Cartoon overstates difficulties of our submarines

Successes achieved by sub and crew deserve more kudos

Your editorial cartoon in the Jan. 30 edition refers to the air quality monitoring systems for Canada’s problem-plagued submarines.

Firstly, let me address the “problem-plagued” comment. This overused and demeaning description of our submarines is no longer applicable. Our navy has worked extremely hard to get these problems ironed out.

The result is that HMCS Victoria, our city’s submarine, is now fully operational. Last year, she performed extremely well in RIMPAC exercises held out of Pearl Harbour. The culmination of this performance was the successful firing of a MK 48 torpedo which sunk an obsolete ship and demonstrated our boat’s potent capability. Our other three submarines will attain this capability in the near future.

Secondly, a high-tech central air quality monitoring system is a nice system to have. It is certainly not essential, as our boats have portable systems capable of monitoring air quality, including the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen. If these levels get outside the laid-down parameters, the boat has equipment that can reduce the level of CO2 or produce oxygen.

I believe it is time to report on the positive accomplishments of our submarines and submariners. They deserve it.

Retired Cmdr. Lloyd Barnes,

former submariner

Saanich