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, October 25, 2007

USS Hampton CO Relieved

For the 4th time this year, an attack submarine CO has been relieved of command early -- but this one wasn't unexpected. From the AP wire report:
The commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton was relieved of his duty Thursday because of a loss of confidence in his leadership, the Navy said.
Cmdr. Michael B. Portland was relieved of duty after a U.S. Navy investigation found the ship failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission...
...Portland's dismissal as commander is effective immediately. Myrick said Portland will be temporarily assigned to squadron duty and the Hampton will not conduct operations until the Navy can confirm the operational standards have been met. Myrick said at no time was the submarine conducting unsafe operations.
"He has not been charged with any offense nor has he received non-judicial punishment," Myrick said...
...Portland is the fourth commanding officer of a submarine to be relieved of duty this year. The other three, who were relieved for various unrelated actions, were: Cmdr. Edwin Ruff of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cmdr. Matthew Weingart of the USS Newport News and Cmdr. William Schwalm of the USS Helena.
[Links above are to my posts on the firings of those COs.] Navy Times has more on the "no band" relief (as opposed to one with a Navy band and nice uniforms, like this one), which includes the information that the new CO, CDR William Houston, had been already slated to relieve CDR Portland next month. (The AP article says that CDR Houston had previously been assigned as a "special assistant to the Director of the Naval Reactors", which probably means "Line Locker".)

So, with the CO, along the original ELTs who messed up, now off the boat, it'll be interesting to see if any intermediate levels of the boat's chain of command suffer any blowback.

Update 0858 26 Oct: From my referrer's log, a couple of other interesting sites are discussing this as well. Fark apparently has way more submariners posting there than I had realized, and head over to Corrente to see what happens when nukes invade a fairly popular blog run by liberals who try to address a technical submarine issue. (Sample quote about the attack submarine Hampton by a "progressive" at Corrente about why the incident happened: "Word got through the grapevine that a strike on Iran was in the works, and so they tried to scuttle the Boomer surreptitiously rather than be forced to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people.")

By the way, if you head over to Corrente, please don't try to educate them about the chemical that "keeps the reactor shut down" and how it clearly doesn't apply in this case. The poster's husband was apparently a coner, and tried to remember something about nuke chemistry, but only succeeded in making himself look foolish.


Anonymous quotecritter said...

May have changed since I was in but is the MPA Main Propulsion Assistant in case they have changed that still honcho for the ELT's?

Seems he would be ready to shop at target not to mention the Eng.

10/26/2007 12:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all on this one...As a coner, I didn't understand alot of the nuke talk the last couple of days on this site... But after serving on two different boats in Nav/Ops in the early 90's on SD waterfront I knew it was coming... When SubPac relieved old man of San Fran for getting bad charts from squadron that says it all about the current NAVY... Old Man goes down no matter what....

10/26/2007 12:34 AM

Anonymous silver water oasis said...

The San Fran did not “get” charts from the squandron. They received basic charts from NGA that then need to be prepped. Perhaps if they laid out a track of ten knots and adhered to it in an area with soundings dating back to the nineteenth century, the CO would not have been relieved.

Although I don’t know the exact details of this incident, CDR Portland is a good guy. His firing likely has a lot to do with every article mentioning the Air Force’s recent debacle with nuclear weapons where 70 people were relieved. The general public doesn’t know the difference between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Each time they hear the word nuclear, any part of their brain involved in rational thought immediately shuts off. They Navy had to show that we were going to do something significant in response to this incident. If you watch the MSM, you will likely not see another story about the USS Hampton and this incident. Thus, the firing of the CO will have had the desired effect and protected the Navy from further public scrutiny.

This incident of course brings up the fact that when an officer is promoted to O-4, much of his previous knowledge of how things actually work is surgically removed from his brain. I can recall spending eight plus hours using nearly every RPM to barely pass my 4hr closed book BEQ test. I’m sure the rest of you all did too, but mention that to a commodore and you’d suffer consequences. Although as nukes, and even the coners compared to the rest of the world, we really do have high standards, too often individual standards are winked at. Yet, when an important standard gets winked at by junior people, the chain wonders from were the attitude came. We need another Admiral Konetzni to remove all the garbage

10/26/2007 3:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quotecritter: I've seen another (AP, I think) account that says "another officer (not the one that saw NJP) and two enlisted men were transferred to Squadron 11."

Given the systemic failure alluded to in this article, I make them out to be the Eng, the Bull Nuke (if MM), and the MLPO.

If there was a CRA (not always, as best I remember), he would have been the officer subjected to NJP. If not, make that the MPA.

silver water oasis: Talk all you want about prepping charts, the sea mount they hit still wasn't on them. All that other stuff is applicable, but not decisive like the absence of a sea mount. CDR Portland may indeed be the greatest guy known to man, but the reason, according to the articles (and according to this old nuke's memory) they kept digging is that they found something in the first place. Creeping nukeism is a FACT OF LIFE on boats, and ignoring it is stupid (and as our host notes, the stupid shall be punished). Creeping nukeism demands that if you find one thing, you dig for more until you come up squeaky clean. They dug, and found this. THIS, however they found it is enough for a CO (and ENG, and CRA/MPA, and LELT, and RL Div) to be relieved for cause. It's enough whether or not there is another news story out there or not. The other news story simply made this a news story, too, it didn't get the old man relieved. He did that, with the help of the CoC all the way down to the ELTs.

10/26/2007 5:36 AM

Blogger Jame said...

That the CO got relieved for gun decking daily primary samples should surprise no one. It is hard to imagine the Engineer surviving as well. If the CRA or MPA/CRA participated in the cover up he HAS to be gone as well because NR will not allow anyone who does that to operate a nuclear plant.

I suspect if the XO survives ti will be with a letter of reprimand and he would be kept only for continuity since a new CO and ENG is quite a wardroom shakeup.

But, this will get worse because they didn't gun deck one sample, they gun decked a months worth which means every EOOW, EWS, ERS watch had to have some inkling or SHOULD have had some idea. The only saving grace for some might be if they were in 4 section watches.

As far as the San Fran goes, I got to read the JagMan and as an old navigator I can assure they were at fault. They were operating at high speed in an area that had hazards to navigation very close to intended track on both sides, not a smart place to be going fast unmarked seamount or not.

10/26/2007 6:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone else surprised to see that CDR Portland was not born in the US? I was a nuke field recruiter, and we had to get waivers for enlisted guys to join if they weren't born on US soil. I wonder if he was born abroad of US parents or was a Naturalized citizen?

10/26/2007 7:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy!
As a former nook, (for a couple of months before I was kicked out). You guys suck. What I've learned over the past 23 years of submarining is that when the nooks fook up, then everybody pays. THIS boat is paying the pauper, and the sum is HUGE. This has clearly been a command wide problem in leadership, that's why the CO was replaced.
Why doesn't anybody understand this?
As for the San Fran comments? Hind site is 20/20 shipmate, I'm glad you are perfect. Come back to the fleet and show us how good you are as a A'nav. Come get some in Guam.

10/26/2007 7:26 AM

Anonymous silver water oasis said...

anonymous: I never denied that creeping nukism is a fact of life. I pointed out that there exist certain standards, such as closed book BEQ tests, that are complete jokes. We wink at some standards but then are surprised when sailors blow off important standards. We should get rid of the standards that are winked at so that all standards are actually adhered to. Perhaps then sailors won’t have the attitude that certain standards are okay to gaff off while others are not okay to gaff off.

I also don't say that CDR Portland isn't responsible. Only that the problems are bigger than him.

10/26/2007 7:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I am naive, but I really thought that Nukes were genetically incapable of doing something like this. Even a fleet fireman will go alone down into the same hot, noisy shaft alley at 0300, to record bearing temperatures that haven't varied in the last 6 weeks, because that is what he is expected and depended on to do. That is what boot camp training is about; doing what your shipmates depend on you to do, no matter how tired you are and/or how stupid you think it is.

Nuclear training takes that concept and instills an understanding of how important seemingly trivial details can/should be.

That it would appear that the entire ELT gang would and could, blow-off primary chemistry for a month, indicates a problem that goes way beyond a single boat.

One can only hope that 08 will look to its own house after this.

10/26/2007 7:38 AM

Blogger Jame said...

Not sure how anyone could take the Hampton and say it is an NR problem without knowing more.

Think about the daily sequence. To radio the sample they had to request permission to draw the sample, then the EOOW reviews the chemistry log of the sample. The CRA evidently was in on this...what can NR do about that? They already interview every prospective nuke officer.

Whatever it is that tipped the SQD reps off in the ORSE workup you have to believe the engineer/XO/CO could have found as well...especially since if it was an ORSE workup then CO/XO/ENG would reviewing the heck out the all Chem and RADCON logs.

There is much much more to this than what little has hit print...there always is.

10/26/2007 9:49 AM

Anonymous lambert strether said...


Thanks for the link. Re the "scuttle the Boomer" comment; not a fair sample. We've got our fringe elements, just like anyone else. Let 'em all post, and let the marketplace of ideas sort it out, say I. And personally, I think "verify, then trust" is the appropriate strategy for anything coming out of this administration, so I welcome the fringers, as long as they don't completely infest the place. It's hard to know where the boundaries are unless you push beyond them, eh? Best...

10/26/2007 10:43 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Thanks for visiting. Submariners don't make the news that often, but when we do we at least like everything that gets put out to be as accurate as possible. Us nukes are especially sensitive, because we normally don't have the big names playing us in the movies. I appreciate your candor, and look forward to checking out Corrente more closely in the future.

10/26/2007 10:52 AM

Anonymous The Other Sarah said...

Thank you for asking us over.
We welcome you at corrente anytime, and we do appreciate your informative (not to say educational) comments over there.
Nice house you've got here.
(I'm partial to our math filter, but hey, everybody's got something to keep spambots away, no?)

10/26/2007 11:03 AM

Anonymous Horizontal tubes said...

Lots of comments here from can't-let-it-go "former" submariners. That's as it should be, of course.

It can be especially hard to let go if your once brand-new boat has entered the submarine recycling program. Once that happens, it can almost seem as though none of it ever happened.

But take courage: for those whose Ustafish has undergone the knife of the recycling program, the formerly pulsing heart of your boat still lives -- in Washington state. And above ground, no the Hanford Site.

Here is a Smithsonian photo of the reactor compartments from recycled boats.

And here is the latest & greatest photo of the same scene courtesy of Google Maps, but with quite a few more reactor compartments added to the final resting place.

There's nothing like a bunch of shrink-wrapped reactor compartments to put things in perspective: to this end, they nearly all shall come.

What's a "big deal" in the news today is yesterday's blip.

Y'all be good to one another, y'hear?

10/26/2007 2:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former Nuke ELT I have my own opinion on what happened here. I think it impossible that the ELT's didn't sample for an entire month, too many people would have been involved in that. That would include all the nukes in manuvering, all the EOOW and the sample reader each night. Also it would have been pretty obvious to anyone because other evolutions that are results of sampling the water would also not have been done for a month. Someone would have asked the question about how do we go a whole month without seeing the water level go down in the plant without adding water.
More than likely a nub ELT was assigned to be the "Underway ELT" and forgot to do one on the infrequent analysis on the plant water. On preparing for ORSE the LELT noticed it and gundecked the logs with the CRA (Not MPA) concent. The problem that Naval Reactors has is not the missing sample, but the gundecking logs. A missed sample would have been a incident and some additional training, but NR does not stand for any dishonesty.
I just hate how people have turned this into a reason why we should not have nuclear power. Nuclear Power is safe. And it is the best way to operate a submarine. Yes the people in this case made a mistake and should (and will) be punished. But don't let ignorance of nuclear power turn what is a personnel issue into a anti-nuke issue.

10/26/2007 3:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There's nothing like a bunch of shrink-wrapped reactor compartments to put things in perspective: to this end, they nearly all shall come. "

Wow - so there IS still hope for getting my favorite wrench back... :)

10/26/2007 6:19 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Bubblehead, ("...we normally don't have the big names playing us in the movies."):

Have you forgotten Denzel Washington (- he must be a big name to owe the IRS $11 Milion), not to mention Gene Hackman and James Gandolfini in "Crimson Tide"?

They sure had me convinced they were real nuke officers with their sour attitudes. LOL

10/26/2007 8:38 PM

Anonymous quotecritter said...

Don't know the time relationship of when they missed all those daily chemistry things, but I find it almost impossible to believe it would be the month prior to ORSE since every ELT no matter how senior was always given a in depth let me watch you do it look by O gang to make sure they were all on the same page and on the money with procedures and all the chemicals were current and the logs reviewed with a fine tooth comb by almost every body in the Wardroom and the Nuc Chiefs so all the eyes could catch any issues for proper resolution.

Sounds like this must have been picked up from log reviews back on slow patrol days during the deployment most likely.

10/26/2007 9:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very familiar with this incident and I will say that want the media (navy times) is putting out is complete bullshit and they need to wait for the offical investigation results before printing crap that they do not understand. They DID sample the water Everyday. There was one ANALYSIS that the did not perform for the sample. The reason for this was because of laziness. The anaylsis is very difficult and takes time to perform and sometimes mutiple attempts to perform correctly. instead of taking the time to do it right they radioed the logs because the results are always the same 99.9% of the time. And the adverse affects of this is not bad. Infact it's stupid. Every ELT who is on a submarine knows what analysis i am talking about. (currently there are only a handfull of submarines that do not have this particular analysis). Another thing is that in CO is the one who started the huge investigation when he noticed something wrong. this is comeing out after the initial launch of the investiagation. People should knwo the whole truth and not a bunch of Half truths like the stupid media throws out all the time. the Navy will release the actually report of the findings with they're recommended actions and everyone in the fleet will know. obvisiouly we are seeing sone of the recommendations that the panel have suggested.

10/26/2007 10:57 PM

Anonymous ex ssn eng said...

The prior-anon comments are perhaps the best I've read here. Before cavalierly fingering who did what, or who should be getting fired on the boat, let's wait for some real facts to come out.

The CO's record, as spoken for loudly by his bio, is exceptionally strong, and, as others have noted here, have all the earmarks of his clearly being flag material. Anyone who would cast the first stone should tread lightly. The fact that he's been relieved early is certainly a black mark on someone, but I'm as yet unconvinced that it's the CO.

All I can say is that this is shaping up to be one damn big shame...and that I stand by my assessment that NR needs to put its own processes and requirements on the hotseat. This is a hell of a thing to lose exceptionally good people over.

10/26/2007 11:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew CDR Portland (as the Engineer on the Spadefish and working at squadron before that), and it could not have happened to a nicer guy!

10/27/2007 6:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To ex ssn eng:

90% of "exceptionally strong" records are created by stepping on the backs of their peers and subordinates. The majority of current submarine force admirals are the main reason this type of thing happens in the first place. Just read the post from the obvious HAMPTON crew member (on the HAMPTON investigation thread) who describes how the submarine force repeatedly stabbed HAMPTON in the back during DMP, deployment certification, deployment, and change of homeport. Today's submarine force leaders are just like the politicians in Congress, they are only concerned about how to maintain or increase their position of power and control. NO ONE at the top cares about the sailors. The most ridiculous motto out there is Navy Personnel Command's: Mission First....People Always. Hah! It should be Mission Always....People FU! The current TYCOMS (VADM Donnelly and RADM Walsh) are too concerned about their own drive for 4 stars that they continually take a pound of flesh out of operational submarines to make themselves look good. Then when they have a spare moment, they make sure that officers who were JOs during their CO tour are given the best assignments in the homeports of their choice. This is done at the expense of every other hardworking submarine officer trying to compete against them. Thus the cycle continues, and the "future admirals" learn from the CORRUPT current admirals and the cycle continues. Eventually, that corruption makes its way to the people that actually work for a living and something like HAMPTON occurs. You might ask how I know all this...well, I have lived it for the past 16 years as a submarine officer who is about to take command of an SSN. The submarine force leadership is so bad that RETIREMENT is the only thing that motivates me now. My dream of being a submarine CO was blown up by the incompetent submarine admirals that can't say "NO" to their boss because they need to always say "YES" to get their 4 stars.

10/27/2007 7:57 AM

Anonymous ex ssn eng said...

Prior anon:

I have several thoughts to offer, but the first one would be to urge you to take a deep breath...maybe get some time out-of-doors...and reconsider your future options. You are much more empowered than your note would seem to indicate that you think.

For example, as to retirement: On what? Fifty percent of base pay?? Dude, I left after serving as an Eng because as a still-single guy all I could see in my future was sea duty; so, for me, a major life change of some sort was in my face. But the thing is, and quite unexpectedly, I made vast...vast...amounts more money once outside the Navy. From my perspective, Navy retirement money is nothing to let determine your life choices.

You are trained to take in lots of information, make decisions and take action in complex situations. Focus on what you really want, and just do it. I don't think it's either more time in the Navy or a command tour, but you be the judge. In any case: Act.

As to submarine flag officer characteristics, I hear you loud and clear. In 30 years of both being in khaki and watching from a distance, I, too, have seen the Navy pick the worst kind of assholes to be flags...but I have also seen them pick genuinely great and profoundly good men. There truly does seem to be an unconscious cycle to this, so allow for the possibility that good men, as always, are on the way.

I will honestly add that I have seen the truly best, very-top-shelf guys from within my peer group get out. That's just the fact of it. Some stayed for command tours, some didn't. Of the ones who made flag, I see one dunce and some otherwise some very solid, thoughtful and bright guys...guys you'd even want as personal friends...but not the pick of the litter. They're gone. They no doubt took everything into account...and acted.

Admirals (and Generals) have always been 2nd-rate politicians, there's just no denying that. So, yes, they feather their nest and at a minimum try to pass out favors. If being a self-serving shithead were a crime, most all of them would be indicted. But allow for the cycle to my opinion, the Navy's flag basket does have some good eggs in it.

Personally, I'll know that someone has gotten his shit together when I see the WWII concept of relief crews come back for the SSNs. Why it's taken so long to serve this obvious need is utterly beyond me.

In any case, good luck, God bless, and remember: You own your life. Make it a great one.

10/27/2007 9:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding relief crews for SSNs, I recall what our OpTempo was when I got out in '90. I can only imagine what it's like today with the drastically reduced number of SSNs, the Bear still active, the ongoing MidEast, and other up and coming trouble makers in the Far East quickly developing deep water navies.

10/27/2007 2:46 PM

Blogger Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

The only "blowback" to the intermediate "chain of command" that I can see is that they may actually establish one. That ELT had a LPO, that LPO had a LCPO, that LCPO had a DH who had a DO who had an XO. All boats also have a leading NUC and and Engineer. This ship was a disciplinary nightmare and an absolute disgrace to the U.S. Navy. From whiny generals like LT Gen Ricardo Sanchez and Wesley Clark to non-functional CPO and LPO on the line aboard an active warship, leadership appears to be a lost art and if something isn't done we'll soon be a lost power.

10/27/2007 8:59 PM

Blogger FT2(ss) said...

Im just a little sad to see this happen to my old XO. I really did like the guy. The guy was a true hard ass on the boat. You couldn't get away with slacking off. Our Yeoman hated him for this.

Though my favorite memory of him is when the New CO started the beard growing contest on deployment. The XO never let us do it before.

10/28/2007 4:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were the CO of a submarine and you were reviewing routine records that require your signature and find a signature that looks like yours, but isn't, what would you do? (Anyone familiar with RL division can devise what these records were)

That's how this started. The thread-pulling revealed the rest.

The chemistry thing is big, but there's much more that isn't being loudly advertised.

10/28/2007 6:14 PM

Blogger Former_SSN_CO said...

To Anonymous PCO:

I would like to echo ex-ssn Eng's comments, but I would also offer up a different perspective. Having recently completed an SSN command tour I recommend you not focus on the political motives that you may suspect from your operational COC. A few thoughts:

"The submarine force leadership is so bad that RETIREMENT is the only thing that motivates me now. My dream of being a submarine CO was blown up by the incompetent submarine admirals ... "

I don't know where you are in the SCC pipeline, and I don't know if you are using this blog as an opportunity to vent, but you may want to seriously think about why you are going to command. If your statement above is a true reflection of your feelings, then the SCC pipeline may challenge your resolve. In any case, you will undoubtedly encounter some situation(s) while in command that will force you to question why you took on the responsibility of command.

You are clearly passionate about the state of the Submarine Force, but I offer that when you go on to command you focus your passion towards taking care of your crew and getting your mission accomplished. These are not mutually exclusive endeavors! Just as happened on the HAMPTON, your people are going to make mistakes. The challenge is to foster a culture within your Khaki and Petty Offcier leadership that is tolerant of indivdual mistakes to the extent that Sailors are allowed to learn from mistakes and do not feel the pressure to comprimise their integrity. Any individual can make a mistake, and we all deserve back-up to prevent those mistakes from leading to bigger problems. This is much easier said than done. This was the real problem of concern on the HAMPTON. There is absolutely no technical concern. As recent posts indicated samples were taken, but a specific and non-consequential analysis was not performed.

We are all tempted to step back and question the merits or defects in the Submarine Force's officer screening and detailing process (I think the comment string on the HAMPTON topic is only exceeded in # of comments by earlier posts on detailers!). While I have found this to be an interesting diversion during my career - we all like to gossip - I hope that you don't allow these issues to tarnish your viewpoint as you lead your Officers and Sailors.

CO really is the best job in the Navy - it is a lot of fun and you are in the best position you will ever be to make a difference in the lives and careers of your Sailors. I wish you the best of luck!

10/29/2007 8:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Former_SSN_CO

Do you currently work at the Pentagon?

10/29/2007 2:35 PM

Anonymous DBS coner said...

Just to give a different perspective on this situation also, having just recently spent a short time on the Hampton. This had to be worst command as far as crew morale I had ever seen. It was the kind you could feel as soon as you stepped on board, the crew was exhausted from the change of home port that most were not prepared for.
While in Norfolk, none of the enlisted crew only officers and a hand full of chiefs were allowed to take house hunting leave. Most of the single sailors had to sign over personal property over to some chief who stayed behind. This crew expected to be homeless once they got off deployment. Take that and add the backstabbing on ORSE, DMP, the extended deployment, mix in some general uncertainty of family living conditions, a flaming A-hole for an XO and you get a crew that will do anything to stay in port or get off ship.

When will the Navy learn that you cannot treat people like s#*& and wonder why things like this happen. It has nothing to do with a watch standers logs, chain of command, or the nuclear fact. When you treat human beings like crap these things will always happen. How else can you explain the tools, nuts, bolts and washers at the bottom of reduction gear cases? The navy’s answer is always to launch an investigation, get rid of people involved and conduct training. Now the rest of the crew will suffer even more because of this.

10/30/2007 5:17 AM

Anonymous prior nuke said...

Who give a sh###!

10/30/2007 12:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that 10/30/2007 5:17 post ( about the change of homeport and related fiasco is correct, EVERYONE from Div Officer and up, including the EDEA, Eng, et al, AND ESPECIALLY THE COB AND XO, SHOULD BE TOAST!

10/30/2007 4:42 PM

Blogger Straight_Talk_CDR said...

To the former SSN CO:

Since you are adverse to gossip, allow me to inject some facts into this discussion. Specifically, I would like to address your comments that the CO is the best job in the Navy.

Here is what those folks competing for command have to look forward to:
1. In the past year, we have fired at least 4 COs.
2. In the past year, 8 COs submitted retirement papers while in “the best job in the Navy”. Two subsequently withdrew their papers after pressure was applied.
3. In the past year, at least 5 PCOs started but failed to complete the PCO pipeline (1 NR failure, 1 SCC failure, 1 personal conduct and 2 medical attrites – probably self selected by the way). I know them all.
4. When I was XO, both of my COs hated their job. Privately, they confided in me that they were just trying to survive and get off the boat. They were overcome by the overwhelming requirements of incompetent and bloated staffs of the squadron and TYCOM.
5. In SCC, half of us were fence sitters.

For the junior officers, the outlook and hope is even bleaker: Last year, 24% of JOs failed to select for Department Head. Those that make it have a selectivity to XO of around 60% and CO of around 60%. How is that for job security? Is it any wonder that the zero defect mentality and competitiveness for these JOs leads them to take risks and make compromises that they normally would not take?

When I was at NR during the PCO pipeline (just recently), they talked to us repeatedly about chronic problems in RL division. Our leadership at every level right to the Director of NR knew about these significant problems. There are numerous examples similar to Hampton but none became public. Hampton’s issues were a systemic and wide spread problem that our leaders failed to act upon. Is it time for the NRC to regulate us?

We throw these young kids into bad situations, pile on the unexecutable requirements and then dump on them for every mistake they make with endless critiques. All while our leadership accepts no accountability.

From your detached Ivory desk at COMSUBPAC/COMSUBFOR/NR, it must all seem so simple – blame the boat and kill the crew members while accepting no accountability yourself – just like with San Fran, Newport News and Greeneville 2 and 3.

Frankly, I am with the PCO who made his comments in the post above: We have always treated our people poorly and the current leadership is the worse I have seen in my 19 years of service. I am looking forward to my transition to the commercial nuclear power industry. Put that on SUBFOR’s desk. He set Portland and that crew up and that is the straight scoop.

11/01/2007 5:06 PM

Anonymous ex ssn eng said...

Three cheers for straight_talk_cdr. This is the kind of truth serum straight-up that the O-7 and up crowd clearly needs to partake in.

One more plug for SSN relief crews while we're all here -- check out this unsurprising nautical fact, as spoken at the last COMSUBFOR change of command:

"During Munns’ two-and-a-half year tour, the submarine force had deployed 72 nuclear powered fast attack submarines in support of 123 missions for U.S. combatant commands and national authorities. The fleet ballistic missile submarine force has conducted a total of 81 strategic deterrent patrols."

No one needs to break out a calculator to do the math on SSN deployments versus boomer patrols; the correct ratio is 89%.

That's right: SSNs today have 89% of the op-tempo of an SSBN, yet have only one crew. For the SSN nukes in particular, we all know that their op-tempo runs higher than the rest of the crew. To add insult to injury, the SSGNs -- now effectively identical to SSNs in terms of mission -- DO have two crews.

Incoming message for NR and NAVPERSCOM:

Flush the fat from the squadron and TYCOM staffs and put THEM on the next-gen version of SSN relief crews if you have to, but for heaven's sake give these poor bastards a break after they return to port, especially the nukes...and make that the case for ALL of them.

While you're at it, stop by the commercial nuclear power plants' equivalent of Home Depot, buy some continuous-chemistry-sampling equipment, and smash the moronic system that you've maintained for so long solely because you comfortably know how to set people up for failure-of-integrity-under-stress and then beat them up for it.

This is all your problem to solve, guys -- not the boats...!


11/01/2007 8:39 PM

Blogger EmanT2 said...

Wow, this is pretty cool. We have high level (ex) officers taking part in the Instrument Log (my boat's version of the "Bitch Book").

As to the original problem the Hampton had... Maybe a little insight might help here. Imagine you are getting ready to get underway (either leaving home port or coming home) and one of the guys in your division forgets to check his inventory of stuff required to do the normal tings that happen everyday underway. (You know the guy that orders supplies for you.) Now, lets say that you are underway and you realize that you are going to run out of this stuff before the end of your sea time, also throw in that you know that people will be coming onboard to monitor you for a little while. Obviously, this RL Division figured the "right" thing to do was to not waste their reagents in the everyday analysis and make sure they save enough for just before and while the monitors are on board. Of course, any monitor who knows how to review acquisition records and knows how much of said reagent needs to be used on a daily basis can easily do the math.

Unfortunately, the entire Division's camaraderie (remember they taught us that in the Navy, as well) got them all sh**canned. The stark reality is had they told the truth up front, that one ELT was going to get sh**canned alone.

The irony in all of this is what kind of shipmate should they have been? It is very easy to stand on the soap box and say they should have automatically informed the entire chain-of-command of the mistake. It is also easy to understand why they protected one of their own, especailly for this one analysis.

My own conspiracy theory.. What if they did tell the entire chain of command? It is not that unrealistic to imagine that everyone involved right up to the CO knew about this. To properly fix this problem, the CO would have had to send out a message informing his superiors that HE (remember the crew's actions are his actions) screwed up. The fix would have been to request a waiver from doing the analysis or finding the nearest Quickie Mart to restock the stuff. Neither of which is very desirable to a CO with Flag aspirations.

11/02/2007 5:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the last comment is accurate (and we have every reason to think it is), then this is just another example of the leadership creating an environment where people violate their integrity because they have nothing to lose. This particular situation was made worse by the fact that we teach our people (rightly) that our lives depend on each other and that we should be willing to risk everything for our shipmates.

If the leadership continues to put very young folks in these sort of situations, this will keep occurring. We need to get away from the zero defect mentality. There is a fundamental disconnect between high integrity and zero defect - this should be obvious. If we can't honestly examine our mistakes, for fear of mast, career-ending sanction, or just hell-on-earth living conditions, then those mistakes will be covered up, leading to an unsafe plant and submarine.

We not only need relief crews, we need the concept of "safe harbor" - that mistakes can be reported without fear of retribution. We also need far more automation and far less manual mickey-mouse. Everyone here knows what I'm talking about.

11/02/2007 10:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ll throw in my two cents here with some food for thought. Background: I was a staff pickup ELT for two years at A1W prior to going to the boat..

First: As a NUB I did my very first “unsupervised” primary. I did the analysis and graphed the sample, got it reviewed and marched on my merry way. Problem was my numbers were a bit off – the graphs looked a bit goofy. I had rushed through the sample and my technique was sloppy. My LELT made me resample, chewed my ass for not coming to him with the anomaly, and made me fix it. Next day, when the Plant Leading ELT was asking what happened, my LELT said HE was the one that screwed up, that he and I worked it out and that he was sorry for the confusion.

Bottom line here – it was handled in house, I learned how to do it the right way and I had tremendous respect for my LELT – I would have done anything that guy wanted.

Second: While at A1W I had to proctor many exams. One of which was the “transphase” exam – at about 50% of quals. This is a ridiculous requirement because the students were humping their qual cards and trying to figure out how to stand watch and had little [if any] time to study. Another well established fact is that if you failed, you’d be “dink” and would probably get further behind – depending on how bad you did. The inevitability of this is that the proctors, not because we were told to, but because we were taking care of our own, typically “horsed” the students on the really difficult out of rate questions and frequently gave hints if some guy was being a knucklehead. The reason was to get these guys back in the plant and get them qualified. Problem: One watch officer nearly failed and told his LT that the reason he did so poorly is that he didn’t cheat like everyone else. Said LT, rather than smacking said watch officer across the head and telling him to mind his own business and to be responsible for his own progress, sent up the flag and IBO [Idaho Branch Office of NR] got involved. Next thing, EVERY proctor was standing at attention in front of the green table. My crow [and NEC] were spared, but others weren’t. My opinion is that this is an opportunity for a little tough love and in house training that wasn’t. The community lost several good guys that day.

My feeling is that, as has been amply pointed out, this is about more than one boat or one division. I appreciate the anonymous comments from the O-gang about the climate they face as well. I don’t have all the answers but one thing is abundantly clear: NNPP isn’t much fun for most. You may think I’m a pansy, but if you don’t like your job [including all the pluses and minuses], you aren’t going to perform well. When you don’t like your job, you also don’t create a positive climate. This is true up and down the chain of command. Make NNPP a good job and you’ll keep good people and the people you have will perform better. The folks in charge need to learn to understand that most nukes don’t respond well to the “Do it because I said so” mentality. Bring the whole crew into the process, make them accountable and make reasonable demands and things will improve.

11/02/2007 1:06 PM

Blogger Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

I have to tell you that I agree with Straight_Talk_Cdr regarding the decline in leadership. This boat is nothing more than a symptom of an even greater problem: a lack of genuine, get down in the dirt and work a wrench leaders. There appears to be an ENRON mentality in that the CO is supposed to squeeze productivity out of every second of every day while the fat cats riding their desks jury rig numbers to fit their own agendas. These leaves the common sailor holding a "reward" bag that is virtually empty; just like the ENRON pension plan.

I get sick everytime I listen to Gen Ricardo Sanchez whine about how bad the war was and how badly the press was now that he's retired. He said just the opposite while on active duty. Gen Wesley Clark was the same way. Colin Powell was another ass kisser and I'm not very impressed with the current crop of Admirals in key billets either.

If COs, XOs, COBs, CPOs etc feel their troops are being screwed over and mistreated or even worse, misrepresented to the media, then, for the sake of integrity, speak the hell up NOW. It won't matter later and you will not matter later. No one likes a coward, and the only thing worse is a coward that cries. Boo freakin' Hoo! If you are driving a boat, stand up and be a man. What are they going to do to you, make you earn a better standard of living in civey land? They can't kill you and I'm sure they have no desire to eat you; so, do the right thing and stand up for what's right no matter who's in your face.

11/02/2007 6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will take something as big as the relief of a Flag Officer to make things change. Until then, the crews will continue to be set up for failure and get hammered.

Before a Flag officer is relieved, things will have to get worse, but its coming to a head...

11/02/2007 8:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an former coner that left that boat this year, I'm glad to see some action happening. I found a lot of problems that needed some real attention. when i brought them up, everybody acted like it was normal. The only people that believed me were E6 and below because that were on the receiving end of the sand-papered d!(k like me. I glad to see him fired. They need to include the previous XO, COB, and a lot of CPO's to get the boat back to the Navy High Standards. Most people on the boat can provide a lot of BS that goes on. But who would you believe, everybody chief and officer on the boat with the same story and evidence, or a few enlisted guy with the same evidence? In the Navy, rank has it privileges.

11/03/2007 10:42 AM

Anonymous DBFTMC(SS)RET said...

Todays Submarine Force is reaping the rewards of the "Rickover legacy." Ric was a great engineer, organizer, politician and a "Driver". Ric was not a leader. thats why he had a very short command tour on a Minesweeper in the Asiatic Fleet even though he was a gold dolphin wearer, former XO of an S boat and qualified for submarine command. He ended up "Engineering Duty Only" and if it were not for WWII he would probably have retired as a CDR.

I was around in the early days of Nuc submarines (Blue Commissioning Crew SSBN-619 1963) when the then skippers of Nuc boats "grew-up" on diesel boats and had command tours on them before going Nuc Power. Ric didn't much care for them because he could not shape their behavior and thinking as he could JO's entering his program. However, he had no choice but to take them to get "his" first boats underway. Those Skippers Al Whittle Jr., James Wilson, and even "Whitey" Mack who was CHENG on 619B were real leaders and submarine "operators." They did not have "Nuc Power tunnel vision", that only came later.

Submarine Officers today are shaped by the Rickover Legacy to the detriment of the crew, the boat, and the mission.

Fortunately it has been recognized. check out Michael J. Dobbs CDR USN RET article in the June 2007 NIP, "How the Twig is Bent." Here's a quote, "The feedback provided to mid grade officers in the submarine community has sometimes been harsh. One senior officer routinely sent submariners off to their command tours with verbal or written notice that although they were the best the U. S. Submarine Force had, they were not really what was needed and would readily be replaced if they proved unable to cut the mustard."

It's gonna be a long hard slog to get really competent submarine operators again. Somethings gotta give. Do you give up the Rickover legacy that all Submarine CO's have to have CHENG credentials? Do Nuc Aircraft Carrier CO's have CHENG credentials? You know the answer to that one. Do the Brits Submarine CO's have CHENG credentials? You know the answer to that one as well. Why does the US Submarine force continue to insist that submarine CO's must have CHENG credentials? You know the answer to that one also.

My two cents......


11/03/2007 9:39 PM

Blogger quikned said...

Wow... It's been a while since I've discussed any sub-talk with former colleagues but I I ran across this post couldn't resisit.

It is interesting to hear some straight talk from all different levels here. Good to see that not all of you are "YES" men.

My background is:
Assigned to USS Hampton in May 1995 and was assigned as EO, AEng, RCA, and ultimately ASCO... and departed prior to the 1999 Med Deployment. Interestingly enough I served as ASCO under none other than Cmdr Michael Portland... and I was also onboard and closely associated with his new releiving officer Cmdr William Houston.

I don't have much good to say about my Navy experiences. As all of us know who have been there, submarine life is hard all by itself. When you throw in ridiculous requirements and unnecessary "un"-executables and top that off with unconditional bureaucracy, poor leadership and zero motivational goals... it leads to utter gloom and despair. The people above you can ruin your career and the people below you can ruin your career. This situation is proof of that.

I had some good times on the USS Hampton, but I can attribute some of the worst times in my life to Cmdr Michael Portland. As one person put it above... "it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy". How true.
The Navy states publicly that the crew "lost confidence in his leadership ability". That is becasue Cmdr Michael Portland is not a "leader". Dictators are not leaders. Pins and medals and awards don't make you a "leader". I can't tell you how many times I have thought about my past Navy days and with disdain over this one individual and wondered if "karma" would ever catch up to him. Now I know the answer. He may have not done anything specifically wrong with regards to the gundecking of the logs... but I can guess that the erroneous log taking probably stems from a much larger problem... poor moral. If anyone reads this blog and is/was a member of the USS Hampton under Cmdr Portland, I would certainly like to know the status of the ship's moral at the times up to and during this incident. Only the best leaders will have a crew who "protect" their leader. No one was interested in protecting Cmdr Portland... not even by doing a simple daily primary sample. Leadership can be a fine line at a times, but it is my assessment that Cmdr Portalnd is definitely on the wrong side of that line and his crews final dismal performance is a result. Sure, sure... he has won the Battle E and numerous other awards... but at what cost? I assert that he probably drove his crew into the ground like a tyrant to get there... to make himself look good. Something had to break. I'm just surprised that it didn't happen sooner. The Navy is one of the few places where self-serving individuals such as Cmdr Portland can succeed by accumulating medals and awards without anyone knowing the true story behind it all. (I belive Sadaam Hussein and Edi Amin also had a chest full of medals... but that doesn't mean they were doing a good job).

Interestingly enough, I had the true privelege of witnessing "true leadership" shortly after Cmdr Portland's departure from the USS Hampton (I went from the WORST to the BEST). Former USS Hampton CO, Mike Matthes, and the current releiving CO of the USS Hampton, Cmdr William Houston, are born leaders who the Navy needs many more of. The USS Hampton propsered under their command. I have no doubt that the crew of the USS Hampton will soon find a "light at the end of the tunnel" with Cmdr Houston as their leader.

Good luck to all of them.

11/06/2007 1:16 PM

Anonymous Still at sea said...

Portland. Karma has caught thee. I feel bad for most of the crew I served with there but that man was a tyrant who ran his crew into the ground.

Four examples of his leadership style/life on the boat that come to mind:

Making the crew work through almost every major holiday during DMP and work through weekends all while being home on those days at his house in Fredericksburg (Call me if you need anything Portland). Promising to make it up to the crew but never giving those days off back.

Inviting all the O-gang to his Frederiscksburg house for a party, providing copious quantities of alcohol. Chop got wasted out of his mind, wandered off drunk, fell off a porch and broke his arm. CO denies providing large quantities of alcohol, says CHOP brought his own, bullies several JO's there into keeping mum.

In April/May of 06, the COB walks off the boat and quits because the CO has beat him down so hard and rendered him ineffectual (too much crap to go into here without making this a novela). A 30 year Master Chief on his umpteenth CMC tour just walked off the boat. Didn't return for 30 days. Shouldn't that have been a warning sign about crew morale/problems?

How about the 62 alcohol related incidents over the period of a year.

My favorite Portland quote " I don't give a f#$& about what the instruction says. You do it my way because I told you to". Then when squadron craps on me for not following the instruction, CO says I knew what right way was and should have followed said instruction.

You deserve exactly what you got Portland.

11/13/2007 5:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all Bull Shit.

Yes ... we have morale problems ... requirements overload ... and often a failure to take care of our people.

Adm Konetzni worked hard to fix these things and the progress was reversed by Greeneville.

That has nothing to do with this issue on Hampton.

This is evidence of a crew's leadership that did not have the COURAGE to demand high standards in every aspect of operations and it came out in the worst sorta way.

Leadership is a balance of courage and compassion. Courage is the one that usually gets you and it got HAMPTON. I can promise you the Chief's mess was not doing its job.

As a guy who had led troops in a war zone, where low standards = death or injury, I can tell you that the most of you are whining and have a piss poor perspective on the life. Submarine life is not that bad period ... it is an awesome privildge.

For the PCO who just "waiting for retirment." I encourage you to retire NOW because your attitude is not suited to command.

As for our problems in the Sub Force ... you can keep whining or work to make a difference ... to do something about it.

As Sub PCO myself ... that is what I intend to do.

11/15/2007 4:58 AM

Blogger M. Simon said...

Coming soon to a ship near you:

Bussard Fusion Reactor

Semi-technical introduction:

Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

It has been funded by the US Navy:

Bussard Fusion Reactor Funded

The above reactor can burn Deuterium which is very abundant and produces lots of neutrons or it can burn a mixture of Hydrogen and abundant Boron 11 which does not.

The implication of it is that we will know in 6 to 9 months if the small reactors of that design are feasible.

If they are we could have fusion plants generating electricity in 10 years or less depending on how much we want to spend to compress the time frame.

BTW Bussard is not the only thing going on in IEC. There are a few government programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT, the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana among others.

The Japanese and Australians also have programs.

If you want to get deeper into the technology visit:

IEC Fusion Technology blog

Start with the sidebar which has links to tutorials and other stuff.

Courtesy of this old Naval Nuke.

12/29/2007 4:24 PM

Blogger M. Simon said...

I trained a A1W a long time ago.

On my final oral I had a 3 hour board. They wanted to find out how good I really was.

The MM testing me only gave me a 3.2 on mechanicals because that was the best grade he ever gave to a non-MM. Despite the fact that I knew the mechanical plant better than at least 90% of the MMs I trained with. Fucked up.

Despite that I was told I had the best grade on orals that they had seen in two years.

Oh,well. It was long ago and far away.

12/29/2007 4:45 PM

Blogger M. Simon said...


You talk as if there was a time when the Navy has good officers and POs.

I can't speak to the bottom fishers but this skimmer saw exactly the same crap in the skimmer Navy 40+ years ago.

I was an RO aboard a ship that had a particularly bad E-6 as head of a reactor watch section. A real bastard. He managed to "mental" out 5 or 6 ROs from his division he was so bad. Who did the Captain blame? Not the E-6. The first guy he mentaled out. The opposite watch section had a particularly good E-6 leading it and lost no one.

The watch officer (O-2 or 3) "leading" both sections was a spineless bastard. Not particularly bad but all head and no heart.

Twas ever thus.

12/29/2007 9:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really not unbelievable at all. Although it's been quite a while, I rememeber much of what has been discussed here happening on my tour in the sewer tube.

As a former LELT on a boomer, I'll offer my observations, however dated. I always felt that RL div carried some real heavy responsibility, both real and man (squadron etc.) generated, but was not staffed to support this level of responsibility.

I worked extreemly hard to succeed and by Navy standards, did succeed. I was LELT for two orse's, and we received an AA and an EX on Chem/Radcon. Those scores weren't all about me - I had some great people working for me, and even a couple great people I worked for (for a while). I believe I put in many more hours than any chief of any other eng division, yet was still just a blueshirt who stood 3 section underway watches, and didn't have the luxury of 6 section watches the chief's had. We had one blueshirt EWS who stood straight mid watches, so the chiefs didn't have to stand midwatches. There was a standard (unwritten) policy that blueshirts did not qualify EWS/EDPO for my first three CO's. The fourth CO felt they should qualify blue shirts EWS/EDPO, so after being on board for about 6 years (New con/patrols) about 8 e-6's qualified EWS/EDPO on our last patrol. Our qual cards had been complete for at least two patrols before that.

To meet all the A/S/E, training, maintenance coverage, record keeping etc.. requirements, it took me a tremendous amount of time. When I say meet the requirements, I don't mean just going through the motions, but actually doing it the best I could. For example, teaching the E-div chief how to monitor a primary sample, so that there might be some actual good done by him monitoring the evolution, not just kill some more trees. Another example was to change the short range training plan each time there was an operational problem so we really trained on what our problems were, as opposed to training on the same old crap (again).

I'm getting a little long winded here - sorry. It's just always been my position that the Sub service throws an awful lot of responsibility on an E-6 as the LELT, but doesn't give the LELT the TIME to do his job properly by putting him in a watch rotation that's consistant with other nuc LPO's. I lived in the goat locker my last two or three patrols due to not enough bunks - I know how much rack time people got!

I can honestly say, that if I'd been given the TIME to do my job as I was being asked to do it, I might have stayed in. Instead, I realized that I wouldn't be able to keep up the pace and still live, so this ranked #1 E-6 on board selected to leave the Navy.

To thank me for my service on the boat, I was given a NAM (this dates from before they were given away in cereal boxes) and offered radcon duty on a tender as a follow on tour.

I don't know the work load on LELT's today, so maybe I'm off base, but I doubt it.

Here's a work load example: When the boat pulls in and shuts down, ther's something that has to be done in so many hours that the LELT is required to Personally supervise. It just so happens that if you're in P/S in port duty sections that means that the LELT may very well be stuck on board for the first three days while in port. Ask me how I know this..... Never once in over 6 years on the boat did I see an accomodation to me or the previous LELT's on this requirement.

This is not in any way meant to be a slam against E-7,8,9's. All I'm trying to say is they give an E-6 the same job as an E-7,8 but don't give the blueshirt the TIME to handle the responsibility.

Maybe I'm wrong about this. Maybe RC, M, and E div LPO's have a much harder job than the LELT.

All I can vouch for is that if it were on my ustafish, if the LELT were to have caught the ordering ommission before they got underway, he would have had to make his underway checks while sitting on a shit can in ERLL while he was standing midwatch SRW after not having gotten enough sleep for the month already!

Thanks for listening.

2/18/2008 8:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the 767: It's reported that CDR Houston, was relieved in 2007 by CDR Charles Buchanan Reigner...Who knows date for this ?? Contact Thanks.....

8/09/2008 1:03 PM

Blogger SSN EDMC said...

For anonymous from the Spadefish, I'm saying hello. I was the RCLPO and then the EDMC - remember.

For everyone else, I worked directly for the man. He was a good officer but NOT an extremely effective leader. His dominant attribute was intimidation. That was LCDR Portland as the Engineer. We certainly had our disagreements and it took intervention by the CO a time or two to keep us civil. In the end, it was mutual agression that kept us going. We continually tried to outdo one another. It made it tough too - since he is a very intelligent person. Not the best of relationships, but very effective at ensuring all requirements are met. He was very adept at finding even the most obscure requirements.

If there was noone onboard Hampton willing to stand up and say the problem was an issue despite the consequences - it left the problem in the CO's hands alone. One man cannot possibly do this alone - he must have effective backup. It would have required a leader in the Wardroom or Goat Locker to stick his neck out. (Any NUKE CPO or Officer I wouldn't expect the LELT (E-6) or CRA to have the pull to do this) CDR Portland was always at his best when someone was confronting him and he would have certainly proven the requirements to all and have implemented them. The monitoring program should also have caught the problem. (CO, XO, ENG, CRA, EDMC, etc.. should all have been in the monitoring loop)

Experience as RCLPO, EDMC, Squadron Reactor Controls Officer and Materials Assistant coupled with a working relationship with CDR Portland would lead me to believe that there is much more to this. In all my dealings with the many boats in CSS-6 and CSS-8, I never once saw a CO try to cover up a mistake like this. I didn't like his leadership style but I never knew CDR Portland to lie about a requirement. We took our lumps together or separately when we had to. So, I think he either changed alot or his subordinates were too intimidated to bring this out.

If indeed CDR Portland ordered a coverup - the entire Wardroom and the Engineering Supervisors should be standing beside him. If these leaders were too intimidated to push the requirements up the chain then they all need to grow a pair and be replaced until they do.

Of course, if the entire crew is this intimidated, it could be that the CO was relieved because his leadership style of intimidation resulted in no feedback up the chain. One man cannot do it alone and if the crew won't respond then the CO is actually ineffective. This may be the real reason his ability to command was doubted.

8/13/2008 12:13 AM

Anonymous David said...

Having served on the Hampton for Rd 1 for CDR Portland and Houston. I can say Karma is a bitch. Portland could be a nice enough person until he decided to turn on you. Houston on the other hand was an outstanding engineer and a quite the breath of fresh air from his predecessor. It will be a better day for the remaining crew. Not unlike when Stathos relieved Correll. There is a certain cycle that seems to repeat.

10/06/2008 1:43 AM

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