The Submariner Community Responds
Somehow, I missed this e-mail string that Michelle Malkin posted a couple of days ago. Most are from former U.S. Navy submariners, responding to the recent incident involving the Kitty Hawk carrier battle group and that Chinese Song-class attack sub. The consensus of the ex-submariners is that (a) we probably detected the Chinese boat long before it approached the Kitty Hawk, and (b) the quality of PRC subs and their crews leaves a lot to be desired.
I tend to agree with them on Point B, although Beijing is making strides in both areas. Regarding the detection issue, it would be a nice if the Navy could confirm that we knew the Chinese sub was in the area before it surfaced. There's no reason that such a statement would have to "give away" intelligence or ASW secrets; just let CINCPAC (now in China on an official visit) tell his hosts and the press: "We were aware that the sub was in the area, and our vessels were prepared for any contingency." If that's an accurate assessment of what happened off Okinawa last month, it would be far more reassuring than some comments from the Navy brass, which suggest there was some element of surprise when the Chinese sub appeared on the surface, about five miles from the carrier.
Those that wore the Dolphins are welcome to weigh in here as well.