Hunters and Hunted Under the Sea: Silently Finding and Tracking Soviet Submarines During the Cold War

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    Date/Time
    Date(s) - 03/24/2019
    12:00 am

    Location
    Old Bust Head Brewery

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    How Did We Know Where Soviet Submarines Were When They Deployed During the Cold War?

    We Heard Them Coming—Using SOSUS (Sound Surveillance System)

     

    Ask a Panel of Experts Who Worked on the System How We Could Do That

     

    The Cold War Museum, in cooperation with Old Bust Head Brewing Company, invites you to attend a presentation by former Navy Captain James Donovan on

     

    Hunters and Hunted Under the Sea: Silently Finding and Tracking Soviet Submarines During the Cold War

     

    U.S. Navy submarines as portrayed in The Hunt for Red October and elsewhere were the front line in the undersea hunt for “Ivan.” But they had a supporting cast that included CAPT James Donovan and thousands of other men and women who dedicated much of their careers to this endeavor.  As the Soviets’ Hotel-, Yankee- and then Delta-class submarines deployed to sea, the need to detect the subs, process collected data, and disseminate reports to commanders intensified.  CAPT James Donovan USN (Ret.) will discuss his role in monitoring the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) recorders that captured undersea sounds on paper. Of particular interest will be displays and interpretation of some of these machine etchings that Donovan will provide for the audience, translating graphic data into identification and positioning information that could direct our hunter-killer submarines to find and silently shadow their potential targets.  After his presentation he will be joined by two other IUSS Cold War experts to answer questions.

     

    CAPT Jim Donovan, USN (Ret)

    Upon enlistment in the Navy in July 1973, 19-year-old Jim Donovan was captivated by a recruiter who sold him on the Ocean Systems Technician (Analyst) rating. He was assured of no sea duty and assignments to sun-drenched island duty stations along tropical beaches in locations such as Bermuda and Hawaii. Seaman Recruit Donovan was also led to believe that he would be performing oceanography for the purposes of oil exploration off the US Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Instead, he recalled being taken behind locked “Green” doors at a Navy facility at Key West, FL to learn that his new calling in life was to locate and track Soviet submarines.

    More than three decades later, Donovan retired at the rank of Captain. As his career progressed, he gradually became a bigger cog in the U.S. Navy’s Integrated Undersea Surveillance System. Later in his career, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Ocean Processing Facility at Dam Neck, VA. Today CAPT Donovan is fully retired and serves as a volunteer tour guide on board Battleship WISCONSIN (BB 64) in Norfolk, VA.

     

     

    CAPT Kathy Donovan, USN (Ret)

    Captain Kathy Donovan served in the IUSS community from 1982 to 2003 in positions from watch officer to Commanding Officer of Naval Ocean Processing Facility, Dam Neck, VA. She transitioned to the Information Dominance Community in 2001 and served in afloat and ashore commands as an Information Professional (IP) officer until her retirement in 2011.  Upon retirement after serving 29 years in the Navy, Captain Donovan qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and volunteers with the city of Virginia Beach EMS. She was a Woman of Distinction (Military Category) Awardee 2018 and the Hampton Roads Navy Flagship “Still Serving” Veteran of the year in 2018.

     

     

    OTACS Nick McConnell, USN (Ret)

    Nick McConnell served in the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System for 21 years and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1992. After working as a contractor with Hughes Aircraft Company for several years, Nick returned to government service and spent the next 16 years as a senior acoustic intelligence analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Mr. McConnell fully retired in 2014.  He is the Director, Integrated Undersea Surveillance System, CAESAR Alumni Association (IUSSCAA).

     

    This is the twentieth in a series of presentations sponsored by the Museum featuring expert eyewitnesses to, and other authorities on, significant Cold War and related events and activities. Presentations occur at the brewery or at the Vint Hill Craft Winery, followed by special access to the Museum (next door) with a tour for event participants.

    Date: Sunday, March 24, 2019

    (NOTE: FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS PRESENTATION BUT CANNOT ATTEND BECAUSE THEY ARE AT A DISTANCE, HAVE A CONFLICT, ETC., THEY MAY BUY A TICKET VIA EVENTBRITE AND THEN ACCESS THE EVENT VIDEO ONLINE AFTER THE EVENT VIA A LINK THAT CWM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JASON HALL WILL SEND THEM. TO ARRANGE, EMAIL JASON AT JASON@COLDWAR.ORG.)

    Time: 1:00 PM. (Arrival at the brewery: 12:30-1:00 PM)

    Cost: $35, including the presentation; a $7 coupon toward a craft beer draft, Kombucha or other drink; a $20 contribution to the Cold War Museum; and special access to the Museum (next door) for event participants following the presentation. TICKETS AT THE DOOR, IF AVAILABLE, WILL BE $45.

    Location: Old Bust Head Brewing Company, 7134 Farm Station Road, Vint Hill, VA 20187, https://www.oldbusthead.com/, and the Cold War Museum, 7142 Lineweaver Road, Vint Hill, VA 20187, www.coldwar.org

    TICKETS AND DETAILED INFORMATION ARE AVAILABLE ON EVENTBRITE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hunters-and-hunted-under-the-sea-finding-and-tracking-soviet-submarines-tickets-56151631040

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