My name is Eric Moreno I am a US Submarine Veteran and Founder of r/Submarines - ASK ME ANYTHING!
Hi Reddit! Eric Moreno here (again!) - I am a US Submarine Veteran and Founder/Mod of r/Submarines. I am here with Biography to give you glimpse into the world of submarines.
Check out our video!
2003 was the year I showed up to the USS Hampton as an Auxiliaryman to maintain all the mechanical equipment onboard not related to the reactor, propulsion or weapons. Pneumatics, hydraulics, atmosphere control, diesel operations, water… and yes the sanitary system. After doing that for 3 years I cross rated to become a Torpedoman and took care of all the weapons systems, heavy weapons (torpedoes/missiles) and small arms. I even qualified to cook :)
3 years ago I founded r/Submarines with the intention of having a place dedicated to submarines. I got sick and tired of scrolling through Facebook and Twitter to dig up submarine content, news, OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) etc.… After seeing the 1000th photo of someone’s dinner I deleted my Facebook account and started a Reddit account. I immediately took over a 200 subscriber r/submarines and turned it into the Submarines church it is today.
I have been researching and consulting on all aspects of submarines since my enlistment was finished in 2008. I have studied all aspects of submarine technology, culture, history etc… I also have an amazing network of verified submariners from many nations that will chime in if I can’t answer your question.
Photo of what the Regulus W-27 nuclear detonation would look like via NukeMap
Thanks and Ask Me Anything today at 4pm E!!!!
... and you if you thought all submarines were small you were wrong. Meet the Typhoon Class from the hunt for red october :)
Hunt for Red October is 2nd. Das boot is 3rd. The new Hunter Killer was pretty good to if you like crazy action movies.
Are you ever worried that people will post about sandwiches in r/submarines? Moving on, what's your favorite submarine sandwich?
Nope. I have great mods that take care of that.... I did have one get through... DAM YOU u/ItWasAlchemy !!!!
It is still our #1 post of all time lol
How do you keep from going crazy while submerged for long periods of time? Strictly pre prepared meals? How fast can a sub resurface in case of emergency. How big where the subs you were on?
Like I talk about in the video, you get into a routine and you forget that your not part of the world anymore. I would assume it's the same way prisoners get used to it.
There are many sailors that refuse to willfully leave the sub service because it is all they know. As crazy as that job is they love it and don't want anything else.
Depends on how deep the sub is and what type of sub. In general you can be on the surface in under 3 minutes.
Did you ever have coffin dreams?
No. I dreamed a lot about (and still do) Tornadoes. Not really sure why. I have always had a connection to them growing up in North Texas. Also why I took over as mod at r/Tornado :)
What do you think is the hardest thing to adapt to while in service on a sub? Also, whats one common misconception about serving aboard a sub that you see everywhere?
The amount of work and how much time you spend on board.
Many months in the year you will be out to sea. The in port times were the difficult times for me. When I was out to sea I was out to sea... it's what being on submarines is all about. Being in port and not being able to go home was really difficult for me. You would think you would get a break in port..... nope...you work just as much in port as you do out to sea. I was met with 20 hour work days, 7 days a week, sleep on board 3 of those days. It's not the claustrophobia that breaks US submariners.. its the amount of work and effort it takes to be a submariner.
What event made you go "oh shit" more than anything else (that you can talk about)?
P.S. I'm a sub veteran myself. Former DCA on the USS Asheville.
When the DCA walked into AMR and actually knew what they were talking about.... JK :)
Dodging ice during the ICEX :) Scariest thing I have ever done..... Or when our captain was fired. That was fun.
Walking into the AMR and the room watch actually being awake and attentive on his watch station. Never had that happen with the torpedo room watch though...JK :)
I have a lot of contenders (most of which I don't think I can talk about.) Probably the easiest one to explain was when we had a major refrigerant rupture in the AMR and had to call away a toxic gas casualty and evacuate everyone in EABs to the engine room. In hindsight probably wasn't that dangerous but that was my first cruise so that one always sticks in my mind.
EDIT: If we're talking a literal "oh shit" moment it would have to be when one of my auxillarymen forgot to shut the cross connect and ended up blowing about 400 gallons of shit water all over lower level and the galley. That was a fun critique.
Reefer leaks are no joke. The EOG scared me way more though.
It's crazy that every single 688 submariner I have met has the same story. That cross connect was in a poor spot. They should have designed it to blow into another area.... not the fucking galley. Stupid... and lazy that they didn't fix it IMHO.
What was the cheating incident and the firing of the CO like? Did it shock the crew members that weren't part of the fraudulent stuff going on?
There was a reason the logs were forged... not because the tests were bad. They were faked cause the captain treated the ELTs like complete shit every time they turned in the logs. It was a fuck you to the captain.
We had some guys on the 737G convince a nub to walk up to the DCA, while he was on watch in Control, and "request permission to blow the DCA".
That's amazing.... simple and funny as hell. That made me literally lol.
Ages ago I did a live-aboard program on the USS Batfish in Oklahoma (one of the more odd places for a submarine in my opinion) and being on the tall side, noticed I got a helluva crick in my neck from having to tilt my head to the side. And that was just over a single night.
How do tall submariners do over long deployments?
My A-gang chief was 6'3 ish. He always walked with his neck to the side. It didn't bother him at all. He could kick our short skinny asses if it came down to it lol.
Did you always know where you were at a given point in time while underway? Did any crew mates ever totally lose it because of the environment you had to work in? Thanks!
Most of the time. When you are on mission your location is Top Secret. I did not have the clearance to know our position so I did't know what it was. You know that you went North/South/East/West from CONUS but that's about it.
Yeah we lost a lot of guys due to the stress... A few suicides too sadly. Saw a guy cut his wrist's with a steak knife on crews mess after snapping. It's a tough job.
Hey fellow bubblehead! I don't know how the hell I missed a submarine subreddit!
Anyhow, where were you stationed? I saw somewhere in here you got to go up north, did you guys get to surface through the ice? We were supposed to at one point but I got transferred off before my second deployment, and I think I heard through the grapevine it was scrubbed.
Remember the San Juan incident? My roommate had a hand in that...I stayed on shore for that underway.
Nice :) I was originally stationed in Norfolk then we changed homeport to San Diego. That's where they are now.
ICEX was fun and also my first underway lol.
Nice. Shoot me a direct message :)
Did 2 ICEX runs on the 666, didn’t know there was a bubblehead sub either but will check it out.
Can CTIs serve on subs?
Anyone in the navy can cross rate as far as I understand. Its like volunteering to be sent to the front lines. There is always a way to get you on board.
Assuming from your username your a female. For everyone new to the submarine world, the USN accepts women and has been for a while now. They would make it work. Could be on the forefront of a woman's history in the US as well.
*Edit - thought that said CT1s lol.. still....they could use you.
Have you been to the submarine museum at Pearl Harbor? I thought it was great.
Also, not a question, but here's a vid of my Uncle a retired submariner and Masterchief, who passed away presenting a board he made tracking all the us subs that have sunk. You might find it interesting.
WOW that is awesome!! what happened to that board?? I am super impressed by that!!
What is your favorite piece of clothing, and why is it a sock?
because I talk to myself a lot and it's a lot easier to explain if it's a sock puppet I'm talking to.
I talk sweet things to her :)
I loved the book 'Blind Man's Bluff' as a teenager, and a cousin who served on subs in the 2000s said the book was a bit of a legend in the service. Any comments on it, and any other recommendations on good books on more recent history of the submarine service?
All the books in my verification photo are amazing. Blind Mans Bluff is in there.
Iain Ballantyne's - The Deadly Deep is the best overall history book of submarines. Hands down what you are looking for.
Do you like capocollo or would you prefer pepperoni?
Pepperoni all day.
When we would have beef stroganoff I would instead make a pepperoni sandwich out of the salad bar. Bread roll, jalapenos, mustard, pepperoni slices. Made it through a deployment on them :)
Granting a little allowance for Hollywood “creativity”; what was the biggest howler in Hunt for Red October? Anything make you laugh out loud?
Same with Hunter Killer... going through caves and skirting mountains is completely crazy.
So subs can’t manoeuvre like fighter planes?!?!
Thanks for the reply 👍
Helicopters with black trash bags wrapped around the cockpit. You could technically pull it off but good luck.
How would you LARP with a submarine “crew”?
You want to LARP with a crew or you want to know how submarine crew's LARP?
Did you have times when you felt claustrophobic in the submarine, feeling like there is no air in it? If you do, how did you delt with it?
Never. Think of it like a 3 story airplane with a place to sleep. If you can fly on an airplane you can live on a SSN.
What was your favorite prank while submerged?
I was part of the new navy and all the really good pranks died down by the time I got there.
Pranks were fun but it was the daily fucking with you would get from your friends and crew. If they found out something about you... you never heard the end if it. It's how pilots get their callsigns lol.
Some of the funniest things I ever heard came from these conversations. They were completely brutal and mean but that was the funny part.
No more tap tap tap on your shoulder during angles and dangles by the OOW's dick? Surely it's still a right of passage to masterbate in the reactor passage?
It's more like a badge of honor. Only a select few could pull it off. No pun intended.
Did you go to Nuke school? Do you consider yourself an A-ganger or Torpedoman?
I did go to nuke school and dropped week 17 of power school. That type of training did not serve me very well. I am a very visual person and trying to memorize pages and pages of words a day was not for me. I think Nuke school could be greatly improved on with less sterile training.
OOOOOOOO dam you lol. I have always considered myself both because MM is MM but.... if I had to chose it would be A-ganger.
Starting that diesel was the coolest thing I have ever done. 2nd is shooting torpedoes but that Fairbanks Morse is a beast and I LOVED IT. 8 1/8" inch pistons, 8 cylinders 16 opposing pistons... I can't describe it.
What is your favorite divers watch to wear underwater?
Never wore a watch.. cool story jewelry story though.
One of the A-ganger's on board made a ring for his girlfriend out of a nut and bolt. The nut specifically... underway he whittled it down with only a hand file and gave it to her when we pulled back in. Only hand made ring I have ever seen.
You've mentioned planes and pilots in two of your answers. Do you wish you were a pilot?
Shit no.... I respect those guys a lot but I'm not good with heights.
After you have been below for an extended period of time, whats your first goto meal once you get on land?
Every underway was an extended period of time :) Imagine living on a airplane for more than 3 days. Every underway was weeks at a time underwater.
That depended on homeport. In Norfolk good food was limited but I loved a fat Rally's burger. In San Diego I would pick a random Mexican place. I grew up in Texas and my family owned a Texmex restaurant. I have to have a good tamale every so often.
What's the best comprehensive source on submarines and submarine warfare in World War 2 in your opinion?
Iain Ballantyne's The Deadly Deep is my go to!!
For general submarine knowledge it is sparse. There is no real go to book for submarines besides Jane's fighting ships and it's $1000+. I started r/submarines for that reason. That place is my go to for everything submarines. You won't get up to date news and OSINT in a book.
Have you ever given any thought to writing a book?
Hell yeah. I want to take over the world. If not I want to write a book about it :)
Do submariners get any form of internet access at all between port visits, or is it like disappearing from the world at large for a few months? Are current events kind of a blur because of it?
No access and it is like disappearing. It is difficult to keep up with specific current events. The boat will get news when they can get the masts up and you can get the mainstream stuff.
There's no internet access which allows for some pretty hilarious pranks. We had one guy on board who was a huge Maroon 5 fanboy and right after we got underway we spread the rumor that Adam Levine had died in a car accident. Poor guy had no way to check if we were bullshitting or not for over a month.
So good. Never did that.
Have you ever spoken with a German U-boat veteran?
Never. I have never met a German submariner in general.
How much downtime do you have on the sub and how did you spend it?
It depends on what you have going on and your job. Shifts are 8 on watch, 8 off watch doing maintenance/cleanup, 8 hours of sleep.
On-watch you are at your station doing your job.
Off-watch you are cleaning and doing maintenance. The mechanics always have maintenance to do so they will usually work all off watch then go to bed. They have little downtime.
The guys who work on the computers like the sonar techs and fire control techs have more down time because their maintenance isn't time consuming and their "machinery" is reliable.
You can skip sleep to do whatever but good luck. If your not tired as hell by the end of the day your not working hard enough.
Downtime for me was watching movies, music... imagine living on a large airplane with no Wifi for 3 months. How would you live it? :)
How accurate is the depiction of broadband and narrow and sonar and DEMON in the simulator "Dangerous Waters"?
Hehehe... lets just say that Dangerous Waters and Cold Waters is as accurate as you will get.
How many countries did you visit during your time serving on subs? Any stand-out port calls or meetings with other nation’s submariners?
Thats how I met u/DavidOwen12345. During ICEX 2004 our submarine went up to the north pole with the HMS Tireless. U/DavidOwen12345 was onboard that submarine. We happened to cross paths on the subreddit just a few years ago.
HAMPTON and TIRELESS had a few underwater battles while we were up there... a little arm wrestling if you will. We bet that if they won they would get our ice cream stored on board. If we won we get 2 kegs of their beer.
He says they won.... I say we won... regardless COMSUBLANT wouldn't let us have the beer. Instead they sent us to Plymouth England for two weeks. Had an amazing time there.
favorite submarine and favorite sub sandwich?
I had a dream with a fellow Torpedoman to open a sub restaurant with proceeds going to US submariners. Similar to Firehouse subs but submarine themed :)
Dino's Subs in Arlington, TX is my spot. Pepperoni and the works +Jalapenos
Top or bottom bunk?
Middle If I can get it. Aft berthing in that spot that is half blocked by the wall. THE BEST.
How long did it take you to build the calluses for the stairs?
Not long. I was immediately put AOW. No driving for me. I was running around that dam thing the day I got there.
My dad was a sonar technician on the Toledo! And a plank owner. I think I ate dinner on it once with him as a kid. It was either that or the Cincinnati. We're you ever stationed in Groton?
Only for sub school thank god. Too cold for me. Point Loma was my go to.... I love that place :)
What are your opinions on personal recreation submarines? Any companies you recommend or should avoid? I've always wanted one and to learn how to operate it, but I don't even know where to begin.
If you have $100,000s to throw around. There are a few good companies. Aquatica Subs and Triton are the two most popular. Triton offers the Aston Martin version if you want to spend huge.
You can also take rent one. OceanGate will be taking people down to the Titanic here really soon. They just finished the 13,000 ft test dive.
Have you read Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage?
If yes, what did you think of it?
It is next on my list. I am working on Neil Degrasse Tyson's "Accessory To War" right now :)
If we shot a submarine into space, would it survive? Would the crew survive?
It would survive for a bit. I think the vacuum would suck the air out pretty quick though. Submarines are different from space vehicles in that they fight vacuum.. we fight pressure. Once you open systems to space they would slowly draw air out. You would slowly die from a vacuum.
Das boot or hunt for red october?
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