OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION -- Up Close and Prolonged. It was not the first or the last "trail-op" during the
Cold War, but it probably was the longest, continuous, close-in trailing operation against a patrolling Soviet nuclear missile submarine
ever conducted by a US submarine. Beginning with the first detection of the Soviet Yankee class boat at the north end of the
Norwegian Sea above the Arctic Circle, the USS Batfish tailed the submarine south to its patrol station of the US East Coast for 50
days in 1978 without being detected. Designed to collect vital intelligence on how, where and when the Soviet submarines operated in
their nuclear missile patrols in the waters off the mid-Atlantic US coast, the Batfish operations also served a contingency purpose by
being in position to strike if the Soviet sub indicated it was about to fire a missile.
 
Operations such as the Batfish's provided intelligence on not only the acoustic signature of the individual submarine but also unique
insight into Soviet Navy operational tactics and doctrine as well as strategic knowledge of on-station Soviet patrol areas (designed to
be optimum pre-missile launch positioning). Retired Rear Admiral Thomas Evans, the 1978 commanding officer of the Batfish, and
several members of his successful mission participated in a recent news conference marking the partial declassification of the
operation (dubbed Operation Evening Star) by the Navy at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Admiral Evans
attributed the success of the mission to the experienced crew, the design of the Batfish, and, what was then new, the boat's towed
sonar array with improved acoustic detection capabilities.

The article did not mention what must have been supremely stressful operations to remain four to five miles behind the Yankee while
maintaining onboard quiet for 50 days to avoid counter-detection and yet holding position to ensure continuing contact. Since Soviet
submarines routinely turned 180 degrees from their track to steam rapidly back down their wake to detect any trailing American, the
officers and crew of the Batfish would have had to hold a high state of alert continuously even though Admiral Evans said, "It was
tedious at times." (Philadelphia Inquirer 2 Mar '01, Pauline Jelinek, AP) (Harvey)
Yankee-Class Submarine
Counter
This is the Yankee Soviet Submarine / The USS SSN 681 BATFISH followed for 50 days to end the cold war...
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USS SSN 681 BATFISH Nuclear Attack Submarine, which change the course of history