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OT gang in Japan

Just wanted to let everyone know that we have a small group of ex-OT's here in Japan, most of us living around Yokosuka.

Besides myself, Lyndon Collins lives near-by and we get together to chat whenever we can.

Omar Smith also lives close to me but I don't see Omar as often as I would like. He's gone native and is fully integrated into the community.

Chris Quinn is still working as a major contractor lead on the base and lives in Yokohama.

Mitch Dittebrand and I still work together, but for different commands, at COMSUBGRU-7. Mitch is the ONI ACINT specialist, and I'm the TD for the Undersea Warfighting Development Center Yokosuka.

We also see several of the ex-OT's that still work the SURTASS side of the house whenever they're between missions.

P.S... Rick M.: Lyndon hasn't changed at all since we were on the ORI team together, and I look in on him whenever I can. You can't help but love the big guy. We always spend way too much time talking about when we were all together...good times.

Best wishes..ML

Re: OT gang in Japan

Nice to see your post, Mike. Sounds like you’re doing well and happy :) Anytime the subject of Japan comes
up I’m reminded of a story when I was at CVB.
The OT detailer called me and said he was going to “select” 2 OT chiefs to go to Japan via Defense Language
School in Monterey, to teach new equipment. He asked me to think it over and to call him back in a couple weeks. Talked it over with my wife and we jointly decided the rotation wasn’t appealing, as well as other issues, and decided to decline the offer. I called him back and told him no thanks and he said, “ Oh, you misunderstood, Randy. You’re going!” I was surprised but Chris and I decided to make the most of it and got mentally prepared to go. As it turned out, the LDO list came out and negated orders and we were headed back to Keflavik:). I want to say the detailer was Phil Brown.
Take care, Mike!

Re: OT gang in Japan


It's so very good to hear from you. Yeah I'm still enjoying the game and in our biz this is definitely the place to be....the hunting season lasts for the entire year. The simple things we learned in OTA school amaze even senior operators now..kinda of frightening. I did some waterfront training recently and lost the entire training audience when I asked someone to illustrate how frequency was inversely related to time. Not even the CPO's had a clue. Some people had heard it but did not know what it meant.

I'm afraid of what will happen when our generation is gone. All of the senior civilian analysts everywhere are ex-OT's and there are no replacements in the pipeline.

I'm just glad that I had the chance to rub elbows with original OT giants, and I know we'll never see another group of analysts like we built at our NAVFAC's.

Randy you always stood a little taller and brighter than the rest of us, and I am proud to have served with you.

Best wishes Mike

Re: OT gang in Japan

Hi Mike,
My 20 years had many great tours. Guam with Chuck Lohmann, Herbie Brosdahl, Rich Larson, Willie Glover, Dale Britton, Mike Franz, and too many others to count. COSP with George Widenor, Gary Peterson, Rick Ulp, and Will James. Midway with Denny Harrington, Gary Morgan, and John Ross. Bermuda with Bob Conaway, George Christian, Bob Spivey, and a host of good OTAs. All the experiences a young sailor could ever want.

I loved my tour at CNFJ. In those days (80-84) the ORSDET was located in the Command Cave along with the NAVSECGRU Det. Really good times there with Nick McConnell., Jack Boxman, Jerry Julianna, Bob Scarbrough, and a host of talented analysts. And my first Typhoon locked down in the Command Cave! Wow!

Those ORI Team days with you and Scotty Glover, Barb Desjardines, Rick Perry, and again a class group of young OTAs was a great time to remember. Bob VanAlstine's party for the team in Brawdy, Denny Harrington's introducing me to "The Worlds Greatest Lager (Carlsberg Draft), midnight dips in the pool at Pompano Beach Club, and so many others! I will never forget the time that Lyndon had been out doing a bit of post inspection partying in Gib. When he woke up he saw a mans hand resting on the pillow beside his head. He couldn't move it, so he thought it wasn't his and he had made a big mistake. It was his hand... but he didn't think it was initially. We all laughed until we were in tears. Lyndon Collins has a special place in our hearts for his honesty and good humor. Those were indeed special times.

I retired, went to Texas, and found another group of great guys and girls there who worked the Full Spectrum Program, and I had a cadre of ex-OTAs including Bobby Wisdom, Hal Cook, Mike Devine, and other talented guys. Experiences continued on in Brawdy, Whidbey Island, Jacksonville, Portsmouth RI, Pearl Harbor, USS San Francisco, USS Buffalo, Iceland, and in Norway with the Beartrap bird and analysts. What a great group of memories.

Great to hear from you again Mike! Stay safe!

Re: OT gang in Japan


****, I knew everyone you mentioned and your comments definitely dusted off some old idle brain cells. Yeah I remember that Gib trip that we all got so hammered in the senior ranks mess 'splicing the main brace' with our Brit counterparts....I think it was *****r's Rum. I was blind drunk and had to use my watch as a brail guide to follow the walls looking for the next turn. The next morning the crystal on my watch was just jagged glass. Life's lesson. That was the same trip Rick Perry and I told the pub owner that we were Mormon's on mission to Gib...the next day we went back and all the local mormon's were there to meet us....who would have thought there were mormons in Gib? be safe my friend..ML

Re: OT gang in Japan

Mike, those were very kind comments and I truly appreciate it.
All the names you and Rick brought up were memory joggers!
I made 3 trips to Gib and the enlisted guys there always insisted on making me an honorary member of their mess. Royal Navy Rum more than did the trick…My first trip there was with a CPO and one civilian, and it was a hush hush thing back then. First night at the Holiday Inn the civilian got a phone call from his wife, lol. I asked him how she knew where he was and he said he had no idea, lying dog :) We met up with Will James, which was a bonus feature. My best intoxicated story was at Brawdy They sent me and Al Maultsby there to oversee the start up of their SCIF. (We rented a car at Heathrow and Al drove us at about 110 mph after a red eye flight) The ORI team happened to be there and we made the mistake of meeting up with them. Bad decision. Al ended up back at the hotel first and had to beat on the door to get in..the manager wasn’t pleased. I showed up about an hour later and also had to beat on the door, this time the guy was ****** :) That was about 0200 and we had to give a briefing at 0800…but made it.
Sad that so many analysts don’t have a handle on things like we did. System people were very hard on themselves from a knowledge and performance standpoint….who else was going to do it ? There was nobody else to “supervise” us so we pretty much beat ourselves up, out of necessity.
Anyway, be blessed Mike and thanks for your continued service.


Re: OT gang in Japan


Wonderful to hear from you and see you're still in the ring. I have fond memories of our tours of duty at Keflavik (da boats) and Brawdy (the antiques and the "Command Conscious). It's been way too long. Please be in touch. I'd like to catch up. Emal jim_donovan53@yahoo.com

- Jim

Re: OT gang in Japan

I don't visit this site nearly enough, but feel rewarded for my "mouse-clicks" this morning. What a wonderful string to read through You guys still rock! Thanks for sharing your memories.

Re: OT gang in Japan

Wow, some flashbacks here...I was at CNFJ from jan 73 to jan 76 and served with a number of these (older) guys. It always cracked me up when the "other" guy standing watch with you at the cave pulled out a mattress and went to sleep on a mid. Clif Clifton somehow managed to get that sailboat sent to the site and we used to sail all over the harbor in it til we rolled it over going too far out of the harbor and almost drowned. Made the news...(bad). Prior to that Gary Hemmer was having a few on a local seawall. Fell off and had to be helo'ed out by jmsdf. That made the news also...Oh, and as the CNFJ alumni all know, the work was really KICK BUTT.