With Friends Like These…….

According to Navy Times, our British friends managed to release sensitive information about UK & US nuclear submarines regarding nuclear reactor safety concerns. Read it all and wonder if it was a genuine mistake, or someone has an axe to grind.  My jaded self tends more to the latter.

By Sam Fellman – Staff writer

The leakage of a few closely held facts about America’s silent service comes from an unlikely source: its closest ally.

The secrecy gaffe can be traced to the British Parliament, which in April posted an advisory report about nuclear reactor safety in Royal Navy submarines on its website. The report, classified “Restricted,” contained about two pages that had not been properly redacted, including some details about U.S. subs.

The report was written to help U.K. defense officials choose a propulsion plant for the Royal Navy’s next generation of ballistic subs. Parliament staff, responding to an open records request, blacked out sections of the document electronically, but left the text itself underneath. As a result, anyone could copy and paste the block of text into another document and see what was covered up, the Daily Star Sunday reported April 17. (The U.K. Ministry of Defence told the publication it was “grateful” for the notification.)

The report was taken down, correctly redacted and re-posted, but other websites subsequently posted the original item. Navy Times is not publishing the quotes, but in general terms, the report concludes that Royal Navy subs fall short of best practices in two of the worst casualties in a nuclear-powered sub: loss of the reactor’s primary coolant and loss of ship control.

In times like these it is important that everyone remember we are at war. Loose lips sink ships and all that.  It’s hard enough to keep the secrets we need to keep without having to worry about the nonchalance with which some folks treat that information.

The bear is always watching…….

As seen through the periscope of USS Honolulu (SSN 718), a young Polar bear investigates the open water around the submarine's rudder. U. S. Navy photo by Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs


5 Responses to “With Friends Like These…….”

    April 25, 2011 at 10:44

    Bears are watching, and Bears bear watching, as they can turn evil.

    • April 25, 2011 at 12:58

      Yup. Some of us remember that lesson from the old days. I wish leadership at all levels would understand that some dynamics never change.


  2. 3 virgil xenophon
    April 26, 2011 at 17:55

    GREAT Bear pic, Tim! I’d never seen that one before. Where’d you dredge it up?

    The leak? Things like this are only going to get worse. Wiki-leaks has proved that.

    You back on a reg basis, or still intermittent?

  3. 5 J.M. Heinrichs
    May 1, 2011 at 11:03

    The original report was “Restricted”; I’d be surprised if there was material of any sensitivity involved. The examples cited in the ‘Navy Times’ article were confused and ill-edited, but did let the reader know that the Brit author thought the USN was doing a better job. If I were being nasty minded, I would suggest that the original report was written by an RAF Staff Wog.


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