This submarine saga is taking on a life of its own.

Blogger’s Note: I can’t believe how fast my last article is catching up with my leading blogposts which were blazing (relatively speaking) on the view count. Have you ever felt that there was something way larger than yourself that you are being called to do and that somehow you’ll become a better person as a result?

To make things more up to date, a recent article ( has reported that the USS Bremerton (SSN 698) is scheduled to be decommissioned in the Fall of 2017, when after a ceremony will be slated for the recycling mill.

I’d never thought I’d be saying this but I believe it is the civic duty of all grateful Americans to join in a movement to “SAVE THE BREMERTON.”

Maneuvering watch Pearl Harbor. Source: google images

Maneuvering watch Pearl Harbor. Source: google images

The Bremerton is currently the oldest active service US Navy submarine and one of the last of the original versions of the Los Angeles Class Attack submarines remaining in the Navy’s attack sub fleet which includes others with major configuration changes, plus the Seawolf, and the new Virginia class.

The hull number 698 is an extraordinarily lucky number and the Bremerton has had a history of good luck. Even when it has suffered accidents in the water and in the shipyards, it has amazingly survived to perform its assigned missions.

Less it be forgotten, the role of the US Submarine fleet and the that of the 688 Los Angeles class boats (along with the now extinct 637 Sturgeon class attack submarines- the last sub class with the really cool non-politically correct names) were instrumental in keeping a much larger Soviet submarine fleet at bay throughout the Cold War.

You’ll never hear about how many Soviet missiles with multiple warheads aimed at the United States were kept in check by one of the most professional and determined assets flying the colors of the Red, White and Blue. No you’ll never hear about that. All you’ll hear about is how (as much as I very much admire Steve Jobs) Apple helped put the internet into the hands of everyone or how well the latest mobile optimized product is raking in millions of bucks.

Chart Illustration. Source: google images

Chart Illustration. Source: google images

What can help hold fast the silent contribution of so many outstanding Naval officers who through intelligence, daring and cunning maintained strategic and tactical dominance of the world of undersea warfare, a dominance that rises in the shadow of the uncompromising and incomparable Admiral Hyman G. Rickover? (the little admiral who I think is a reincarnation of Lord Nelson).

What will pay homage to the mastery of the American submarine skippers who commanded these incredible vessels with remarkable license?

And what about the many sailors who have at many times, had to sacrifice their personal lives, their marriages and their relationships by enduring the hardships of separation at sea, without even the sun and the moon to measure the passing of each day – what about them?

I humbly submit to you, I think it is time we prepare to hang on to one of the nuclear submarines that is an icon to the ending of the Cold War, much as the USS Nautilus was the prototype for the beginning of the Cold War.

If you don’t mind, I’ll volunteer to be one of those crotchety old docents.

Are you in?


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Challen Yee

Challen Yee



  1. I was stationed on the Uss Bremerton SSN (698) from 86-89 love this post

    Challen Yee Reply:

    HI Terry, Glad you enjoyed the post! When did you report to the 698? I left in August 86. Challen

  2. Hello, Challen

    I was a member of the commissioning crew, went on the initial sea trials and sailed from Groton, CT to Pearl Harbor (the long way) in 1981 as a reactor operator. I reported on board in June 1980 and left Nov. 1983 to end my enlistment. I was able to visit her and the crew again during fleet week in San Francisco (my home town) in 1984. Many memories. Hope to attend the decommissioning ceremonies since I was there at the beginning.

    Challen Yee Reply:

    Hi Alfredo (Fred), Great to hear from you! You were there through some great operations. Are you still in the Bay Area? Challen

  3. Yes, I still live here.

    Challen Yee Reply:

    Hi Fred,
    Just wanted to let you know we’re planning a reunion in August. You can see the website for updates.

  4. Thanks for the heads up. By the way, when did you report to the Bremerton? I left in late Oct. 1983.