Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Series of Non-Retractions

Considering that Col. David Hackworth passed on yesterday, I won't use my usual hyperbole in discussing the new San Francisco article by Lt. Raymond Perry, USN (Ret.). Here's an excerpt:

"There are those who would dismiss the grounding as a pure "act of God" with the San Francisco's commander and crew having zero responsibility to foresee or avoid the seamount. Precise and worldwide cartography is expensive, so the mapmakers can produce and update charts only as they are able.
"The profession of the sea has built in cautions and methods whereby navigators are enjoined to do certain things that ensure safety. When passing near hazards or making landfall on an unknown coast, these procedures will tend to keep the ship safe. Only in the last decade have navigators begun to shrink this margin of safety to just a few miles instead of the ship, rather than the tens of miles once used.
"There are procedures for ships that note errors on charts to send messages to the mapmakers advising them of errors or conflicts so that the cartographers can improve them. Two as-yet unanswered questions from the mishap on Jan. 8 are: How many submarines have transited this part of The Carolines archipelago and noted erroneous soundings? And did any of them file a message with the mapmakers as required?
"In moving three submarines to a new homeport in Guam, did the Pacific Submarine Force Commander ask his Staff Oceanographer to review charts near Guam and update those that needed updating?"


While it looks like he may have finally gotten some real information, I note that he still neglects to retract his previous accusations that RADM Gove was riding the San Francisco when she grounded, and until he does, I won't retract my previous characterization of Perry as an asshat.

Going deep...

10 Comments:

Blogger Skippy-san said...

Check my post on Hackworth:
http://fareastcynic.blogspot.com/2005/05/david-hackworth-may-god-give-you-rest.html

5/05/2005 6:54 PM

 
Blogger bothenook said...

that twirp is an ass-hat, regardless of any retractions he may or may not make. and i'm bummed that hack has died. he may have strayed into moonbat land, but his accomplishments can never be erased.

5/05/2005 8:01 PM

 
Blogger ninme said...

Strange. I've never heard of him.

5/05/2005 11:15 PM

 
Anonymous rebootinit said...

The JAGMAN will be released in the next 2 days, and CBS and NYT will be interviewing the crew next week. Any military retiree that publishes 1/2 truths, and questions is definately an asshat.
What one should look at is the honor and the courage of Mooney to take full responsibity of the accident, and to wonder why other's previous did not do the same. ie...Iheme Maru
That is the true story to wonder about....The asshats are pointed in the wrong direction.

5/06/2005 3:12 AM

 
Blogger Skippy-san said...

Asshat or no, what does that have to with Hackworth's death. Hack allowed a dirgence of opinion on his web site, much to his credit IMHO. He would have been pleased at the critcism of LT Perry, because at least the working Sailore was getting a say.

my .02

Skippy

5/06/2005 8:17 AM

 
Anonymous Bernie said...

Once again, the word around here is : The seamount was not on the charts so the Co is blameless.
"Damn the soundings! All ahead flank?"
There were warning signs, shortcuts in navagation were taken.
The Nuclear navy is very unforgiving. CO's get relieved for far less. Why do we blame the Nuclear navy for being the strict unforgiving institution it has always been?

5/07/2005 2:29 PM

 
Anonymous Bernie said...

Once again, the word around here is : The seamount was not on the charts so the Co is blameless.
"Damn the soundings! All ahead flank?"
There were warning signs, shortcuts in navagation were taken.
The Nuclear navy is very unforgiving. CO's get relieved for far less. Why do we blame the Nuclear navy for being the strict unforgiving institution it has always been?

5/07/2005 2:29 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Bernie-- I probably haven't been as clear as I should have been in my main point, which is: in my opinion, the culture of the Submarine Force helped to lead to this grounding much more than did the specific actions of the San Fran navigation team that differed from what most other boats would have done. Also, I'm a little frustrated at the need for "punishment"; if the purpose of punishing the San Fran Sailors is to provide an example to other boats, I'd say the pictures of the 711 in drydock would be much more effective. (I can't imagine a Navigation team saying, "Well, I'll go home now instead of prepping the charts, 'cause all that might happen is we'll run aground and possibly die. Wait, I'll get a letter of reprimand too! I'd better stay and do a better job.") Alternately, if they wanted to punish the crew because their actions were so far out of the mainstream, I submit that the Navy really hasn't done any checking to see if other boats have acted differently in the past; if other boats did the same things, but didn't happen to run into a seamount, why are they any less culpable?
Bottom line: my perception is that the Nuclear Navy has, over the last 15 years, become even more focused on punishment than they had been in the past, and I'm not sure that they haven't gone overboard.

5/07/2005 6:12 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Three points: First, even commercial airline pilots have schedules and routes from their HQ too, but the PILOT IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR SAFE NAVIGATION, and adjusts as necessary for all attendant factors including volcanic eruptions (fatal for gas turbine engines), weather, balloons and odd traffic. When adjustments are made for good cause, the pilot is in the clear even if the schedule is blown and the route altered. Does anyone besides me see this simple parallel?

Secondly, the Navy's SSN-711 punishments appeared consistent with historical precedents, although an "Anonymous source" has mentioned three sub collisions in which the skippers were not relieved. I am not familiar with any of the facts and circumstances of his examples. If Anonymous is correct, I must stand corrected -the Navy, then would be very inconsistent...sorry, that is hard to buy unless the whole command structure is now so infiltrated with LAWYERS that even officers can no longer accept much less understand the ramifications for their failure.

Finally, judging by tragic events on CVN-76 this past January and February, in which a sailor was also killed, the NAVY certainly has room for improvements in its NUC training and operating commands. The story has been suppressed, but is linked on my blog. My question is was the CVN-76s Reactor Dept. Captain an ex-submariner. If not, great, but if so, serious slack seems to have been allowed to develope since Rickover's time, in submarines.

5/07/2005 6:58 PM

 
Anonymous Bernie said...

They are and always have been overboard. I have seen an RO, who after goinf for three days without sleep field daying and drilling be put back on watch only to get busted, de nuled, and discharged for waiting only 3 seconds instead of the required 5 during an RCP pump shift. I myself was finned for mixing up two names on a sound powered phone report. The Nuclear navy is very punishment oriented and very unforgiving. This is why during my final checkout interview with the XO, (Whom I served with on our first boat 13 years ago)
I told him "You were my division Officer when I earned these and therefore it is only fitting that you be the one who takes them back"
I ripped my dolphins off of my uniform and threw them on his desk.

5/08/2005 9:17 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home