Pargo II SSN-650 - History

Pargo II SSN-650 - History

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Pargo II SSN-650

Pargo II

(SSN 650 dp. 4,600; 1. 292'; b. 31'; dr. 28'8", s. 20+ k.;
cpl. 107; a. 4 21" tt., SUBROC; cl. Sturgeon)

The second Pargo (SSN-650) was laid down 3 June 1964 by General Dynamics Corp. Electric Boat Division, Groton, Conn.; launched 17 September 1966, sponsored by Mrs. James L. Holloway, Jr., and commissioned 5 January 1968, Comdr. Steven A. White in command.

Assigned to Submarine Development Group 2, with a homeport of New London, Conn., her primary wartime mission is to detect, track and destroy enemy submarines. She combines the endurance and environmental independence of nuclear power with deep submergence, high speed, quietness, and the most advanced weapons and electronics capabilities. These characteristics make her one of the Navy's most effective anti-submarine warfare weapons.

After acoustic trials and a restricted availability at Groton, Conn., Pargo participated in the search for Scorpion (SSN589) 27 May to 7 June 1968, and spent the rest of the year conducting various trials in the Caribbean and off New London. As of 1970 the second Pargo is still operating with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet

Pargo II SSN-650 - History

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During World War Two these badges were given to people who attended the ceremony when a particular US Submarine was launched.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard states that only 300 of these were produced for each ceremony. They are circular, about 1 3/4" in diameter, example shown at left is at actual size. Each badge has a color illustration of a US Fleet Submarine with the name of the submarine launched at the ceremony on both sides. Made of a stiff card material in a variety of colors and have a braided black lanyard. All are in VG+ condition @$15.- each. Order Form

The Submarine launch badge ship names are

U.S.S. Medregal / SS 480, Keel 8/21/44 - Launch 12/15/44

U.S.S. Odax / SS 484, Keel 12/4/44 - Launch 4/10/45

U.S.S. Scabbardfish / SS 397, Keel 9/27/43 - Launch 1/27/44

1960s [ edit ]

Assigned to Submarine Development Group 2 with her home port at New London, Connecticut. Pargo was altered for acoustics at Groton then was involved in acoustic trials that resulted in alterations to all U.S. submarines. After acoustic trials the Pargo spent much of its time doing arctic research, surfacing at the north pole several times. Pargo participated in the search for the missing attack submarine USS Scorpion  (SSN-589) from 27 May to 7 June 1968. She spent the rest of 1968 conducting various trials in the Caribbean Sea and off New London.

1970s [ edit ]

The Pargo made her 650th dive on 29 March 1978.

1980s [ edit ]

The "Pargo" entered dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton, WA) in February 1985 for an 18-month overhaul. 30 months later the boat was back in service, having upgrades to all non-nuclear systems.

1990s [ edit ]

The "Pargo" conducted the first civilian oceanographic submarine cruise of the Arctic Ocean in 1993.


1950� [ edit | edit source ]

Sunbird held sea trials at New London before moving to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for modernization from August to October. While holding refresher training off Guantánamo Bay on 29 November, she rescued two survivors of a plane crash.

Sunbird trained off New London from December 1950 to May 1951 at which time she alternated two-week training periods between there and Norfolk. Off Norfolk on 14 May, she came to the rescue of Valcour (AVP-55) which had been in a collision with a merchantman, badly holed and set on fire. She then returned to New London until November, at which time she made a round trip recreational cruise to Bermuda, British West Indies.

Following an overhaul at Boston, from January to March 1952, Sunbird operated along the east coast from Greenland to the Caribbean. In June 1954 she towed a disabled submarine from Cape Hatteras to Norfolk. In March 1956, Sunbird assisted Skylark (ASR-20) in removing the destroyer Willis A. Lee (DL-4) from rocks in Narragansett Bay where she had been driven by a blizzard. In November of that year, she salvaged a torpedo retriever boat from a ledge off Block Island. These local operations continued until November 1959.

Sunbird had some of her rescue equipment removed in late November 1959 to enable the installation of two huge wire parbuckling nets and large racks. This was Launch Test Vehicle (LTV) recovery equipment which transformed her into the first dummy Polaris missile recovery ship.

1960� [ edit | edit source ]

In February 1960, Sunbird was called to aid two tugs that were towing the decommissioned escort aircraft carrier Chenango (CVHE-28). The carrier had grounded on the north shore of Long Island and the recovery ship was successful in refloating her. Later in the month, divers from Sunbird aided in refloating the Apollo (AS-25) which had grounded at the mouth of the Thames River.

In March, Sunbird recovered 15 missiles that had been fired from ballistic submarines. By 1 July 1960, the ship had greatly contributed to the Polaris Program in recovering 46 of the seven and one-half ton missiles. In August and September, she operated off Cape Kennedy during Polaris test firings. In January 1961, the rescue ship was ordered to Texas Tower 4 to search for survivors of the tower which had collapsed. Her divers made 174 dives in searching the wreckage, with many to depths of 180 feet. The ship then engaged in local operations until mid-1962.

In July 1962, Sunbird towed YFNB-31 from Philadelphia to Holy Loch, Scotland. From 1 August to 24 October she served as flagship of Task Force (TF) 69 while operating with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She returned to New London and was in an upkeep status until the end of November. Local operations followed until April 1963 when she was dispatched to the Thresher (SSN-593) search area for a week, with negative results. She returned to normal east coast fleet operations until 5 January 1965 when she got underway for a four-month deployment with the 6th Fleet which ended on 1 May. In October, she participated in Operation "Springboard 65" in the Caribbean and returned to New London on 12 November 1965.

Sunbird stood out of New London on 11 April 1966 en route to Rota, Spain. Two days out of that port her orders were changed to proceed to Naples, Italy, and join the 6th Fleet. While attached to the 6th Fleet, in addition to routine duties, she was called upon to perform special operations. The ship was detached on 20 May and proceeded to Spain and thence, on 27 June, to Holy Loch where she provided services for Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 16 until 22 July when she sailed for New London, arriving there on 1 August 1966.

The year 1967 was an uneventful year for Sunbird and, from 11 September 1967 to 11 January 1968, she was being overhauled. On 27 May 1968, the ship was operating in the Narragansett Bay operating area when she was ordered to proceed south and aid in the search for the missing nuclear submarine Scorpion (SSN-589). Sunbird arrived at the scene and began operating with Pargo (SSN-650) in a search area along the 50-fathom curve. Scorpion was not found, but the two ships did find three uncharted hulls, including a German World War II submarine. The ASR was detached on 6 June to return to New London. Other than normal operations and providing services to SubRon 2, the year 1969 was highlighted by the rescue of five fishermen, on 27 May, from a fishing boat.

1970� [ edit | edit source ]

Sunbird was deployed to the 6th Fleet from 6 April to 30 July 1970 and from 3 January to 4 May 1972. In 1971, other than local operations, the ship was overhauled at Philadelphia from 11 February to 18 May. She deployed to the Caribbean for two tours in 1974 which were a welcome break in her routine. Sunbird operated from her homeport of New London with the Atlantic Fleet into February 1975. In September/October 1976 Sunbird (under CO Edward Craig) and NR-1 performed the recovery operation of the Phoenix Missile lost from an F-14. The F-14 experienced a throttle manfunction and "taxied" off the deck of the Kennedy aircraft carrier. Sunbird secured the missile after NR-1 recoved it from the bottom.

1980� [ edit | edit source ]

During the period 12 February through 22 April 1986, Sunbird, in company with NR-1, participated in the search, location and recovery of debris and wreckage from the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51L). During this operation, Sunbird conducted numerous dives, recovering several pieces of shuttle debris, and providing surface support to NR-1, who ultimately located a part of the solid rocket booster suspected as the cause of this tragic casualty.

Decommissioning and disposal [ edit | edit source ]

Sunbird was decommissioned on 30 September 1993, laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 2 November 1993. She was transferred to MARAD custody on 1 May 1999, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Virginia. The contract for scrapping was awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, Virginia, on 18 July 2005, and the ex-Sunbird was removed on 17 August 2005 by Bay Bridge Enterprises, and scrapping was completed on 12 November 2005.


Flights Edit

Los Angeles-class submarines were built in three successive flights: SSNs 688–718, SSNs 719–750, and SSNs 751–773. [11] In 1982, after building 31 boats, the class underwent a minor redesign. The following eight that made up the second "flight" of subs had 12 new vertical launch tubes that could fire Tomahawk missiles. The last 23 had a significant upgrade with the 688i improvement program. These boats are quieter, with more advanced electronics, sensors, and noise-reduction technology. The diving planes are placed at the bow rather than on the sail, and are retractable. [12] A further four boats were proposed by the Navy, but later cancelled. [ citation needed ]

Capabilities Edit

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the top speed of the submarines of the Los Angeles class is over 25 knots (46 km/h 29 mph), although the actual maximum is classified. Some published estimates have placed their top speed at 30 to 33 knots (56 to 61 km/h 35 to 38 mph). [4] [13] In his book Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship, Tom Clancy estimated the top speed of Los Angeles-class submarines at about 37 knots (69 km/h 43 mph).

The U.S. Navy gives the maximum operating depth of the Los Angeles class as 650 ft (200 m), [14] while Patrick Tyler, in his book Running Critical, suggests a maximum operating depth of 950 ft (290 m). [15] Although Tyler cites the 688-class design committee for this figure, [16] the government has not commented on it. The maximum diving depth is 1,475 ft (450 m) according to Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004–2005 Edition, edited by Commodore Stephen Saunders of the Royal Navy. [17]

Weapons Edit

Los Angeles-class submarines carry about 25 torpedo tube-launched weapons, as well as Mark 67 and Mark 60 CAPTOR mines and were designed to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, and Harpoon missiles horizontally (from the torpedo tubes). The last 31 boats of this class (Flight II/688i) also have 12 dedicated vertical launching system tubes for launching Tomahawks. The tube configuration for the first two boats of Flight II differed from the later ones: Providence and Pittsburgh have four rows of three tubes vs. the inner two rows of four and outer two rows of two tubes found on other examples.

Control systems Edit

Over close to 40 years, the control suite of the class has changed dramatically. The class was originally equipped with the Mk 113 mod 10 fire control system, also known as the Pargo display program. The Mk 113 runs on a UYK-7 computer. [18] [19]

The Mk 117 FCS, the first "all digital" fire control system replaced the Mk 113. The Mk 117 transferred the duties of the analog Mk 75 attack director to the UYK-7, and the digital Mk 81 weapon control consoles, removing the two analog conversions, and allowing "all digital" control of the digital mk 48 control. [20] The first 688 sub to be built with the Mk 117 was USS Dallas.

The Mark 1 Combat Control System/All Digital Attack Center replaced the Mk 117 FCS, on which it was based. The Mk 1 CCS was built by Lockheed Martin, and gave the class the ability to fire Tomahawk missiles. [21] The CSS internal tracker model provides processing for both towed-array and spherical-array trackers. Trackers are signal followers that generate bearing, arrival angle, and frequency reports based on information received by an acoustic sensor. It incorporated the Gyro Static Navigator into the system in replacement of the DMINS of the earlier 688 class.

The Mk 1 CCS was replaced by the Mk 2, which was built by Raytheon. Mk 2 provides Tomahawk Block III vertical launch capability as well as fleet-requested improvements to Mk 48 ADCAP torpedo and Towed Array Target Motion Analysis operability. The Mk 2 CCS paired with the AN/BQQ-5E system is referred to as the QE-2" system. The CCS MK2 Block 1 A/B system architecture extends the CCS MK2 tactical system with a network of tactical advanced computers (TAC-3). These TAC-3s are configured to support the SFMPL, NTCS-A, LINK-11 and ATWCS subsystems.

Sensors Edit

Sonar Edit

AN/BQQ-5 Edit

AN/BQQ-5 [uk] sensor suite consists of the AN/BQS-13 spherical sonar array and AN/UYK-44 computer. The AN/BQQ-5 was developed from the AN/BQQ-2 sonar system. The BQS 11, 12, and 13 spherical arrays have 1,241 transducers. Also equipped are a conformal hull array with 104 to 156 hydrophones and two towed arrays: the TB-12 (later replaced by the TB-16) and TB-23 or TB-29, of which there are multiple variants. There are 5 versions of the AN/BQQ-5 system, sequentially identified by letters A-E.

The 688i (Improved) subclass was initially equipped with the AN/BSY-1 SUBACS submarine advanced combat system that used an AN/BQQ-5E sensor system with updated computers and interface equipment. Development of the AN/BSY-1 and its sister the AN/BSY-2 for the Seawolf class was widely reported as one of the most problematic programs for the Navy, its cost and schedule suffering many setbacks.

A series of conformal passive hydrophones are hard-mounted to each side of the hull, using the AN/BQR-24 internal processor. The system uses FLIT (frequency line integration tracking) which homes in on precise narrowband frequencies of sound and, using the Doppler principle, can accurately provide firing solutions against very quiet submarines. The AN/BQQ-5's hull array doubled the performance of its predecessors.

AN/BQQ-10 Edit

The AN/BQQ-5 system was replaced by the AN/BQQ-10 system. Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-The-Shelf Insertion (A-RCI), designated AN/BQQ-10, is a four-phase program for transforming existing submarine sonar systems (AN/BSY-1, AN/BQQ-5, and AN/BQQ-6) from legacy systems to a more capable and flexible COTS/Open System Architecture (OSA) and also provide the submarine force with a common sonar system. A single A-RCI Multi-Purpose Processor (MPP) has as much computing power as the entire Los Angeles (SSN-688/688I) submarine fleet combined and will allow the development and use of complex algorithms previously beyond the reach of legacy processors. The use of COTS/OSA technologies and systems will enable rapid periodic updates to both software and hardware. COTS-based processors will allow computer power growth at a rate commensurate with the commercial industry. [22]

Engineering and auxiliary systems Edit

Two watertight compartments are used in the Los Angeles-class submarines. The forward compartment contains crew living spaces, weapons-handling spaces, and control spaces not critical to recovering propulsion. The aft compartment contains the bulk of the submarine's engineering systems, power generation turbines, and water-making equipment. [23] Some submarines in the class are capable of delivering Navy SEALs through either a SEAL Delivery Vehicle deployed from the Dry Deck Shelter or the Advanced SEAL Delivery System mounted on the dorsal side, although the latter was canceled in 2006 and removed from service in 2009. [24] A variety of atmospheric control devices are used to allow the vessel to remain submerged for long periods of time without ventilating, including an electrolytic oxygen generator, which produces oxygen for the crew and hydrogen as a byproduct. The hydrogen is pumped overboard but there is always a risk of fire or explosion from this process. [1] [25]

While on the surface or at snorkel depth, the submarine may use the submarine's auxiliary or emergency diesel generator for power or ventilation [26] [27] (e.g., following a fire). [28] The diesel engine in a 688 class can be quickly started by compressed air during emergencies or to evacuate noxious (nonvolatile) gases from the boat, although 'ventilation' requires raising a snorkel mast. During nonemergency situations, design constraints call for operators to allow the engine to reach normal operating temperatures before it is capable of producing full power, a process that may take from 20 to 30 minutes. However, the diesel generator can be immediately loaded to 100% power output, despite design criteria cautions, at the discretion of the submarine commander on the recommendation of the submarine's engineer, if necessity dictates such actions to: (a) restore electrical power to the submarine, (b) prevent a reactor incident from occurring or escalating, or (c) to protect the lives of the crew or others as determined necessary by the commanding officer. [29]

Propulsion Edit

The Los Angeles class is powered by the General Electric S6G pressurized water reactor. The hot reactor coolant water heats water in the steam generators, producing steam to power the propulsion turbines and ship service turbine generators (SSTGs), which generate the submarine's electrical power. The high-speed propulsion turbines drive the shaft and propeller through a reduction gear. In the case of a reactor plant casualty, the submarine has a diesel generator and a bank of batteries to provide electrical power. An emergency propulsion motor on the shaft line or a retractable 325-hp secondary propulsion motor power the submarine off the battery or diesel generator.

The S6G reactor plant was originally designed to use the D1G-2 core, similar to the D2G reactor used on the Bainbridge-class guided missile cruiser. The D1G-2 core had a rated thermal power of 150 MW and the turbines were rated at 30,000 shp. All Los Angeles-class submarines from USS Providence on were built with a D2W core and older submarines with D1G-2 cores have been refueled with D2W cores. The D2W core is rated at 165 MW and turbine power rose to approximately 33,500 shp. [30]

Pargo II SSN-650 - History

CDR Paul L. Dinius was born in Santa Barbara, California, and is a resident of Vermont.
He graduated from Norwich University, the Military College of Vermont in 1992 with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned through
the Naval ROTC program at Norwich.

CDR Dinius' first shipboard assignment was USS Pargo (SSN 650), where he served as
the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant and Communications Officer. While
on board he completed a North Atlantic deployment and arctic operations during ICEX 2-
94. After 14 months and upon the decommissioning of USS Pargo, he transferred to USS
Alabama (SSBN 731)(Gold) where he completed four strategic deterrent patrols and
earned his first Battle Efficiency "E" award. He then served as an Assistant Professor of
Naval Science, NROTC, University of Oklahoma from 1996 to 1999.

From 1999 to 2002, he served as the Combat Systems Officer in USS Hampton (SSN
767), completing one North Atlantic deployment and earning his second Battle Efficiency
"E." He was then assigned as the Submarine Department Head detailer (PERS-42), Navy
Personnel Command, in Millington, TN, from 2002 to 2004.

His next assignment was Executive Officer of USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) from 2004
to 2006 where he completed one Western Pacific deployment and earned a third Battle
"E". From 2006 to 2008 he was a Special Assistant to the Commander, US Strategic
Command, and the Deputy Director of the Commander's Action Group at

CDR Dinius holds Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering (1999) from the
University of Oklahoma, and in Engineering Management (2004) from Old Dominion
University. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College Correspondence
Course (JPME Phase I) and Joint Forces Staff College (JPME Phase II). He is also a
licensed Professional Engineer with the State of Oklahoma.

His awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (six
awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit awards.

Armaments [ edit | edit source ]

They were equipped to carry the Harpoon missile, the Tomahawk cruise missile, the UUM-44 SUBROC, the MK37 SLMM and MK 60 CAPTOR mines, and the MK-48 and ADCAP torpedoes. Torpedo tubes were located amidships to accommodate the bow-mounted sonar. The bow covering the sonar sphere was made from steel or glass reinforced plastic (GRP), both varieties having been produced both booted and not booted. Booted domes are covered with a half-inch layer of rubber. ΐ] Α] The GRP domes improved the bow sonar sphere performance though for intelligence gathering missions, the towed-array sonar was normally used as it was a much more sensitive array.

Assigned to Submarine Development Group 2 with her home port at New London, Connecticut, Pargo conducted acoustic trials followed by repairs and alterations at Groton, then participated in the search for the missing attack submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) from 27 May to 7 June 1968. She spent the rest of 1968 conducting various trials in the Caribbean Sea and off New London.

This section requires expansion with:
History from 1969 to 1978. (January 2010)

Pargo made her 650th dive on 29 March 1978.

This section requires expansion with:
History from 1978 to 1995. (January 2010)

Learn the History of Golf Carts

Believe it or not, golf carts didn’t really catch on when they were first introduced in 1932. From the 1930s to the 1950s, they were mostly used by people with disabilities so that they could get around more easily. The 1950s was when they actually become popular.

Merle Williams used his experience with electric cars during the World War II gas rationing. At first, his electronic buggies were most widely used for women when they went grocery shopping. They also became popular with golfers in the 50s. Big names like E-Z-Go and Club Car were manufacturing and distributing electronic golf carts beginning in 1954 and 1955, respectively.

In 1957, Max Walker was known for creating the first gas powered golf cart, which was a three wheeler designed to carry two passengers with bags. Harley Davidson – now there’s a name we all know – manufactured and distributed thousands of these three and four- wheeled fuel powered and electric vehicles. In fact, their iconic three-wheeled gas cart had a reversible two-stroke engine which is actually used today in some high-end snowmobiles! Harley sold its golf cart production end to Columbia Care Company in 1982. Today, Club Car and E-Z-Go maintain their popularity, along with Gem.

And some of our own family history in golf carts. . .

Jim Noland, (father of Carrie Noland Welsh now owner of Gulf Atlantic Vehicles, Inc.) his wife Betty and his brother Dale Noland started Noland Car Company in the mid-1970s. Prior to starting their own golf car manufacturing business, they were a Pargo golf car dealer. When Pargo went out of business, Noland and his family began building their own vehicles since they had a solid customer base and orders.

As Noland Car Company grew, Noland and his family successfully built a large dealer network in the United States, including Hawaii, as well as international dealers. For a while, E-Z-GO® private-labeled several of Noland Car Company’s vehicles and called them “People Movers” and “The Bar Car.”

One of the largest customers of Noland Car Company was Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Almost every resort on the property had Noland’s vehicles, and the cars were designed according to the theme of each resort. Some notable Noland Car dealers who are still in business today, either making their own vehicles or carrying other brands, are: M&ampM Vehicle Corp. in Missouri, B &amp W Golf Cars in Florida, Satch Sales in New York and Country Club Enterprises in Massachusetts.

In 1987, Cushman purchased Noland Car Company. They continued to build their vehicles in Edgewater, Florida, for several more years and then moved the facility to Lincoln, Nebraska. Eventually, Cushman was sold to E-Z-GO in 1998.

Jim Noland passed away on June 26th at the age of 74. Mr. Noland is survived by his wife Betty, brother Dale, daughters Carrie Welsh and Deanna Ford, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

His family is still in the golf car business in Florida. Now a fourth-generation small-family business, Carrie Noland Welsh, her husband Greg Welsh and their son Jimmy Welsh own Gulf Atlantic Vehicles in New Smyrna Beach. They are factory-authorized Club Car®, E-Z-GO® and Polaris/GEM dealers

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