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On Board the USS Hartford

I've been in Groton, Connecticut this week with a team from my company. We have a contract with the US Navy Submarine School to develop a simulation-based port security trainer for the Submarine On Board Training group. Our job this week has been to capture the interior and exterior of a 688I Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, the USS Hartford, such that we can model it in 3D.

Spending most of the week inside a nuclear submarine has been extremely interesting and something I wasn't sure I'd ever get to do, despite having designed a submarine simulation game (Tom Clancy SSN) earlier in my career. Thought I knew a bit about submarines, I have to admit that I wasn't prepared for how tight the conditions actually are aboard them. I walked away impressed with the submariners who spend months at a time in such conditions.

Until this week, the most expensive vessel I had been on was a Boeing 777, which costs up to $231 million. A Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine like the Hartford costs $900 million. It was sobering to think of that -- to look around and say to myself, "this is almost a billion dollars of hardware."

The officers and crew of the Hartford were extremely gracious to us, so although it has been a very long week, it has been productive and fun, too.

I'll post some pictures when I'm back in the office and have access to them -- probably sometime next week.

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