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.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Common Sense Returns To Seventh Fleet

Following the outcry over the ridiculous 7th Fleet liberty policy for Sailors in their home ports in Japan, it looks like the Commander of CTF-70 bowed to common sense and revoked the worst of the nanny-like policies:
Sailors E-5 and below in Commander Task Force 70 had been required to account for their off-ship activities in a weekly log. That rule was “relaxed” this month, said CTF-70 spokeswoman Cmdr. Jensin Sommer.
Now, only “white card holders” — sailors new to Japan or those deemed a liberty risk — have to write and follow liberty plans. “White cards” also mean a midnight curfew for those holding them.
“Blue card” sailors with overnight liberty no longer have to fill out the plans.
The change was made by commanding officer Adm. Richard Wren on Jan. 18, Sommer said.
In a written statement, Wren said the old policy “had run its course and is no longer needed.”
Hopefully this much-needed change of heart will survive the first liberty incident.

7 Comments:

Anonymous sonarman said...

Liberty cards... heh, silly skimmers.

1/27/2008 3:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real first "liberty incident" was in 1967 ... http://www.libertyincident.com/

1/27/2008 7:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, and the insanity has moved to Sasebo: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/01/navy_sasebolockdown_080124w/

1,000 sailors at Sasebo restricted to base

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jan 28, 2008 16:46:04 EST

SAN DIEGO — If you’re a junior sailor on a ship in Sasebo, Japan, you might have to forget about any pre-deployment travel.

After the weekend arrest of a Sasebo-based sailor in an off-base incident, one Navy commander ordered that all of the command’s junior sailors be restricted to the Sasebo base indefinitely — at least until they leave on their amphibious ships for scheduled spring patrols.

Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger, who commands Expeditionary Strike Group 7, issued the edict Sunday, said Lt. Denver Applehans, the ESG-7 public affairs officer.

The restriction applies to about 1,000 sailors, E-3 and below, assigned to the strike group’s four amphibious ships — assault ship Essex, dock landing ships Harpers Ferry and Tortuga and amphibious transport dock Juneau — as well as members of attached support elements from Assault Craft Units 1 and 5 and Beach Master Unit 1, Applehans said.

The lockdown applies to any sailor E-3 and below, single or married, he said. Married sailors “are restricted to their quarters, basically,” he added.

Officials would not discuss when the restrictions would be lifted because of the sensitive nature of ships’ movements. However, the Essex left Sasebo on Wednesday for the start of the spring patrols, and the Harpers Ferry already was underway on patrol.

Pottenger also is commander of Task Force 76, the amphibious force for 7th Fleet, from her task force headquarters at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan, although a detachment is based in Sasebo, a small city southwest of Osaka in central Japan.

“The vast majority of our sailors are professionals and excellent ambassadors of the United States. There have been a few incidents recently which were not in keeping with the appropriate behavior we expect from our sailors,” Pottenger said in a statement. “We expect sailors to abide by local laws and expect behavior that respects our host nation. This restriction is to remind all sailors of their responsibilities and duties while assigned to a foreign country.”

Her order came one day after the arrest of a Sasebo sailor for allegedly trespassing into an apartment in Fukuoka, a city about a two-hour drive north from Sasebo, according to an article in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

In that incident, Japanese police arrested Seaman Lamarco Vermichael James, 22, on Jan. 19 and charged him with unlawful entry, the newspaper reported. James allegedly had gotten into an argument with a woman earlier and fled, but he was found in the building several hours later, the newspaper reported, citing information from police. A Navy spokesman said James was assigned to the transient personnel unit at Sasebo.

James, charged with what’s considered a minor crime, has been in Japanese custody and, under Japanese law, would be released within 10 days after the arrest, said Chuck Howard, a spokesman for Fleet Activities Sasebo.

Applehans said the restriction wasn’t directly prompted by that incident.

“We’ve had a series of incidents out in town. Most of them are minor,” he said. With preparations for upcoming spring patrols, “it’s time to focus on the mission and remember we’re here to do our mission.”

“It’s important to be respectful out in town and to follow the local laws,” he added.

Over the years, Navy and Marine Corps commanders have occasionally dealt with rashes of embarrassing incidents or high-profile crimes involving U.S. service members, incidents that usually result in tightened restrictions that, in turn, stir up complaints about lack of privacy. Recent requirements for some sailors in Yokosuka, Japan, to submit detailed liberty plans even when at their foreign home port drew more than a few comments on Internet blogs.

“Sasebo has lost its mind. And we thought we had it bad in Yokosuka,” wrote one Japan-based blogger on the site fewl.net. “What kind of reasoning do these people have to punish the entire E-3 and below for the actions, which weren’t even that serious, of one misguided seaman?!” he wrote.

Someone named ‘Ashamed of the Navy’ posted: “Mass punishment ... ‘intrusive’ leadership ... get ready for more.”

The restriction does not apply to junior sailors in other commands at Sasebo.

“There are no liberty restrictions on our people,” Howard said by telephone.

Capt. Tilghman Payne spoke Wednesday with a standing-room-only crowd of sailors during a mandatory all-hands call, Howard said. Payne, who commands Fleet Activities-Sasebo, wanted to reinforce the Navy’s expectation that they would abide by the law and act appropriately when they are outside the base, he said.

“Obviously, obeying the law of the land is an absolute necessity,” Howard said. “The actions of one can be actually damaging to our overall credibility.”

Just how well such sweeping restrictions do to curtail misbehavior isn’t known.

Officials are quick to note that the number of Navy personnel who have apparently caused some sort of trouble is small. Applehans said the “series of incidents” was “minor.”

Howard noted that 99 percent of sailors “are great ambassadors,” but “then there’s that 1 percent that sort of will make a bad decision.”

“I don’t think it’s intrusive leadership,” said Howard, a retired master chief. “It’s just being responsible.”

1/29/2008 7:29 PM

 
Anonymous Boomer Homo said...

This type of leadership is one of the many many reasons I hate the navy.

2/02/2008 12:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole one team one fight sort of screws everyone over...and they wonder why the junior renlistment rate is dropping.

9/18/2009 8:51 AM

 
Anonymous Georgiana said...

It will not succeed as a matter of fact, that is what I consider.

9/06/2012 2:11 PM

 
Anonymous Edwina said...

It won't have effect in actual fact, that's what I suppose.

9/24/2012 1:43 PM

 

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