Submarine Consultant Eric Moreno: Ask Me Anything, Presented by Biography and Reddit | Biography

>>What you’re looking
at is one of two hangar bays for the Regulus missiles. [music playing] Thirty feet that
way is a reactor, Twenty feet that way is
a torpedo room full of torpedoes and missiles. You’re also hundreds
of feet underwater. Just being on one is
kind of nerve wracking. Those regulus
missiles were pretty big. You could take out all of
New Jersey with those things. My name is Eric Moreno, I
am a US submarine veteran. I served on the USS
Hampton from 2003 to 2008. I am now a submarine
consultant and analyst, and I founded Ask me anything. Where does all the poop go? Couple hundred
dudes stuck in a tube. So you’ll have these two tanks,
and they’ll fill up over the day and there’s different ways
you can get rid of them. But the funniest stories
come out of what you call “blowing sanitaries”. You could actually blow all of
the contents in the tank out into the ocean. But the problem is, you
have to isolate the tanks, and the way you isolate the
tanks is right at the toilet. That ball valve right there is
the only thing that protects you from all the stuff in the
tank when they pressurize it. So, if you were to take
that handle and open it, all the contents
come out of that. There’s horror stories of the
guys who will not pay attention, and they’ll walk in there
tired, and falling asleep, and then they’ll open it, and
it’ll come out like a geyser, and it’ll hit you
right in the face, and it hits the ceiling, and
it blows all over the place. It gets under your
eyelids and stuff, it’s really crazy. It’s really nasty. [toilet flushing] What’s the longest you
have been submerged? Generally when you
talk to a sub man, any dates, numbers, those
are generally gonna be secret. So I can’t tell you
how many days exactly, but I can tell you it was
over 50 days that we were … we didn’t do anything besides
come up to periscope depth. How do you deal with not
seeing sunlight for months? One of the things the Navy’s
really good at is they get you into a rhythm so you
forget a lot of that stuff. You’re just constantly busy,
or you’re tired so you sleep. So, normally when I sleep,
I sleep with my leg out. And so if you tried to sleep
with your leg out on here, you end up hanging out. So, anytime somebody
walks by, and it’s completely dark in here, they’ll
bump into your leg. So, you have to learn
how to sleep differently.>>Where did you grow up?>>So I was born and raised
in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is a town in between
Dallas and Fort Worth. I lived there for my
whole life, 18 years. When 9/11 hit I was right at
the end of my junior year and decided that I was
going to join the Navy. But I wanted to do something
special so that when I went back home I had a story to tell. And I could say stuff like,
“I can’t tell you about that. If I tell you, I’m
going to have to kill you.” Once you get the
torpedo into the tube … Torpedoes are
actually wire-guided. So, when this torpedo’s actually
out in the water hunting, you can change the direction. You can make it go
into a search pattern. You can make it self-destruct.>>What do you think
people don’t realize about what goes on underwater,
especially between countries?>>Well the big thing
is we actually do missions. We go out and we’d go off the
coast of countries we shouldn’t be at, doing things
we shouldn’t be doing. They’ll do what they call
ISR, which is Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Because they’re basically
seawater ninjas and you can’t see them and you can’t
see what they’re doing. They can go and sneak up and
go listen to these people doing this thing or whatever
the country needs to gather intelligence on, you can
use a submarine for that.>>So, what
is ultra-quiet, what does that mean?>>So, ultra-quiet is
the quietest a submarine can rig itself for. The boat’s gonna drive
really, really slow. It’s just gonna creep along. Everybody’s gotta stay in their
racks so they don’t make any noise. Any type of machinery noise,
or any kind of bang you hear, all that stuff’s gonna clue in a
submarine that’s tracking maybe a ship, or another submarine. And then they can go,
“Okay, well we heard this bang, let’s keep listening for it.” Now, boom, we
heard another bang. Okay, so now we can
triangulate that spot, now we know it’s
here, it’s at this depth. The quieter you are, the
better you can hear them. Did you ever hear whales
singing underwater? So you won’t hear
them inside the boat, like if we were
sitting here like this, you probably wouldn’t hear it. But I’d go up into sonar and you
can hear everything that’s out there. And there’s a lot
more than just whales. I mean, you can hear the whales,
you can hear the dolphins. One time I walked in
there and there’s this click, click, click,
click, click, click. There’s just a lot of clicking. And then so we were actually
lining up to blow the sanitary tanks like I talked
to you about before. And so we blew all the
poop out in the ocean. Well all of a sudden you
can hear these shrimp and they start freaking out. And they’re loving it
because that’s what they eat.>>What does it feel like
now to think about what you accomplished and
everything you learned?>>Well the great
thing about it is that life is so hard, that once you get
out, everything else is easy. So, these are my dolphins. These are what we call
the submarine warfare pin. So, this is what you earn in the
first year you’re on your boat. So, when you first get there,
you don’t really know anything. What you do is you
qualify on submarines, and you work to get these. You’ve got to learn
every aspect of that boat, so the reactor, to
propulsion, to weapons, to sonar, to general tactics. I carry these with me wherever I
go because it’s a good reminder of no matter what
you come across, it’s never going to get
more difficult than this. This is my Biography.>>Is there a moment
you guys can have a beer or drink down there or no?>>No. American submarines
aren’t allowed to drink beer. Generally, the
other countries can. We used to be able
to smoke cigarettes, so you can kind of take a
break, go smoke a cigarette, but now with the new rules they
can’t smoke cigarettes anymore. So, people are getting creative
on how to find breaks and stuff.

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