Recently I had the pleasure of spending the day aboard the USS Boise, a Los Angeles class submarine. The USS Boise crew were gracious hosts and gave their visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of a submarine.
Our day started at 6:00 A.M. on the Navy docks in Cocoa Beach Florida. We boarded the USS Boise and were taken on a guided tour of the boat. The crew lives and works in very tight quarters to say the least. The crew is a 170 strong but only 50 to 60 are working at any given time. They sleep in bunks three levels tall and around six feet in length. Anyone longer must become quite flexible to fit. I have heard of some of the larger personnel having to physically come out of their bed to turn over.
After our tour we shared a lunch with the crew. The menu was a crew favorite, "Boise Burgers". They were quite tasty. Bronco blue and orange was proudly on display in the mess. There was a framed jersey and plaque with a team picture from the Liberty Bowl, a Boise State helmet, and a framed picture from the Fresno State orange out. After lunch we were allowed to tour the boat and speak to the crew on our own. The crew is very proud of the Bronco care packages they received. All the crew is now outfitted with Fiesta bowl hats autographed by Coach Petersen. This is the second Bronco care package sent to the crew of the USS Boise. A few years ago the crew was presented with customized USS Boise Bronco hats autographed by then coach Dan Hawkins. The first shipment was 100% paid for by Bronco Country posters. The second care package was a combined effort between Tates Rents and Bronco Country posters.
We were out to sea all day. The highlight was doing maneuvers called Angles and Dangles. Angles and Dangles consist of starting at 250 feet then diving to 600 feet and rising back to 250 feet at 15 degrees, 20 degrees and 25 degrees. This also allows the crew to check their stowage. Anything not secured properly promptly ends up on the floor. The captain also performed high speed 180 degree turns which created a body roll of 25 degrees. All of us found out real quick the need to be holding on tight or end up on our heads.
The generator room was especially cool for the bronco fans on board. The backup diesel generator and other instruments are painted blue and orange.
The crew is very appreciative of their gifts and a special bond exists between the USS Boise crew and the city of Boise and Boise State Broncos.
This was an experience I will never forget.