L. Joseph Martini, an Ocean Beach resident, former torpedo engineer with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and author, experienced a true-life adventure nearly three decades ago not too unlike parts of the show’s plot.
“Parts are awfully similar to what really happened, what we were tasked to do by President Ronald Reagan up at the North Pole in 1986,” said Martini.
In the opening show of the series, U.S. torpedoes are being shot against a U.S. submarine, its crew horrified and in the dark as to why.
Martini was part of a seven-man team tasked with a top-secret mission to determine the efficiency of U.S. torpedoes against Soviet submarines under the polar ice cap during the height of the Cold War. The Russians had close to 100 nuclear missile submarines in the mid-1980s, some silently hiding below the Arctic ice within easy striking distance of the United States, said Martini.
“Since firing our torpedoes against Soviet submarines was out of the question, Reagan tasked us with firing from atop the ice sheet against our own submarines — three of them to be exact,” said Martini. “The USS Hawkbill, USS Ray and USS Archerfish — all 600 series submarines — had been given very little information about the Navy operations at the time. That made what happened up there 26 years ago even more fearsome, not to mention the insurmountable odds against us already, like ice storms, polar bears and military bias while we fired torpedoes from the surface of the Arctic ice pack against our own subs.”
Martini’s true story is told in the book “ICE-X ’86 — Freezing the Cold War,” which he authored last year.
The book is 137 energy-packed pages, including photos and a movie trailer published by iUniverse, Inc., Bloomington, available on Amazon.com, other sites, Kindle, Nook. The book is available in paperback for $12.95 and on Nook for $8.99.
To purchase, visit www.barnesandnoble.com.