Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

First Day in The Military

Good to see the recent entry from Jim Heston USMC (ret.). I think he is probably the first Marine to write to your site. Here's a memory that he somehow jogged loose :

Most of the people in my current work group are former military. (All branches.) Naturally, we periodically shoot the shit and tell old stories. Since our military backgrounds are varied, the stories are all over the map. However, one story seems to be pretty much common to all of us. That's leaving home for boot camp. Pretty much all the stories start out the same :

The alarm wakes you up after a very restless sleep. A major change is about to happen in your young life. You're excited and not a little apprehensive. You have one last breakfast with the family, then say your goodbyes. Mom and Sis are at the front door crying because you're leaving them. Dad then drives you to the AFEES station. When he stops to drop you off, he gives you some last Fatherly advice. You're both fighting back tears (equal parts pride and sadness) as he gives you one last firm handshake before you open the door into manhood. This seems to be a right of passage that most of us went through.

A recently retired supervisor named Ben had a subtle difference to his story. In front of the AFEES station as Ben's Dad started the Fatherly advice routine, Ben put his hand up and said, "Stop right there, Dad. Today I become a US Marine and a man. Nobody's ever going to tell me what to do again." Ben said that his Dad just gave him a knowing smile. Ben always stopped the story there, leaving the rest to the imagination.

I can just imagine what happened several hours later. Ben was standing on those famed yellow footprints at MCRD San Diego. Ben was probably shaking and ready to pass out from a combination of fear and the scalding hot breath of the irate Drill Instructor 3 inches from his face. Ben is all of five foot nothing and I think he wore coke bottle lenses at birth. No doubt that as a 17 year old kid he didn't look like he could fight, f**k, or run a footrace. I'm sure the D.I.s found at least seven different and creative ways to call him a "sawed off, squinty eyed, motherf**ker". Somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind he must have been saying over and over, "Hey, I'm a Marine. Nobody can tell me what to do."

(Ben is a great and funny guy. Though he may be short in stature, he isn't a guy who will back down from anything. He's a fearless motorcycle rider who has been known to shame riders half his age. I like to think the experience of that day back in the mid sixties had something to do with that part of his character.)

Semper Fi, Ben 



Possum, Kipper Snacks, Heavy Seas and blowing chunks ....

There was a nuke mechanic on the Truxtun named Bill O. He was not a very popular guy due to his image and his generally poor attitude. The whole time I was on board, he was pushing 300 lbs. For a guy with a frame as small as his, it looked terrible. His appearance earned his nickname (Possum) because his eyes were recessed in rolls of fat. From what I gather, he developed this problem after his nuclear training so the Navy wasn't to eager to kick him out because of the money they had invested in this guy.

Shortly before the Northpac of 85, Possum's first time at sea, he expressed concerns to the other guys in his group about getting sea sick. He wanted to know how to avoid it. The guys told him that a well known remedy for old salty sailors was to eat Kipper Snacks before hitting the rough seas. Sure enough, as soon as we started heading towards Alaska, the water got rough and Possum polished off 3 large tins of the greasy little fish.

Shortly afterwards, Possum was in the head blowing chunks hard. He puked everything up and then continued with the dry heaves. As the ship rocked from side to side possum rolled around on the floor in the head (he was shaped like a oversized beach ball). Possum spent hours (literally) rolling around with the dry heaves begging for someone to shoot him to put him out of his misery. I suspect some of the guys were tempted.

I attached a couple more interesting photos from the last NMP1 refueling outage. The first is of a freshly discharged bundle being moved from the reactor cavity toward the cattle chute (which leads to the Spent Fuel Pool). Note the blue glow from the Cerenkov radiation. The other is of some Westinghouse mechanics using a very heavy duty socket wrench to pull the Reactor Vessel head bolts off. Note that while this reactor vessel looks large, it is actually one of the smallest ones in the commercial industry (GE BWR2 - less than 2 GW thermal).

[There is also a shot of ] a discharged bundle being seated in the Spent Fuel Pool racks and a shot of a rather large tool being used to unlatch the steam line plug prior to installing the steam dryer.  The steam plugs are used to plug the steam lines prior to vessel flood up so that the steam lines can be opened downstream for maintenance purposes.

Have a great summer (and stay away from Kipper Snacks).

William J. Carter


Photo Caption Contest!

What is this?

My answer:  the USS CHUD (CV-PT 1)

Mark's answer: Budget cuts have forced the Navy to search for new ways to engage the enemy.

Lou's answer: The US Navy welcomed the latest member of it's fleet today. Pictured above the USS William Jefferson Clinton CVS1 set sail today from it's home port of Vancouver, BC. The ship is the first of it's kind in the Navy and is a standing legacy to President Clinton and his foresight in military budget cuts. The ship is constructed nearly entirely from recycled aluminum and is completely solar powered with a top speed of 5 knots. It boasts an arsenal comprised of one F18 Hornet aircraft, which although cannot be launched or captured on the 100 foot flight deck, forms a very menacing presence. As a standing order there are no firearms allowed on board. The 20 person crew is completely diversified and includes members of all races, creeds, sex, and sexual orientation. The ships purpose is not defined so much as a unit of national defense, in fact in times of conflict it's orders are to remain in hiding in Canada, but will be used extensively for social experimentation and whatever shitty jobs the commander in chief and his wife can think of. It is largely rumored that the ship will also be the set for the upcoming season of MTV's "The Real World."

Steamer's answer: [which I know is coming as soon as he sees Lou's answer ;)]


I was on the Big E from 95 to 99, in EE30. I'm currently working for the DoD on an aspect of the CVN-21 design (not electrical, unfortunately). I can't give any real inside info, but I did come across this. I think I've seen some speculation on the site as to the name of the new carrier, here's hoping they keep this tradition alive. Maintenance “issues” associated with the vertical-takeoff JSF have led the Navy to make the decision that the aircraft should not operate from CNV-21, said Rear Adm. Dennis Dwyer, Navy program executive officer for aircraft carriers.

The Navy plans to deploy the CVN-21 in 2014. The yet-unnamed carrier will have a life expectancy of 50 years. Dwyer predicted the name is likely to be the Enterprise. That’s not a surprise since the CVN-21 will replace the aging CVN-65 USS Enterprise that has been sailing the seas since January 1962.


This article has an "artist's concept" of CVN-21



I'm confused about something.  Why is the hull number going down?  Shouldn't it be in the CVN 80s? 


George Hults Comes Aboard .....


This is George Hults. I just got your very cool site sent to me by a fellow ex shipmate. Add me to the list! I was in RC-11 from 84 - 87. Email is




George I remember you. I'm not sure why I remember you but I do.  I can picture you sitting at the panel with your hair standing up, as if you just crawled out of your rack.  No doubt my BNEQ qual card had a few of your sigs on it. 


Andrew Raymond Comes Aboard .....

Hey I think your work here is great!! Just read several stories and enjoyed them all. I probably have a few to add myself. I was a 4 plant RC div from 84-87. As I remember, we were the "Lifers," right? I guess that would explain why I'm still in the Navy.

E-mail address to add is:

Thanks Shipmate


Raymond, what are you still doing in the navy?  I never figured you for a lifer;)  I'm pretty sure you were one of the panel guys when I was standing my '86 cruise UIs with Paul Smith.  You were always pretty cool to me, even though I was a lowly nub;) 


George "Bung" Hults!!

The price of senility and procrastination, I need to welcome aboard my old pal Bung Hults!!! George I apologize to you for an earlier post where I mention everyone in RC11 except you. Well actually there were some that I fessed up to not remembering but I did remember you later and had every intention of correcting that error.

George I remember going for Chinese food with you in Alameda (pot stickers!!!), seeing Sam "the screamer" Kinnison live in San Francisco, and the Replacements live at that old concert hall in San Francisco. Can't remember the name of the place we saw the Replacements in but I remember it was where Jefferson Airplane did their first concerts and that it was double decked, and the upper deck would shake. A very scary thought in a place like San Francisco.

Welcome aboard man!!! Write me soon.

Hey Ram, I think you've got a substantial number of the old RC11 gang circa mid 80's, however a great many are still missing: Hetzel, Mann, Heacox, Joe Curcio, Ken Price, Craig Primer, Rick Robbins, Greg Wieland, Mark Fritz, Tom Holman, Mike Galbraith, Lloyd Johnson, Weinbecker, Ruff….We need to find these lost sheep!!

Louie Wingo


Mike Galbraith Comes aboard!!!

Mike Galbraith, RO one plant, here. I never thought I would hear from ole 10" Tuli again. I just can't believe you assembled this site. I love it. Ram you were the funniest man I have ever met and I have tons of fond memories of you. I don't know if you will remember me, but I am easy to forget. I am slightly disappointed that I was unable to locate any "Tales from the Backside" episodes. I would have paid good money for some of those. Thanks tons for the site and I hope to hear from you one of these days. You can post my email on the site if you want.


There you go Lou, Ask and You Shall receive!

Damn, Mike, is it good to hear from you again!  Why would you think I'd forget you?  We were pals in the first degree.  I got more than a few stories on this site about you.  Where are you these days? Now that you know about this site, time to start remembering your sea stories....

Ah yes, the "Tales from the Backside"--Hmmm, I had forgotten about those.  Since I valued and revered the 4SWGR dopeybook I refused to put tasteless material in it.  But I could care less about the 1SWGR dopeybook so I filled it with some of the most vile, vulgar and demented stuff imaginable.  For months no one knew who was putting in those cartoons since I signed them "BDB" (for Back Door Billy). The "character" depicted in the 'tales' was always a guy that looked like Mark "Goldylocks" Fuller.  The 1 plant dopeybook disappeared and it was rumored that EM2 Yassir had it. I begged him for it and he told me he'd give it to me if I stood a watch for him.  I never stood the watch so I never got the dopeybook.  Hopefully Yassir finds this site and still has that thing. 

KP or BDB    

As The Pig Floats ......PI!

Been a while since we left Australia, time to pick the saga back up again.

Okay so the Big E had just left Australia in the summer of 86 and we're heading home. Next stop is PI and for the nubs from 8503 its our fist time in Olongopo. We'd seen Angeles City and were impressed but by now we knew the real PI was just over that blue horizon. Pulling into PI is what being a west coast sailor is all about. It's the only way to start a Westpac and by far the only way to end one. On the way out you need PI to get yourself in the right place to handle the next few months at work, but on the way home you NEED PI to shake all that loose. PI is many things to many people. For some it's just the next big party, for others it's a place to relax or worse intense work (think of the supply gang). For some it's a place of incredible natural beauty, for others it's an abomination, and the stark reality of the third world. For others it’s the only place on this planet they can find sexual release, and for some it's the only place they can do the kinky things they want to do without being arrested. PI was our next stop and everyone had some plan of some sort. My plan was to take it all in with my nub buddies and avoid being on the ship if at all possible. I had no idea what I was in for.

So the ship finally pulls into port. The cool thing about PI was that this was the first port we didn't need to use liberty boats for. Grab your shit and hit the beach man we got a new world to check out. So we take off, and the first thing I notice is the phone center. Lines are 20 guys deep and the wait is measured in hours. Not likely to be calling home. We make our way to the gate and you can feel the excitement. Change your money for "Bongo Bucks" and tuck them somewhere that they can't be easily stolen. The gate opens and there it is, that shining city on the river (shit river); Olongopo…..Remember Shit River the first time your senses took it in. There was no doubt what this river was. The only thing that threw you was the guys in the canoes. I remember being stunned motionless the first time I saw someone dive to retrieve a peso thrown from the bridge. Now that's desperation! I can still remember the sound, crowds of people, music, and the cars. The jeepneys all sounded like motorcycles, and someone was always laying on the horn. The shop owners yelling out to pull people into the stores, drunk sailors shouting incoherence's, Honeyco's trying to lure you into their web of debauchery. Then there is the smell of PI. PI has its own unique smell but the base of it is what I call eau de 3rd world. Eau de 3rd world is a combination of leaded gasoline exhaust, diesel exhaust, burning wood, burning cardboard, raw sewage, exposed garbage, fish and charred meat. I found that smell in the PI, parts of Mombassa, TJ, Hong Kong, and actually in parts of ChinaTown (SF). But above that there's the smoke in the bars, the smell of monkey on a stick, and cheap perfume on a honeyco, and in close quarters there's the smell of Mojo and San Miguel. Remember how everything there is trying to remind you of something back in the States; CalJam, Rolling Stone, Hard Rock, Shakey's Pizza, and my favorite the Shark's Cove. This place was a little piece of California without the rules. Disney for adults.

Well the first day there I'm like everyone else, just taking it all in and wide eyed. Going through all the stores and checking out all the goods. Had no intention of buying a cruise jacket or patches that was far too lifed out for me, but I had to check it all out anyway. Remember the velvet Elvis paintings those were everywhere. Finally night closes in and it's time to get down to some serious partying. I remember just hopping from bar to bar and you'd lose guys at every stop, but then again you'd also pick up some guy who'd taken a detour from his group. It was all just part of the scene. Remember how the camera guys would pester you to no end for pictures. The pictures were always terrible too, first you're drunk so you look like a fool, second the flash was always so bright that you look like your eyes are three times more open they really are. These guys taking the pictures know that they have you over the barrel, half the guys are married and don't want photographic proof that they're out with a honeyco, the remainder is single guys who don't want to remember what their honeyco looked like with sober eyes, and the remainder will pay anything for a picture of them with a real live girl….I remember that when we were there you couldn't go into any bar without hearing "We built this city" by Jefferson Starship. You couldn't get away from that damn song. Well the first night was spent getting acquainted with Olongopo and drinking far too much San Magoo and Mojo, playing around with the honeyco's, and eating too much lumpia, goat cheese pizza, and monkey on a stick. What a party!!

I woke up the next morning completely hung over and someone ripping the curtain of my pit back to tell me I was to report immediately to the quarterdeck. This is never good news in my opinion so I'm thinking " oh God, what did I do last night?" I crawl up out of my pit and make myself as presentable as I can, and then I make my way up to the QD. Unbelievably I get there to find my brother waiting on me. Now my brother is the white sheep of the family. He's the overachiever. I'm the ET3 he's the Commander and CO of the USS Darter. I had no idea he was in the PI, but I guess he couldn't help but notice that we were in port, so he came by to pick me up. What a great surprise. Spent the entire day with my big bro touring the place, played golf all day, ate dinner with all his officers on the Darter, and then we took the town together with his XO. They were having fun tossing the kid around and getting him drunk, and I had fun being the kid getting tossed around and having my drinks paid for. I remember his XO throwing girl after girl at me. He was tremendously cool. We ended up at a bar that played mostly new wave and metal music ( I can still hear some Billy Idol tune in my head), and I remember my brother leaning over to me and saying "hey do you like folk music", he was showing his sixties roots. We had a great time and when curfew came around, my bro was all set to go have that CO to CO chat with the Rock. We ended up just letting it go and I made curfew but that was truly a unique experience.

At the end of it all the memories were tattooed on my brain. PI was the west coast sailor's paradise. Its what some guys lived for. It's what everyone looked forward to. No other port matches it for what it is. Hung over and drained, we knew this cruise was all but over, it was time to go home.

These photos are courtesy of Mike Glabraith and Rich Lorenz. If anyone has pictures from that cruise please send them to me. I can never get enough pictures.

First is Mike eating Balut and the second is the welcome sign over Magsaysay….. 

Louie Wingo


Ding-Ding ....

Couldn't help but laugh at PP's story of the duck on page 21. I was at the bar with the alligator on several (more actually) occasions. It was in a movie about A6 pilots also. I heard about a duck being brought back aboard but I heard it disappeared when someone lit off the inductor in one of the bilges (don't remember which one it was).

PP also mentioned "CC Smith." That was a hard steamer for a CO. He had CC and Friends on the side of his COD. When JW Austin took over it was quickly changed to JW and Associates. That pissed off a lot of people. I ran into CC Smith in town on several occasions in Hong Kong and he was usually worse off than me.

Rumor had it that they quit giving him a car when the ship would pull into Subic because he kept getting drunk and forgetting where he left them. I didn't put much stock in that until one morning I was on the pier at the hockey puck stand trying to cure a hangover when an ambulance pulled up to the officer's brow. Two men started helping someone up the brow and when they were about 3/4 of the way there, I heard "ding ding - ding ding, Enterprise arriving." I almost chocked on the burger (I use that term loosely) I was eating.

When he made admiral and left the ship there was a heck of a party on Grande Island.

Rick Ellenberger


Erick Peters Comes Aboard ....

Erick Peters, E-Div, 1998-2002



Eric Foster Comes Aboard ....

Good site (even though it makes me feel like a lifer, dig-it, khaki wannabe).

Eric Foster RC-22 '89-'93


More Billy Ball Remembered ....

I don't know how it is now, but we used to keep drinks in front of the chill water cooler in 1 switch gear. Billy Ball had been fielddaying the CTG flats and managed to sit back on a steam drain line that went right in his crack. Needless to say he moved pretty quick. We were sitting in the switchgear trying to stay cool when Ball comes running through the door holding his butt, grabs a can of coke from the cooler, drops his pants and stuffs the cold can between his cheeks. Needless to say we could hardly breath we were laughing so hard. After sending him to sick bay we finally got our breath when the owner of the can of coke (don't remember who) comes in pops the top and downs the coke. We all lost it again and he couldn't figure out what everyone was laughing at.

The burn was pretty bad and Ball said that even though they took it serious in sick bay, they could barely keep it together long enough to get the burn taken care of. Everyone started wiping their cokes cans off pretty good after that.

Rick Ellenberger


Dog-gone-it!  I made the mistake of sipping my morning tea while reading this and wound up spitting it out on my computer because I couldn't contain my laughter.  


More From Mike Galbraith .....

Ram My Man!!!

I only have a minute to write so this will be brief. I am so glad to see you are doing well. I am doing well also. I don't think anyone that knew me back on the pig could guess what I do now. I will tell you later and let you wonder what it is. I wanted to make one correction to your [tales from the backside memory]. The character was based on your buddy RJ Martin. Remember the "Texas" Ring he always wore? You were one of the guys that made the insufferable, survivable. I will give you more when I have more time.




You're right! I guess it was RJ!  I forgot that the "star" of those naughty adventures was always some guy wearing a big "Texas" ring.  Anyone who knew RJ will remember his giant Texas-sized, Texas shaped Texas ring.  It was pure gold with a big diamond  in the middle.  It probably weighed about a pound.  Man, did we give him shit about it.  But he was Texas proud so it was befitting a fellow like RJ.  I'm gonna guess that you're now a minister.  If you were it wouldn't be that far of a stretch as we all know another ex 80s RC14 type, who reformed.  (He's the official Chaplain of the Critical thinking site.)  Or, you might be a doctor.  That, too, isn't a stretch, as our noble former load toad punk rocker pal Craig Norquist is now a doctor.  We're all waiting to hear what became of ya!  


Another Correction .....

Okay I got busted by Rich Lorenz. In my post from 4/9 I misstated that the group photos of RC11 outside El Gringo's were taken by me. I don't know where I was but for some reason I wasn't in those pictures. I did take the pictures inside El Gringos and more pictures when we got to the bull riding bar. Rich suggests that an LBFM was involved in my disappearance. I can neither confirm nor deny, and that's an honest answer. Rich has informed me that he indeed was the photographer of those pictures using Galbraith's camera. My incoherencies not withstanding, the message is still the same. I do somehow remember us all standing outside of El Gringos though…..That was a great time, Westpac 88, I'm pretty sure it was on the way home.

Louie Wingo


Stephen Anderson Comes Aboard .....

Please add my contact info:

Name Stephen Anderson Work Center RC-22,23,Tech 1993-1997 RT 2002-2003 Email

J. Stephen Anderson


"Smiley" Comes Aboard

Good reading on the site.

Here is a memento from the 78 cruise.

I also have the newspaper article of the Cree bombing and will post it (at least the picture) one of these days.

I think I will keep lurking for a while, but will have you post my name.

"Smiley," RL Div 77-79


Thomas Kreischer Comes aboard .....

I'm really enjoying your website. Reading these accounts sure brings back memories. Please add me to your list of Big E nuke/eng contacts. Further, I am interested in any news relating to a reunion.

Thomas Kreischer RC-14 1983-1985


Kerry Rod Comes Aboard .....

Please add me to your roster

Rod, Kerry RC-22, 1983 - 1986,

I'll let a few others know of your website as you have done an excellent job.

Cheers, Kerry


Mike Fills Us In .....

Hi All!!

I love this site. So good to see the names of some rather infamous and great people from my memories. I will let you know a little about my current situation, for those of you who are interested in knowing. I did not go to college like the smart people from my past. I went straight to the workforce after leaving the navy. Those of you that know me, know of my less then glorious departure from the pig. I will elaborate on those adventures at another time. I have had many jobs since those days and I can tell you I missed all of you guys out there a lot. I am currently a Deputy Sheriff in Nodaway County, Missouri. Yea they let me have a gun, a badge and everything. Though this may not let many of you sleep well at night I do like my job very much.

I have had many knick names over the years some of them include: Lightbulb; Galoobala; Galoob; Backwoods Country Fuck; and Woody. I was somewhat famous when known as Woody, I was a bartender in Portland Oregon. It seems I still had a predominantly navy type sense of humor at the time and a lot of my customers came in just to see what I would do and say next. I couldn't go anywhere in the pacific north west without running into someone that knew me as Woody. The knick name that I am most fond of now was bestowed upon me by many of my current, most frequent customers, Punk Assed Bitch. PAB's for short. My customers do love me so. The liberal use of pepper spray on less then compliant customers usually brings this name from their lips. Usually after about fifteen seconds of the magical elixir doing its thing I am referred to as "Sir" this is followed by "May I please wash my face, Sir?"

Nodaway county is in NW Missouri. I live in a small town, Conception Jct., pop of 112 people. I love living in a small town. I am married to the luckiest woman in the world, I doubt she sees it that way though. I have four children, two boys aged 7 and 6, two girls aged 2 and 5 months. I have a wonderful family and would not trade any of them for anything.

Since I was not motivated to go to college myself, and thus relegated to a life of poverty, I married a woman who did. My wife is a registered dietician, and it is a good thing too, as we would be living in a corrugated cardboard palace without her income.

Enough about today, if you want to know more just email me, I am on the list.

I will impart a short sea story about KP and I. I promise I will write more sea stories as time permits. KP and I never greeted each other with a simple hello when passing each other in the berthing or passages while at sea. We always greeted each other with some stupid question, usually involving a sex toy such a "Can I have my inflate-a-mate back?" KP was a master at replies and quips and seldom did you see KP falter or pause in a reply. The one such exchange I always think about and laugh my ass off when recalling went something like this. Me: "Ram, did you take my 12 inch double ended dong?" KP: Without the slightest hesitation worked up a very pained and uncomfortable face and stated "No, I could only take half of it!"

I miss you guys out there. Mike "PAB's" Galbraith

The funniest thing about those exchanges [as we passed each other in the passageways] was the look on faces of nearby people, who didn't know us. 

You're the second ex Big E nuke law dawg on this site (the other being Nitro).



I just had to write back in and explain two of the episodes of "Tales from the Backside" that I still crack up whenever they come to mind. Now KP was a truly gifted artist when it came to these cartoons. I would give anything to have copies of the full dopey books containing the tales. The main character based on RJ Martin was always depicted with the infamous Texas ring and sporting a T-shirt with some Texas sports team name on them. In one episode the family dog had puppies and of course all the puppies had RJ's face. RJ was depicted looking at the ceiling and whistling while rocking back and forth on his feet, the typical attempt to look innocent, as RJ's father is looking at the new family members. The father is saying "Those are the ugliest dogs I have ever seen!" A later episode depicts RJ's sister having a baby and you guessed it, the baby had RJ's face. RJ is again depicted with the innocent look. RJ's father is present saying, "That kid is as ugly as my dogs!"

I laugh myself to tears every time I think of those things. Maybe you had to see the things to think they are funny or maybe my feeble attempts to describe them is enough to get you to crack a smile.

I will write again soon. Mike "PAB's" Galbraith

The more I think about it, the character (known as BDB) was supposed to be a combination of both RJ and Goldylocks.  The face was certainly drawn to be Goldylocks, that I do recall (because it always had that big red nose).  Maybe I did that so as not to make RJ think it was him. But, I guess, the whole "Texas" thing would have tipped him off.   


Tom Gonzales Comes Back ....


Checking-in with a note.

I posted my email a while back, but wanted to let folks know things are going okay. Nice to see some of the long-forgotten folks mentioned: Buddy, Sam, Pat, Farnam, Link, Brent, Grit, Danny, Welch, Steve R D Ass, Mark, Michael Chester French (Ida Marie... What the He** is your boy doing out in the middle of the Indian Ocean??!?!), Dave French, Gator, Ortego, Willy, etc. Please forgive me if I forgot yer name. Those were pretty blurry days at times...

Things go well. It's now been 25 years (!!!!) since I was on the E. Phew!

I'm hoping to make it to Las Vegas in October. I minimize my trips out there to keep myself from losing weight from the heat, though Dr. Phil would say it's a good idea... I'm trying to get down to 175 by September 30th, so I can slide into that slinky red... OOPS!! Don't tell my spousal-unit...

I'm still living in California. Pasadena 'til 1981, Monrovia 'til 1988, San Luis Obispo, 'til 1996, now in Sunnyvale. We just got back from a trip to Florida to visit her friends, and there's NO WAY I'm moving out there. Too dang hot. Gave up riding bikes in 1980 after a spill in downtown Seattle on the back of a buddy's bike. The most dangerous thing I drive nowadays is a compound-miter saw in the backyard shop.

Funny memories???

Being short on beer money 3 days before payday, and winning $13 by eating a Balout, and keeping it down for an hour.

Uh... Rx Dept. party at some club, rented for the weekend. One of the a***ole officer's birthday, and he got an INvoluntary face dance... Almost turned him human.

I got picked-up by the base security because I handed my ID to Mark Van Order to joke with some gals at a club in 'Po Town. He went out, and I got back to base without it. Fantail-Mast...

Launch the Alert Pontiac!

Caperton submitted a chit for "A night of Fun and Debauchery". Got denied, I think...

Black and White tea in Hobart.

San Migoo beer.

"Cars near Binictican, Come in!"

Just about putting my hand on a rockfish 15' off Grande Island beach.

Getting chased by Lion Fish.

Anchoring in the middle of Subic Bay 'cuz the steel cables wouldn't hold in a typhoon.

etc., etc., etc.

Take care all,

Mot Zongo aka Gonzo aka Tom Gonzales

p.s. I worked with another ex-E Nuke at Cal Poly: John Van Muckey.


Melon Head .....

Hey Tom Gonzalez,

When you worked with John Van Muckey did he look like this???

John was my pet wog in Westpac 88, he was a great pal. We gotta get him on the site!!!

The tale behind the picture is coming up later in my "As the pig floats" series. It was on a trip to Breckenridge in 87. John got the worst case of poison oak I've ever seen.

Louie Wingo


Believe It Or Not, This Came In at the Same Time as Lou's Above Message..... !

Gonzo, You knew Van Monkey? Did he ever tell you about the ski trip he took with Lorenz, Blue Lou, and myself? I believe there were one or two others with us but I can't recall at this moment. I will have to impart this one to the site.

If I am not mistaken this is the trip that finally brought me love and admiration from the Devil and ltcdr. Andy Sevald. May the crabs of a thousand squids infest their genitals. I had an approved leave chit in my possession, I would not leave my chits in the rx office as this had cost me countless hours in the past while the idiots in charge attempted to locate my chits when my leave had already started. The Devil and Sevald were already fans of mine at the time and had decided that I would not be allowed to take my leave at the last minute. Were they ever surprised when I departed the ship with my leave chit in hand.

We had decided we would drive east until we found some snow to ski in. It had been a very bad winter and not much snow had fallen anywhere it seemed. Monkey lived in the Bay Area and had helped a neighbor mend a fence the day before we departed. Unfortunately the fence ran through some poison oak. Monkey had gone to medical on the ship and was given some medication for the poison oak outbreak on his hands and face. This medication was given to him by some corpsman and he was not able to see a doctor. Now I am sure the corpsman was just trying to help The Monkey out but it appears that the treatment of poison oak is not one of the items mentioned in the corpsman rate manual. Needless to say he was not given the right stuff.

Monkey, ever the trooper, packed his things into the car with the rest of us and away we went. Monkey was applying alcohol toweletts to his face at a furious pace. The alcohol evaporating seemed to sooth the burning sensation on his face. About the time we reached the California border Monkey's face began to change. By the time we neared Salt Lake City, The Monkey was no longer recognizable. It appeared as if someone had placed a jack-o-lantern on Monkey's shoulders and painted it fleshtones. We thought the lad was going to die. We pulled into an air force base in Salt Lake against The Monkey's wishes. The Docs at the air force base nearly shit their pants when Monkey walked in. They threw a fit when they seen what the corpsman had given Monkey to put on his poison oak. We left the hospital with Monkey properly medicated and continued east.

We ended up in Breckinridge Colorado to ski and a good time was had by all, except The Monkey. His head was finally back to near normal the day we left. Monkey had spent the entire time in the hotel room not daring to show his distorted face. We had come up with a knick name for The Monkey on that trip though I can't recall it, at this time. Blue Lou do you remember what it was? I am positive Lorenze would remember.



I knew Van Monkey on the ship but knew him best at Cal Poly.  He, too, was an electrical engineering student and we hooked up many times.  (I might have even been the one to talk him into going to Cal poly.)  I remember once while at school he got word that our other pal Kevin Keeny (RM11) and his band were appearing at some bar in San Luis Obispo.  I asked Keeny about this later and he denied it--but he acted very suspicious so I called Van Monkey up and said we gotta check this out.  Sure enough, Keeny and his band were performing that night.  They totally sucked and that's why he didn't want us coming out to see them.  If I remember correctly I brought the future Mrs. KP with us that night, too, and she told Van Muckey that she worked as a welder for Hyundai.  He thought she was on the level (she was just like me when it came to pulling people's legs).  

The band Keeny was in back then was called Gravy Train and they actually improved as the months wore on.  The singer was a real chick magnet and so they had lots of college girls showing up at their shows.  I was in the band for about three weeks but got kicked out.  I can't remember why.  


Could we be hearing from JVM soon??


I shipped JVM an email with the URL... Stand by to stand by...



Forwarded From Iraq ....


I just got this email from Willie May and he added Al Brumbelow's email address to it. Drop him a line as I am sure he would like hearing from you over in Iraq. Maybe we could send him a care package.



----- Forwarded by John M Carlson/AEPIN on 07/01/2004 07:30 AM ----- 07/01/2004 07:13 AM

To: cc: Subject: RE: email list

Big John - How the hell are ya. I have been hearing from a lot of old shipmates lately. I haven't seen nor heard from most for over 20 years (man do I feel old). I'm currently in Iraq enjoying the warm weather and friendly natives. I've got Al Brumbelow's e-mail to add to your list. I'd sure like to attend a reunion to see some of you old salts but I'll be here until early next year (if all goes well). I'm thinking about a mini reunion with all the locals when I get back.

Got to get back to "work".

Thanks for the list of e-mails.

Willie May


Ahoy to Tom ....

Hey to Tom Kreisher! I remember you, Tom. I think I recall talking with you and giving you some checkouts. You may have been around for some of the antics of "Arrgh!" during the 82-83 cruise. If so, I hope you aren't too disgusted to stay in touch. No more "Arrgh!" for me. Were you the nub on watch with John Warchol the time I fell asleep and they Scrammed my plant? Just checking...

Arrgh! aka Jim Schibetta


As The Pig Floats -070104

Mike made me have to go out of chronological order to cover the whole Van Muckey head swelling issue:

In the late fall of 87 a bunch of the RC guys decided we needed to get one more ski trip in before we shipped off for Westpac 88 ( the ship left within days after New Year's). We had no formal plan but knew we wanted to go far inland to get away from any Navy influence. The standard Tahoe trip simply wouldn't suffice. So we set out for points eastward. Our original intent was for Utah (at the time we pronounced it as you would hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the very name), but as Mike stated it was early in the season and they hadn't received enough snow yet. So we continued on to Colorado hearing that they had snow or at least snow making ability. The four that made the journey were me, Galbraith, Lorenz, and Van Muckey. I think we wanted others to come but we were the only ones willing to sacrifice Christmas leave time to get the job done.

As Mike stated, John got involved helping a neighbor and came down with the worst case of poison oak I've ever seen. And this happened as we were leaving. He showed up with calamine and navy corpsman remedies. By the time we reached Utah, it was clear that Van Muckey was in serious trouble, see the picture below. We took him to the Air Force guys and the zoomies got him back on track. We had many derogatory names for him but pumpkinhead and melon head were the most common. You have to know the background on John. He was a body builder and very concerned about his looks. Going on leave in this state was absolutely devastating to him. No girl would ever come near him, and quite frankly children would cry when they saw him. He looked like the elephant man. But he was cool and toughed it out, that's what you gotta love about Van Muckey.

Well we made our way across to Colorado, and no further mishaps. Tune of the ride was "Dude looks like a lady" by Aerosmith. Again a song we couldn't get away from, by the time we got to Colorado none of us would ever want to hear that damn song again. I remember we were driving across Colorado and it was morning after a long night, Rich was driving, it was his car, the Monte Carlo, and he was the only one gonna drive, and I was riding shotgun. I had fallen asleep and I was suddenly rocked to my senses just in time to see a mule deer's ass smack right into the passenger side of Rich's car. I looked forward and there was a whole herd of them in front of the car. Rich was totally pumped with adrenaline and both hands firmly on the wheel, tires squealing, he had managed to slide right between two separate groups of the deer and only hit one, the bump I woke up to. He was amazed for hours after, and we couldn't stop talking about the "Great White Antelope" that was coming around to kick our ass (note the Ted Nugent reference here). From that point on we noticed every deer crossing warning posted.

We ended up staying at a hotel in Frisco, CO and skiing at Breckenridge and Keystone. The skiing was fantastic. The hotel was a little drive by place on the main drag in Frisco. Incidentally I returned to Frisco this year to go skiing and sure enough that same hotel is there and in business. The cool thing about the hotel was that they had a huge hot tub in the middle of the parking lot. We took over the thing. While the three hot tubbers got blind drunk with snow falling on our heads, Van Muckey went for a jog up in the mountains. He returned shortly after completely breathless and realized that altitude does have a profound effect on athletic ability. He quickly joined us in the tub. We all got plastered and Lorenz was kind enough to tape record our conversation. I hope to God that tape never surfaces, it can't be pretty.

The skiing was great. I remember one point riding the chair up with Rich and we're laughing and enjoying the day, we look down and notice two poles sticking out of the snow. Some poor bastard had dropped their poles while riding the chair and would have to come down without them. Just then we see Van Muckey cautiously plowing his way down the mountain arms out wide for balance as he went straight for the poles he'd dropped. We laughed so hard we nearly fell out of the chair ourselves.

Well we skied our asses off and finally had to head back home. The entire trip out and back we never stopped at McDonalds, we always ate at some diner. And every time we stopped Galbraith would always ask "What's the special." I swear to God, everywhere, every time, it was chicken fried steak. And Galbraith ate it every time.

More pictures to follow…. 

Louie Wingo


Ron Smothers Comes Aboard ....




Lance Bybee Comes Aboard ....

I recognized some of the group at the New Jolo, got to be 78. Great site, brings back memories. Not enough to put names to more than two people, unfortunately. The guy in the yellow shirt (behind the girl) was my watch partner in aft nucleonics, Bobby (Frump) Farnam. The man giving the friendly gesture was my lpo, Charlie something or another. I am sitting in front of the guy with the girl in his lap (also an RL div puke).

Good Memories; Australia, Singapore, The P.I. Bad memories; dead in the water for the admiral, musical reactors in the I.O. forever.

Lance Bybee MM2 - RL div 1977-1980


Sunday Morning Coming Down

Music has always been important to me. I'm mainly a hard rock kind of guy, but I'm open to all types. Growing up as an Army Brat in the South and on Army bases in Germany, I was exposed to a lot of country music in my younger days. Sometimes when I get in a nostalgic mood, I'll give C&W a listen. On my recent vacation, I heard "Sunday Morning Coming Down" by the late Johnny Cash. That song always brings back this memory :

One Sunday morning on the '76 cruise I woke up in one of the hotels on Rizal Ave. My companion from the previous evening left at 8 AM and I decided to take advantage of my day off and sleep in. I had just rolled over and settled in when we got one of Olongapo's infamous power outages. As soon as the ceiling fan and air conditioner spooled down the room started heating up. I decided to get the hell out of there.

So what the heck does one do on a Sunday morning in Olongapo? I knew a little shop that made hot pan de sol and decided that a few of these tasty biscuits would be just the thing for Sunday breakfast. I headed down one of the little side streets to where I believed the shop to be. About a block down this street, a Filipino of about 40 stopped me, and told me not to go any further. I asked him why and he pointed down the street and said, "Bad dog. Bad dog." I looked up and sure enough about a half block further down the dusty street there was a mangy brown/yellow dog with a foaming mouth. Furthermore, the dog seemed to be trying to bite his own ass. ( There are more gross aspects to this scene, but I'll spare you further details.) Suffice it to say, if you've never seen a dog in the latter stages of rabies, count yourself lucky. It's a heartbreaking sight that will stay with you for a long time. I thanked the guy for warning me and retraced my tracks back to the relative safety of Rizal.

So now I'm strolling casually down Rizal and I come upon a crowd on the sidewalk. They are in front of a little church so I figure they are either waiting to go in, or have just come out. I politely started shouldering my way through. Sunday is also cockfight day in Olongapo. Some rooster had gotten away from it's owner and had set up a "no man's land" on the sidewalk in front of the church. He was now apparently daring anyone to come in. The first guy to do so was the big dumb American. Next thing I know there's a ball of feathers, with claws extended, heading straight for my eyes! I think I must have screamed like a young school girl. Then I dove over the low cinder block wall into the church courtyard. The Filipinos watching this were greatly amused and laughed so hard they had to hold onto each other for support. (I think even that crazy f**king rooster was laughing at me.) I sheepishly fled the area.

Okay, so even Rizal isn't safe. Guess the only place safe is Magsaysay, so that's where I headed. Just as I turned left onto Olongapo's own "Champs Elysees" the full force of the tropical heat and humidity hit me HARD! I mean it knocked my dick in the dirt. I noticed that the doors of the New Florida Club across the street were open so I decided to seek refuge there. When I walked in the front door it took quite a while for my eyes to adjust to the dark. The only light came in from the street and from a single light bulb above the bar. The bartender was asleep on top of the bar. There were about ten girls "on duty" and most of them had their heads on various tables and were also asleep. I guess I was their first customer of the day. One of the few girls that was awake woke up the bartender. He shuffled over with 3 ice cold beers. He then handed me about 10 L.P. albums and told me to pick what I wanted to hear. As I was making my selection he brought over a large fan, aimed it at my table and started it up. (Guess either the electricity was back or the bar had a generator.) The bartender put my selection (Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon") on the turntable and headed back to sleep some more on the bar. Four of the girls came over to my table. Three of them sat down and put their heads on the table and were soon back asleep. The fourth girl took a seat next to me, put her hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes for a while without saying a word. Then she put her head in my lap and was soon asleep herself.

As I sipped my first beer of the day, I leaned back and took stock of the situation. Four short years earlier I would have been in my parents living room. I'd have had a glass of juice in one hand while I thumbed through the Sunday Comics with the other. I would have already been to Mass and probably gone out to breakfast afterwards. Now I was a 23 year old US Navy sailor sitting in a bar in an "exotic" foreign port. I had an ice cold San Miguel in one hand while I stroked the hair if a cute young girl with my other hand. It was about 10:30 on a Sunday morning and already I had encountered a rabid dog, been attacked by deranged poultry, and now I was drinking a beer, surrounded by cute young girls all of whom would gladly have sex with me for a nominal fee. A smile slowly came to my lips as I listened to Pink Floyd over the bar's powerful sound system and thought that this would be absurd in any other place on earth. But here in Po Town, I guess it was just another Sunday morning.

Gawd, I miss that place!



Paul Yingst Comes Aboard ....

My name is Paul Yingst. I was in RM-23 from 1994-1998. My email is



Robert Pettis Comes Aboard ....

I'm Robert Pettis. I was an EM1 when I left the Enterprise. I served in 2 Plant, RE-02 from 1976-1977, was the LPO of RE04 until 1979 and was then the Engineering Technical Librarian until Feb 20, 1982. Please list my name and current e-mail on your site. Thank you.

KP Note: Always great to have another RE aboard, especially one distinguished enough to claim to have been an RE04 LPO!


CC Smith ....

Now I remember...

Good to see some of the chit-chat about skipper CC Smith. I had an interesting meeting with him early in my stay on board the E.

It had to be Fleet Week in 1975 and the plants were being brought up for the first time after a maintenance period. We were in Alameda, and I was assigned, as an RT newbie, to stand post at the 3 plant RCER hatch to keep visitors from coming down into the plant, since moms and kids and sisters and grannies were crawling all over the ship. I was also supposed to make sure folks had their TLDs, blah-blah-blah.

So good ol' CC comes down with his Marine escort, to see what the plant's status was. I happened to notice that CC didn't have his TLD on, and the plants were critical. I asked CC not to enter the plant, even if he DID own the damn thing. CC, being the fine skipper he was, listened to this old nobody-pipsqueak E-4 and sent his aide up to get the TLD, and did not enter the plant. He was definitely A-OK as a Captain.

After CC met with the PPWO, he headed out and I resumed my boredom for the remainder of the four hours. Well, I guess this incident somehow surprised folks, as the PPWO and RC Chief both came up to me with big eyes and wanted to see the size of my s**k... blah-blah-blah

CC made the day.

Tom Gonzales


Keith Van Bueren Comes Aboard ....

Dear King Paul;

I am Keith Van Bueren. I was an ET3 in RC-22 the entire time I was aboard the Enterprise from 1983-1987. I have been in touch with only one other alum throughout the years, so your site presents an opportunity to renew some acquaintances. I appreciate your efforts with this site. My e-mail is


Back at ya Jim ....

Yes, Jim, I was the nub RO on watch when John Warchol held reveille on you. I still don't believe what I saw. I swear you had your immediate actions done before your tumbling clipboard hit the deck. You brought a whole new meaning to the phrase "I can do this with my eyes closed." There can be no disputing that you knew your CPs cold.

I remember that "Ligntning Rod" acquired his given nickname for a demonstration of his speed in Control Equipment, but I doubt that whoever gave him that moniker witnessed your wakeup call.

As for toughness of checkouts. You were simply thorough. Although he was never unreasonable, nobody was more demanding or harder to read than Frank Davies. He used to page through the qual standard and ask questions about nearly every item there.

Lyle Cook was also a though one, but he was so easily incensed that I didn't like to go to him for checkouts. I was afraid that a wrong answer from me might touch off his powder keg personality and he might die of some stress related medical malady.

Someone else who could do amazing things with his eyes closed was Gene Howard. I recall an incident that resulted in the disqualification of six exhausted reactor operators (myself included) It was one of those cold iron maintenance marathons and nobody in the plant had seen their pits in a couple of days. Gene was leading a team of techs doing CRDM checks on 4B RX. He was getting pretty close to his time limit on the validity of the rod testing precrit so he opted to pull a rod for "political critical" in order to buy himself some time. When the scram breaker wouldn't close after several tries, he immediately went to a little used procedure and installed jumpers in the flow instrument. It worked, and the poor old PPWS, was a victim of his own trusting nature. Gene pulled the rod to clear the RBL and scrammed it out. Ten minutes later when he wanted to initiate a legitimate test, he called into EOS requesting to latch a rod. He was told to wait while we start an RCP for flow. It was then that we realized that he had latched and pulled a rod without flow.

It didn't end there. The PPWO polled the watchstanders to see if anyone had yet recorded it and if so, what did they record. I reminded the watch officer that this event would soon turn into bragging rights. What he was considering was not good. Within twenty minutes PPWO, PPWS and every RC watchstander in the plant was in front of the XO. When the first two interviews revealed the sleep situation, the rest of us were haulded in and asked how much sleep we had in the preceding days. We were all then ordered to our racks for 24 hours. We were also disqualified and had to go through our senior boards again. Gene was left in this limbo for 5 months and 29 days before hew was recertified.

Good system interrelation knowledge and extreme sleep deprivation combined for a incident report worthy to be reported fleetwide.

R/Thomas Kreischer


Jerry Vogt Comes Aboard ....

Jerry Vogt RM-11 (1974- 1978)

Please feel free to add this info to the roster. I appreciate the chance to contact some of these people. Thank you! 

Jerry Vogt


Lorenz's Infamous Bag Log!

.... I was just perusing the [KP] site and I came across an entry about me keeping the most accurate Bag Log. I still have it, and what's more I still carry the very same notepad with me at my job today! I don't have any bag entries left in it, but here is a scan of the back cover. I only created it for Ulmer anyway. A couple of years ago , I removed his pages. I think he still owes me about 4hrs of SRO and RO. Yeah, I don't know how it survived, but here it is...



I came across your site looking for USS Enterprise ghost stories. I am currently an HM onboard the "3/4 mile island" and am dating a nuke and friends with a bunch more. I enjoy your stories and I'm sure I will pass your site on to my boyfriend and my buddies. I think they will have plenty of new stories for you all to laugh at.

HN Rebecca Groll, USS Enterprise (CVN 65)


Welcome aboard Rebecca! Believe it or not I have been saving one of my last official Mooj Minion T-Shirts for the first Big E female to send in a letter.  Email me back your address and I'll send it off as soon as I can.  All that is asked is that you wear it proudly and defend The Mooj when he is bad-mouthed by senior Rx Dept. personnel 

We're hoping you're willing to share a few stories of your own.  No doubt you've seen some interesting things during your time aboard the E.  As far as ghost stories go I know of two haunted spaces on The E.  There's a ghost in 3RAR and one in 2&3 SWGR.  Can anyone think of other haunted spaces?



Big E Beef ....

During the ’94 Westpac, one of the port calls to Subic found us tied to Alava Pier. The day after we tied up, a one hundred man working party was called away to strike down a large delivery of frozen food. I had duty the previous day so I was in no danger of being nominated for the strikedown. Although I could benefit from a softly observed policy allowing me the day after duty off, I took my time getting out of the plant. When I finally did change and climb up the ladder to greet the day, the strikedown was in full swing.

Knowing that what was being sent down the conveyors would be my sustenance for the next few weeks, I decided to nose around and see what was going to be on the menu. I can still see the hundreds of cases of frozen New York strip steaks being pulled off the pallets and sent down the line. At first glance this seemed to indicate a rich feast of quality beef, but a closer examination of the markings on the boxes would correct the folly of my high thinking. There in plain view was the USDA inspection stamp alerting the handler that the package contained “Grade E” beef.

To the untrained it might just have been a reason to grumble and it would come as no surprise to anyone that the navy had purchased inferior quality foodstuffs for its sailors. However, for farm boys like myself, who understood the grading system, it was something much bigger. USDA inspected, yes! But “Grade E” is assigned to that which is not fit for human consumption and it is not to be sold for that purpose. Hence the glaring marks on the boxes. It is a principal ingredient for budget pet food and rendered animal feeds. Only Grade F is worse and federal law requires that it be destroyed.

My sustenance for the next few weeks was soup, and salad.

Thomas Kreischer RC14 82-85


Jim Petroski Comes Aboard!

Hi KP,

I just ran across your site for 'E' Rx people and read through about half of it. Interesting to see all the people here, and a few I remember.

I'm in the minority here, as I was RC01 div officer from 82-83 and then Station Officer from 83-84 (do they still have station officers in later years?). I never got my pic in the cruise book, but I worked under (then) LCDR Dale Baugh (RCA) and LT Russ Averill was my aft plant counterpart (RC02). ETC Frank Davies was the forward group chief under me.

Those were interesting years - I was interviewed by Rickover during my ROTC days (even got kicked out of his office!), lived through the infamous 83 SF Bay grounding, and the fire on May 31 (I think) in 84 which wiped out part of marine berthing. I was recording the EOOW logs in central control for both of the last events, so I had some great views of what was happening. If I get a chance I'll put together some stories.

On my desk here at home I still have the nice pen and plaque set RC14 gave me for my wedding anniversary (84, I think). ET1 Hassell was the LPO who presented it to me on behalf of RC14. I still appreciate it - thanks guys.

I've had a great engineering career since leaving the Navy in 84. If any of you were in RC division after the 90's refueling, you probably worked on equipment I helped design, as I worked for Weston Controls after leaving the 'E' and ended up designing some of the RCC cabinets and drawers. I had the advantage of knowing what you guys did as watchstanders though, and tried to make maintenance easier than the previous set of cabinets.

I also spent 7 1/2 years with NASA, and had three space experiments fly aboard the space shuttle - all Columbia, sadly :( Now I'm in commercial work, getting paid better and accumulating patents. Pretty soon I'll be finishing my master's degree and heading for my doctorate.

Great to meet you all (again for some)!

Jim Petroski RC01, Station Officer 82-84


The Gas House Gang ....

When I was growing up, I, like most young boys found flatulence to be highly funny and entertaining. Most young men outgrow this in early adulthood. Others, myself included, never outgrow it.

When I got on the Enterprise I naturally gravitated to a group of people who shared the same interests and hobbies. During our in port periods in Alameda we would periodically get together at someone's apartment and have a "pot luck" to which everyone would bring their favorite gas producing food. Ed Kennicott dubbed these gatherings "Fart Food Extravaganzas" (FFEs for short) I would bring either a bean/bacon/onion/cheese casserole or a tasty tuna and egg salad. Pickled eggs, chili and draft beer were always there in abundance. A guy from 3MMR named "Muskrat" was famous for an onion dip that he made. With total disregard to his own personal health and safety, Muskrat would eat this concoction by the spoonful right out of the bowl. Once Burt Page brought a jar of liver pills which we ate like candy. Needless to say, on the morning after an FFE, the engine rooms of the Enterprise were barely habitable.

On one such morning, we were mustered on the hanger bay. Immediately forward and upwind of us all the officers from Rx and Engineering were having some sort of ceremony. Maybe a couple of Ensigns were making Lt(jg) or something. After our muster was done we got an evil idea. Myself and another guy (Muskrat?) went upwind of this formation and silently squeezed a couple off. We even walked back and forth for better dispersion. (See, we learned something in HTFF!) Just then we looked at the "yellow gear" behind the officers. Did you ever see the "Kilroy Was Here" drawing? There must have been about 15 M Div guys peering over around and under the yellow gear. We hastily joined them.

At first nothing happened. Then slowly you could see the "fog" drifting through the ranks. At first an officer would start twitching a little. Then he would lower his head and start shaking it violently. (Reminded me of the gas chamber in boot camp.) Finally pandemonium broke out. The officers started blaming one another. Then one of them spies all the "Kilroys" behind the yellow gear. He points and yells, "It's M Division!" We quickly beat feet for the enginerooms. The whole thing had us laughing the rest of the morning.



Puppy Love ....

I saw an old posting about street vendors in O-town selling puppies. Jack B., an RL Div contemporary, wrote this poem during the 78 cruise:

There's a puppy here for sale, 
With a cute and curly tail. 
You can eat him on a stick, 
With a sauce so nice and thick. 
It makes you kind of sick, 
but what the heck.



Ed Duhamel Comes Aboard ....

Please add me to the contact list.

Ed Duhamel, RM-14 & RM-3, 1976 - 1981;


Andy Comes Aboard?

KP, Great website! I was wondering if you still sell shirts?

Andy RM14/RM03


Not sure if you wanted to be listed (if so please send dates and last name).  Yes I do have a few shirts available.  Send address to me and indicate L or XL size.  


NPJ Article:

Hey Ram, 

Got this article and thought that many existing and recently "Ex-Navy Nukes" could use some of the info in this article to feel that there is life after the Navy, should they want to continue in the nuclear industry. 

Take care and your work maintaining the site is greatly appreciated.


Jul 13 - Nuclear Plant Journal

The safe, reliable, and cost-effective operation of NPPs requires that personnel possess and maintain the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes to do their jobs properly. Such knowledge includes not only the technical competencies required by the nature of the technology and particular engineering designs, but also the "softer" competencies associated with effective management, communication and teamwork. The IAEA Incident Reporting System Study on the Loss of Corporate Knowledge based on the 2000-2001 events has indicated that 44 reports from 1411RS reports reviewed contain elements relating to the loss of corporate knowledge and memory.

Traditional worker training programs have addressed explicit knowledge that is contained in written documents, policies, and procedures. However, tacit knowledge that is held in a person's mind has not typically been either captured or transferred in any formal manner. Rather, new workers have acquired such knowledge over time through their working with those who already possess it.

As those workers who are in possession of this tacit knowledge leave the workplace for retirement, the effective capture and transfer of that information becomes even more critical. The longterm operation of NPPs requires that this entire body of explicit and tacit knowledge be transferred to new personnel as they enter the workforce. Accordingly, new and different techniques may be required to ensure timely and effective knowledge retention and transfer.

A new report on the subject prepared by the IAEA is intended to provide NPP managers practical information they can use to improve the transfer of knowledge from the current generation of operating organization personnel to the next generation in an effective manner. A survey on the topic was distributed to NPP operating organizations in IAEA Member States to collect information regarding both the magnitude of the problems in this area and also the methods being used to transfer tacit and explicit knowledge to the next generation of NPP personnel. The information provided in the report is based upon the experiences of Member State operating organizations as well as other related industries.

Summary of Current Situation

In some Member States, measures have been taken to terminate operations prior to the scheduled end of plant life, or agreements have been made to phase out nuclear power. Privatization and more open energy markets have created greater financial uncertainty. Downsizing and right sizing efforts in NPP operating organizations can result in the departure, almost simultaneously, of much of the organizational knowledge. These factors mean that, in many Member States, it is more difficult today to attract people into the nuclear power industry. Additionally, the growth in information technology opportunities for young professionals has resulted in fewer students pursuing traditional engineering degrees, not just in nuclear engineering. In still other Member States, significant numbers of experienced personnel have immigrated to other countries due to better opportunities. It is also important to recognize that the situation described above does not apply in all Member States. In some countries, particularly those with continuing construction and commissioning of new plants, there are few concerns or issues with respect to an ageing workforce and transfer of knowledge.

Recent positive trends in the nuclear power industry include continuing new construction in Asia, a return to new construction in Europe, new plants being seriously discussed in North America, plant life extensions being implemented for many existing plants, improved operational and safety performance of plants overall, and innovative designs being developed through the Gen IV initiative. The success of all of these efforts depends upon having sufficient well- qualified personnel for their implementation.

Nuclear Industry Trends

The IAEA's PRIS data indicates that of the 437 NPP units in operation in 2003, over 80% (355) have been in operation for 15 years or more. If one considers that most of the initial professional and technical staff for an NPP are hired approximately 5 years in advance of the commercial operation date, then for this group of plants, the personnel who grew up with the plant have a minimum of 20 years experience, which suggests that the youngest of this group is in their mid40's, and most are older. One common characteristic of NPP personnel in IAEA Member States has been workforce stability; most people came to the organization shortly after completion of their formal education and internships, and stay until they retire. This combined with a general trend toward smaller plant staffs, particularly over the past decade, means that for most NPP operating organizations that have not built new plants within the past 15 years, there has been a very small influx of new personnel. That is until recently, when current staff began to retire in significant numbers.

Recently, restructuring and downsizing have been a reality for NPP operating organizations in a number of Member States. Downsizing has, in some cases, aggravated agei ng workforce issues through compressing the time period over which the transition occurs and, if not well thought out, can provide insufficient lead time to plan a well organized transition of know how (and know why) to replacement personnel. Early decommissioning of NPPs creates special needs.

Trends in Education

In a number of IAEA Member States, due to uncertainties and fewer career opportunities, interest in nuclear industry courses of study has continued to decrease. This decrease has happened in many cases in all engineering areas, not just nuclear engineering. In some IAEA Member States with economies in transition, the overall quality of education has decreased, and education budgets are very limited. In these situations, nuclear training centers need more effort to prepare specialists to be able to fulfill all needs of NPPs.

The OECD/NEA report entitled, Nuclear Education and Training; Cause for Concern published in 2000 indicated that:

"In most countries there are now fewer comprehensive, high- quality nuclear technology programs at universities than before. The ability of universities to attract top-quality students to those programs, meet future staffing requirements of the nuclear industry, and conduct leading-edge research in nuclear topics is becoming seriously compromised. A number of concerns exist:

* The decreasing number and the dilution of nuclear programs.

* The decreasing number of students taking nuclear subjects.

* The lack of young faculty members to replace aging and retiring faculty members.

* Aging research facilities which are being closed and not replaced.

* The significant fraction of nuclear graduates not entering the nuclear industry."

In 2002, OECD/NEA launched a follow-up study to assess the evolution since the previous study. The preliminary results from this soon to be released study show that a large number of actions have been initiated and positive development has been reported in several countries. However, the situation in many countries demands further actions. International level collaboralion may offer a complementary route to improve the amount and the quality of nuclear education.

A number of international and national efforts have been initiated to address the need for greater numbers of well qualified and educated nuclear industry recruits. The most recent of these is the World Nuclear University (WNU) |http:/ /www. world-nuclear-]. The WNU founding supporters are the IAEA, ???/ OECD, WANO and WNA, and membership includes 26 organizations worldwide. The mission of the World Nuclear University is to strengthen the international community of people and institutions so as to guide and further develop:

The safe and increasing use of nuclear power as the one proven technology able to produce clean energy on a large global scale; and the many valuable applications of nuclear science and technology that contribute to sustainable agriculture, medicine, nutrition, industrial development, management of fresh water resources and environmental protection.

Through a worldwide network that coordinates, supports and draws on the strengths of established institutions of nuclear learning, the WNU will promote academic rigor and high professional ethics in all phases of nuclear activity, from fuel and isotope supply to decommissioning and waste management.

Other recent international initiatives regarding nuclear education and training include the European Union's European Nuclear Engineering Network (ENEN) and its successor the Nuclear European Platform for Training and University Education (NEPTUNO) (these initiatives are for both current EU Members and those countries planning to soon join the EU []), and the Asian Nuclear Safety Network.

Trends in IT Support for KM

Most NPP operating organizations use information technology (IT) to improve their systems for designing, developing and implementing training programs and other human resource management functions. Some organizations have implemented or are now implementing integrated human resource management systems for all activities concerning planning, employment, organizing, assessment, training, development, payment, protection of health, and use of human resources in \the organization. Use of IT tools for knowledge management is not yet common in most Member State NPP operating organizations. E-learning is used by some but not most operating organizations, and generally in limited ways (e.g., general employee refresher training). Some operating organizations have integrated computerized operation management systems, including work planning and control, and document management functions. The outputs from these systems are readily available to all plant personnel through Intranets.

Conclusions from the IAEA Report

The main conclusions from the IAEA report regarding strategies for managing an aging workforce are:

The nature and magnitude of the aging workforce problem for the organization should be defined and regularly updated. Staffing plans/ work force plans should be prepared that provide a standardized methodology for overall human resources planning driven by strategic and business goals. These plans should identify planned retirements and vacant positions as well as the required staffing levels needed to support business strategies. They should include attrition data, development plans, succession plans and current work force requirements.

Activities should be strengthened to retain current employees, including regularly soliciting inputs from employees regarding their job satisfaction and motivation, monitoring external markets to ensure that employee benefits and compensation are competitive, and providing opportunities for career/professional development.

Partnerships with educational institutions and universities that provide qualified professionals for the nuclear industry should be assessed based upon medium and long term needs, and strengthened where needed. Actions should be taken to make the organization an attractive employer and neighbor in the community.

The main conclusions from the report regarding the capture and preservation of mission critical knowledge, and the effective transfer of this knowledge to the next generation of NPP personnel are the following:

Experience has shown that one of the principal limitations of such individual transfer of tacit knowledge is the potential for variability in the quality of knowledge transfer. Thus, personal transfer should be supplemented, whenever feasible by support systems including guidelines, job aids, individual development plans, structured onthe-job training and communities of practice that both help to provide consistent and high quality transfer of tacit knowledge as well as providing a way to transfer tacit knowledge, where appropriate, to explicit knowledge.

The nuclear industry due to its need for well documented procedures, specification, design basis, safety analyses, etc. has a greater fraction of its mission critical knowledge as explicit knowledge than do many other industries. This facilitates the task of knowledge transfer. For older plants in particular, there may be a need for additional efforts to transfer tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge to support major strategic initiatives such as plant license extensions/renewals, periodic safety reviews, major plant upgrades, and plant specific control room simulator development.

The challenge in disseminating explicit knowledge is to make employees aware that it is available, provide easy access, in formats and forms that are usable.

Tacit knowledge is more difficult to identify and disseminate. The challenge is to identify what can be converted to explicit knowledge and to create an environment where tacit knowledge is routinely shared and disseminated (knowledge-sharing culture). No information management system can replace the need for face-to-face interactions, particularly for transfer of tacit knowledge (experts know more than they can say, or write).

Many NPP operating organizations have taken positive and decisive steps to address the aging workforce situation. A number of these actions are described in the document, and should be considered for use by others, as appropriate.


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