I spent 20 years on attack submarines and in that time deployed on 18 Special Operations (SpecOps). I have to say that the Washington DC fully activated my nostalgia machine.
The way Scott describes the DC staying dark almost exactly reflects the operational profile of a submarine on station. While the DC was primarily concerned with radiating heat, submarines are concerned with noise but the principle is the same – anything we can do to dampen noise we do.
Speaking quietly and treading softly is also a submarine trait. On both the DC and a submainre the reason for treading softly is to reduce vibration, On a submarine vibration = noise.
Ship’s temperature was also an interesting part of the story for me. Average onboard temperature of a modern nuclear submarine is cold – very cold (mid 60s at best). Rigging for patrol quite does not affect that too much, but when rigged for ultra quiet the temperature rises rapidly and soon becomes almost unbearably hot.
Finally the discussion about electromagnetic radiation made me smile. While on station a submarine does not radiate anything and all systems that might emit an electronic signal are shut down (many are tagged out). All sensors are passive, just as described on the DC. The part that made me smile was that we were not even allowed to use the microwave oven in the crews mess if we were at periscope depth. I had not thought about that for years, but listening to the DC brought it all back.
The Washington DC brought back some great memories for me. Thanks Scott.