Red Storm Rising After Action Report
Part 1 of 2
USS Springfield (SSN 761) is in international waters just outside the USSR's primary SSBN base, Gremikha. She has just received the following message:
FROM: COMMANDER SUBMARINE FORCE
SUBJ: MISSION ORDERS
1. SITUATION. SOVIET NORFLEET SSBNS ARE DEPLOYING IN MASS. ESSENTIAL THAT WE LEARN WHERE THEY ARE GOING.
2. MISSION. ESTABLISH COVERT PATROL OFF SOVIET SUBMARINE BASE AT GREMIKHA. LOCATE AND TRAIL A GREMIKHA-BASED SSBN AS IT TRANSITS TO ITS OPAREA.
4. COMMAND AND CONTROL.
This is our area of operations for today. We're a long way aways from help, so it's best if we stay out of trouble.
This is why we are here: the Soviet SSBN base at Gremikha. Isn't the weather beautiful?
Fortunately, we're underwater where the weather won't bother us very much.
In fact, the heavy seas makes it highly unlikely that our 'scope will be detected.
On the other hand, it also makes the Diving Officer's job a lot harder. This is what we don't want to do - expose the top of our sail.
Through the periscope, the waves look like mountains.
Our only ESM contact is a radar from one of Gremikha's many SAM sites.
There's nothing yet on the towed array.
The shallow water and heavy seas means an isothermal Sound Speed Profile. There isn't a layer for us to hide under.
Suddenly, the sonar intercept receiver picks up pinging to the south! The frequency is typical of a surface ship's active sonar.
That must have woken-up our sonarman, for he immediately reports a narrowband contact. We only have two frequency lines so far, so we can't tell what it is.
Looks like we have two contacts. Sierra-2 is a narrowband passive contact, range unknown. Sierra-3 is pinging active and is probably a warship.
We don't know it yet, but the active warship is a Grisha-class light frigate.
The Grisha is escorting a Delta IV ballistic missile submarine to its dive point.
Springfield turns to the southeast for another TMA leg.
We have two trackers going on broadband, I and J. After the maneuver, Track I's bearing has changed, while Track J is still on the same bearing as before the turn. This tells us that Track J is the real track.
Our initial TMA solution puts Sierra-2 nearly 26,000 yards away, on course North at 12 knots.
We're now getting three narrowband lines on Sierra-2. Our contact could be a Delta IV SSBN.
On the other hand, it could also be a Neustrashimyy frigate. The passive classification is, so far, unclear.
Maybe we can learn more from ESM. Before putting up that mast, let's take a peek at high-power in the direction of our sonar contacts.
Raising the ESM mast, we immediately get a hit from the Grisha's search radar. The signal strength is too low to worry about.
Meanwhile, the Delta IV continues on the surface to its dive point.
Going . . .
going . . .
Continued in Part 2.
Go to Part 2