Tag Archives: Dry Deck Shelter

Rig for divers

COMSUBPAC recently released several images of things you don’t usually see: Dry Deck Shelter and submerged diver operations on a Virginia-class hunter-killer submarine.

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 18, 2021) — The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) conducts operations off the coast of Oahu, Hawai’i. U.S. military forces are present and active in and around the Pacific in support of allies and partners and a free and open Indo-Pacific for more than 75 years. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Perlman/Released)

The Navy only has about a half-dozen of the 38-foot DDSs (2-3 in each of the SDV Teams), which were put into service in the 1980s to replace the capability lost when the Pentagon scrapped the old transport submarines (see USS Perch) of the Vietnam-era. Boats such as Perch could put ashore platoon-sized elements of Marines or UDTs/SEALs via small boats and do so in relatively (for the blue water Navy) shallow water.

While usually older boats operate DDSs– for instance converted Tridents turned into SSGNs– 10 of Virginias are believed equipped to operate DDSs, which can support a SEAL platoon (16 operators) for dive or small boat (CRRC) operations.

Previous to these images, some of the last good quality released images of DDS shelters in use on DVIDS date to earlier this year and, beyond that to 2008, both on converted SSGNs.

For Dallas at least, the hunt is over

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700) returns to homeport at Groton, Conn., following its final scheduled deployment after more than 30 years in service. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700) returns to homeport at Groton, Conn., following its final scheduled deployment after more than 30 years in service. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

On 22 November USS Dallas moored at Pier 8S on NSB New London following an extended seven-and-a-half month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AoR. The sub traveled 37,000 nautical miles and also made port calls to Brest, France; Hidd, Bahrain; and Duqm, Oman.

It was her last patrol, and she is slated for decommissioning.

The Dallas (SSN 700) is 13th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the City of Dallas, Texas. She was commissioned 18 July 1981 and has spent 36 years with the fleet.

While she carried one of the Navy’s precious few Dry Deck Shelters (aka frogman hotels) for over a decade– meaning she likely has gone several places that will never be noted publicly and did things that will never be spoken of– and completed one deployment to the Indian Ocean, four Mediterranean Sea deployments, two Persian Gulf deployments, and seven deployments to the North Atlantic, it is her fictional life that will live on.

If you ever read (or watched the film, which she took part in) Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October, you remember Dallas as the main U.S. vessel in that work. She also appeared in some of Clancy’s other works as well as John Ringo novel Under A Graveyard Sky.

Dallas is one of the last of 30 Flight I Los Angeles-class boats still in the fleet, with the majority of the class still active being the “688i” vessels of the Flight II/III program complete with a 12-tube VLS capability, better senors and noise reduction technology.

The only other Flight I’s still active are USS Bremerton (SSN-698), USS Jacksonville (SSN-699), USS Buffalo (SSN-715) and Olympia (SSN-717), the newest of which was commissioned in 1984.

Dallas did outlive most of the Soviet Typhoon-class subs, of which the Red October was depicted as. Of the six constructed, just one, Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), is in semi-active use, though she rarely takes to sea.

I think Captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius would be proud at how things turned out.

typhoon_iced