Monday, November 09, 2009

On Bottom Blow and Inspections

(fm the BC thread "Dissent is the highest form ...")

Old Salt,
wish we would have met. But – if you were an inspecting officer
Funny you mentioned that. When my less than stellar LPO brought the sailor in question to my stateroom he introduced him by saying "Mr Y wants to talk to you about something called Bottom Blow." Another candidate for the Boatswains Mate Diplomatic Service. Ah, Deck Division. All the stories are true. I was never the inspecting officer but was rather inspected when Reftra or the dreaded Quadrennial came to call. Senior officers talked about ADM Buckley of INSURV as "the little admiral who jumped on the lifelines" with awe, the same way my parents talked about Fiorello Laguardia, as if he might still show up at any moment.

My favorite inspection story is from my first ship. My Department Head explained that we would set up two tables. The closer one had piles of donuts and pots of coffee. The second one had all the paperwork for Combat Systems. With luck they would barely glance at table number two. Along with the world's worst missile system, the Rube Goldberg BPDSMS (pronounced Beepadeemus) that preceded Nato Sea Sparrow, I had a fan room just aft of the forward missile launcher below the bridge on the LHA. When the Admiral came to inspect I had my best Petty Officer waiting for him. My job was to stand there and shut up.
"Son is this your space?"
"Yes Admiral."
"Do you know what is wrong in here?"
"Uhh, yes Admiral."
"Am I going to find it?"
"NO Admiral."

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