in 15 minutes and have it completely destroyed in another 15. All in a days work. :)

So far, no one I have gotten replies from regarding this story has indicated a complete understanding of what I am writing. Maybe that is good! :D However, If you want to discuses the story in private I would be honored to have your assistance and happy to give you the entire scenario.

Dresden effect? I will look this up. Thanks.

I don't think of this as science fiction even though it has a science fiction catalyst. Mostly I want it to be about people. We never see aliens but their absence will be explained.

didahdit
02-17-2007, 07:13 AM
I'd like to discuss this further with you. How do we do that in private?

I think it's good that no one understands it right away. It puts the "novelty" back in "novel", right?