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.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

USS Buffalo CO Relieved

Posting from my phone, so no link yet. The CO of USS Buffalo (SSN 715) was relieved for cause. Word on the street was that it was for some maintenance issues. More later.

Update 1955 21 Dec: Here's the Navy Times story on the firing. Excerpts:
Cmdr. Christopher Henry, who took command of the submarine Aug. 7, was relieved as a precautionary measure, said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Kuntz, spokesman for Submarine Group 7 in Japan.
Henry’s relief was due to a “loss of confidence in ability to command,” Kuntz said.
Capt. Doug Wright, commodore of Submarine Squadron 15, removed Henry after assessments were conducted on the ship, evaluating operations and overall trends...
... Kuntz said Henry’s relief from the post was not attributable to a specific item or incident, but to overall trends.
“The conduct of operations fell short of high Navy standards,” Kuntz said. Operations on the submarine had been conducted at a safe level, Kuntz said, but were still enough of a concern that it brought about Henry’s relief of duty.
Only four months in command really doesn't seem like enough time for a CO to get a fair shake, so some pretty scary stuff must have happened. I don't know Commodore Wright, but I trust RADM McAneny to make the right call.

195 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to speculate, but it may to do with the improper loading of variable while inport that resulted in water in the Diesel. You will have to use your imagination to figure out how they got themselves in that situation.

12/21/2009 11:53 AM

 
Blogger fourfastboats said...

He had not been in command very long. Had to be fairly serious for him not to get a second chance.

12/21/2009 11:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't this guy the CSS-1 Eng several years back? Seemed pretty squared away then...

12/21/2009 2:36 PM

 
Blogger Edward Oskorep said...

This guy was my first Engineer. He was really squared away and got us through a refueling. He performed well during his SCC ops too.

12/21/2009 2:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

link to Navy Time article:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/12/gns_navy_buffalo_co_fired_122109/

12/21/2009 3:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'll admit to being confused by this one. Getting relieved after only 4 months, without a major event (i.e. grounding, collision, sleeping with the help)? How much of an asshat could he have been?

To me, getting relieved after so short of time based on general trends of performance means that the Navy thought the CO was flatly incompetent. In that case, how did he screen for command?

12/21/2009 4:05 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

Reports I've heard was the CO was liked by the crew & capable.

Water in the people tank = bad.

Preventable water in people tank while inport w/o a procedure=worse.

Putting water to the deckplates in AMR while inport by ingesting, causing the diesel to be ripped open & inspected for 2 weeks after saltwater intrustion, thus missing scheduled tasking=Awful.

Couple that w/ ruining an MG & RCP components due to failure in maintenance procedural compliance so a scheduled ORSE will happen at the pier vice underway=Loss of Confidence & DFC.

12/21/2009 4:44 PM

 
Blogger King said...

Honestly, I think many boats have had similar levels of incompetence come down without relieving the CO.

And after 4 months, it still at least partly the fault of his clearly incredibly lucky predecessor... who, of course, will screen for O6 and go on as if nothing bad ever happened...

12/21/2009 5:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the CO is responsible and should be held responsible, but, at the risk of inciting a riot, where the hell are the Chiefs that always claim they run the Navy? If the previous post is true, where were they ensuring the water didn't come in? Where were they ensuring that proper maintenance procedures are being followed?

Lots of COs going down lately, maybe rightly so, but what are the Chiefs doing to unscrew themselves? Hartford, Sonar Chief was one of the biggest offenders.

Just my thoughts...

12/21/2009 5:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a minute, King. His ring is probably only worn there for certain people to kiss. In that case, the admiral is being mighty considerate considering the usual alternative.

12/21/2009 5:55 PM

 
Anonymous WTF said...

Seriously, looks like CSS-15 lost the bubble on this one. Too much drinking the Kool-Aid and watching the ship's previous mission highlights to actually evaluate the state of procedural compliance and complacency onboard. AND DO THEIR JOB! Didn't do the "Wright" thing!

The flooded diesel (not through the induction system, but knee deep water in the AMR...) happened soon after the change of command.

That's why I'd guess that the TYCOM has the keys right now and has the senior supervisory watch stationed. Must suck to be a BUF sailor.

I'd hope that finally, the ISIC is held accountable too. If not, let's lower the bar a bit farther for CO firing, such as a mere BA on an ORSE or a close CPA (vice collision)

4 Months in Command? No DUI, sexual misconduct, or poor command climate? GIVE ME A BREAK!

If this is the new litmus test, I'd guess that the former ANNAPOLIS CO (brunner) is patting himself on the back for surviving a year! WTF

12/21/2009 6:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The submarine force is still coming to grips on what its mission is/was/will be based on decreasing funding, personnel shortages and overall "why would anyone want to do this for a living".

In the meantime they fall back to what they know, zero deficiancies, make no mistake or you done way of life.

Sad state of affairs that will probably not get better any time soon based on the current political climate.

The force will try to win some brownie points with the women in the force thing. This will probably gain some needed funding that's why tridents going to re-fuel will get the berthing conversion.

Money...it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better for the submarine force...sad but true.

12/21/2009 6:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:04 hits the nail on the head - slow death by resource starvation is the root cause of all this angst.

The sub force's current leaders should start talking to some survivors/victims of the early 90s drawdown. The next 5 years are going to hurt, but maybe the voice of experience might make the process hurt as little as possible.

12/21/2009 6:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider CDR Henry a close personal friend and can confirm that he is a highly competent and sound submarine officer. I went through SCC with him. He is a leader whose demeanor may not be as type "A" as Commodore Wright would like, but I can guarantee his crew would go to war with him. Shame on CSS-15 and Adm McAneny. Four months on the job! Give me a break. I hope the Commodore goes down with him at a minimum. This type of leadership is par for the course with the great Admiral though. Good luck Chris. You deserved better shipmate.

12/21/2009 6:30 PM

 
Anonymous Hummmm said...

Anon 12/21/2009 6:30 PM said

"He is a leader whose demeanor may not be as type "A" as Commodore Wright would like..."

Well, wright should know a type "A" ASS HAT "leader" when he looks in the mirror.

He had similar issues on HELENA as CO when Commodore McAneny was his Commodore. He didn't get fired and has been promoted to his highest level of incompetence - hopefully.

Hummmm

12/21/2009 6:50 PM

 
Blogger King said...

Isn't retention bad enough that the sub force can't fire people indefinitely anyway?

12/21/2009 7:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I like to lurk here and watch the O-gangers throw bobbie pins at each other, I have to agree with anonymous @5:45 PM. I have no idea what really happened to make CSS-15 pull the trigger but I also have to wander where the goat locker was on this. Was the chief a-ganger involved in loading the variable ballast? (As a safety watch as a minimum) Was it an off watch section evolution? Why did it take 2 weeks to inspect the diesel? RCP and MG maintenance-where were the M-div and E-div chiefs and Bull Nuke?

If the Goat Locker doesn't have a hard core "take no prisoners" attitude then these kind of things are going to continue to happen! I don't mean a chickenshit PC watch over your shoulder type of standards but a no nonsense this is the way it's done example. These kind of things don't happen in a couple months after COC. It's attitude and climate that has built up (or down) over time. Don't reinvent the wheel and add more requirements. Go back to basics. Do it right, do it now and then hit the beach with a clear conscience. ( And NO! we're not staying for Eng Dept training!!)

panamared
A-ganger
Ain't no slack in Fast Attack !!!

12/21/2009 7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems on the boat obviously pre-date the change of command. The chiefs and DHs were not doing their jobs. But you can't fire the goat locker or a DH. There are no chiefs to replace them, and Sub Force has missed DH numbers for the last two years, so you can't fire a DH.

Sub Force problems lie at the top. McAneny has a long history, but Donnelly is the ring leader. The decline on his watch has been pathetic. If he would stop trying to take care of all of his friends and former shipmates, the force might have a chance. The list of tier one incidents and other problems has been recounted many times in this forum, no need to rehash here. If Donnelly were a CO, he'd be fired.

Just look at his commodores (past and present): "I hit a pier while on the bridge" Foggo, "Bi-polar Bob but I won a Stockdale award anyway" Burke, "Can't keep in in my pants" Bawden, and now Wright, to name a few. Wright is obviously in line for stars.

If you are a JO, get out when you can, Sub Force has lost the bubble and is screaming past test depth with a 20 degree down angle.

12/21/2009 8:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wright is obviously in line for stars."

Well yeah...it makes sense right? Captain Wright, I mean Commodore Wright, and his staff failed to note the problems on the Buffalo that had likely been building for several months but he had the "stones" to fire a new skipper who hadn't had time to change anything. That is "leadership 101" the Donald-Donnelly way! Bring on the stars!

12/21/2009 8:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:30 PM,

"He is a leader whose demeanor may not be as type "A" as Commodore Wright would like, but I can guarantee his crew would go to war with him."

Perhaps the only type "A" Commodore Wright and the hierarchy like now is USN"A".

You see, unlike the naval grads of any other college, USNA grads have all been pre-programmed and disciplined to the full equality of women. The latter are the clear but not yet present danger to U.S. leadership in submarine operations.

Outside-Insider

12/21/2009 9:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God help all of us that are still trying to do this job. It's already hard enough without having to worry about getting fired for what is becoming less and less serious issues. And if the top brass are looking out for USNA guys...they better start worrying. I don't know a lot of those guys staying in either. I am sure the whole USNA voluntelling some of its guy to go subs isn't helping improve retention.

Has the submariner's spirit been broken...and the guys at the top don't even see it?

12/21/2009 10:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only four months in command. Give me a break. That's not enough time for a DFC without a tier one event or misbehavior.

I have to agree with other posters - where are the CPOs on this ship? - and what is CSS-15 doing besides watching three SSNs and a tender?

The previous CO is selected for CAPTAIN and SCREENED FOR MAJOR COMMAND.

12/21/2009 11:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about a shitty turnover. For you guys that are post-tour CO's, this must make your skin crawl, the thought of walking into this type of situation.

12/22/2009 5:41 AM

 
Blogger chief torpedoman said...

Here are Commodore Wright's own words spoken at the change of command ceremony in August.

The keynote speaker during the ceremony, Capt. Douglas E. Wright, commander, Submarine Squadron 15, said it was a great honor to serve with Pappano.

"My standard is simple…which boat would I feel most confident in sending in harm's way. I would gladly serve under you (Pappano) in combat," said Wright. "You would take me to the toughest places we can operate, get the job done in a combat environment and bring me back home again to reload for the next mission. You are exactly what the submarine force needs in a senior leader."

So according to his own words, everything bad must have happened in the last four months becasue everything good happened before then.

Are we to believe his words or did he lay on a bunch of BS?

12/22/2009 6:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the category of its a small subforce Henry relieved Brunner (ANP) as XO on 688. That was definitely a major upgrade.

12/22/2009 6:33 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

Gotta go with the posters questioning the presence of the divisional Chiefs here. In my eyes, maintenance failures fall squarely on their backs. The Chief sets the standard for maintenance excellence and procedural compliance within his division, in spite of what the CO, XO and Engineer thinks. If the Chief isn't enforcing those standards, then they aren't happening, plain and simple. No question that the ultimate responsibility lies with the CO, it is his ship after all. In no way at all does that excuse the Chiefs' lack of involvement in his division.

In my eyes, it appears that a couple of Chiefs were running their divisions from the Goat locker, and should be seeking new employment long before the Captain gets DFC.

12/22/2009 6:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CPOs were definetely absent, but you can't fire a single chief let alone multiple chiefs...no replacements!!! Same goes for department heads.

I would say that current submarine leadership, Commodores and up have definetely broken the spirit of the force! Time to get out, or if your lucky, retire.

12/22/2009 6:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having retired from the Navy last year after 26 years in, I haven't been on a boat since I left the Bama in 2006. I do keep in contact with many shipmates who all say the same thing when I talk to them....be glad you retired. After reading all the crap that is going on, THANK GOODNESS I did retire. The submarine force has been declining for years since the 80s and it is still going down.
For the maintenace issues, I ask the same questions.....where were the Chiefs. The CPO quarters have been declining also. Many Chiefs not up to the tasks of being a Chief. Ever since the mid 80s whent he CNO made it only nuclear officers would serve on subs, the fun and excitement of submarinng has been declining. I had a CO that initially qualified on subs as a GSO. He was told, go to nuke school or find another career path. So he went to nuke school. Good CO. He could shoot torpedoes, do well on inspections and treated the crew with respect. He left, we got a nuke and the boat went to hell. This CO couldn't shoot torpedoes, hence failed TRE, and two upgrade type TREs by squadron. The only thing the kept him from being DFC was we went in the shipyard.
Submarining isn't fun anymore. When I mean by fun, going to sea used to be exciting, missions were exciting, WESTPACs were exciting. Now its get underway to either get ready for an inspection or get underway for an inspection. WESTPAC is nothing more than a 6 month work up for ORSE!

JMO
STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

12/22/2009 7:59 AM

 
Blogger FTC(SS) ret. said...

I will agree with the apparent lack of CPO leadership but it's easy to sit in judgement from the sidelines.

Are there Chiefs onboard for those divisions? Didn't used to be unusual at all to have empty bunks in the Goat Locker.

Lots of comments about the CO having a different "style" than the Commodore. Is it possible that his reaction to the incident(s) is what got him fired? Maybe he didn't do what the Commodore thought he should've done (fire, kill, demote someone) and it was those actions, or lack of, that got him fired.

Hard to know but like it's already been said, four months ain't very long to be in command.

12/22/2009 8:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key issue is not the Buffalo's C.O. Sure, there were mistakes made but not to the extent of firing him with only 4 months onboard.

The root cause is Squadron 15. There are a bunch of asshats in command out there without the resources or knowledge base to run a submarine squadron. There is pretty much ZERO maintenance support for the guys stationed out there and they do not recieve sufficient training on their systems to be self sufficient. Squadron 15 ignores the problem and then wonders why C.O. firings and groundings occur.

12/22/2009 8:08 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I consider CDR Henry a close personal friend and can confirm that he is a highly competent and sound submarine officer. I went through SCC with him. He is a leader whose demeanor may not be as type "A" as Commodore Wright would like, but I can guarantee his crew would go to war with him. Shame on CSS-15 and Adm McAneny."

McAneny (aka Little Napoleon) has been a putz since at least his days as XO on the 677.

12/22/2009 8:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, anyone who says WESTPAC operations are not exciting or operationally fun has not been on WESTPAC recently. Business on WESTPAC is good. That is one place we know what our job is and there is plenty to do and Group 7 let's you do your job without micro-management. But that is not the problem here.

The problem is a paranoid leadership above the CO level culminating in a very paranoid four star at NR. The zero defect mentality is driving CO's to rule with an iron fist or be sent packing. However, in the wake of the Hampton no CO wants to be labeled as the next screamer that "causes" his sailors to gun deck logs because you will get fired for that just as quickly. So you have to walk a very tight line between driving high standards but not driving your crew into the ground. It's not easy and it's not fun, but it's the only way to succeed.
Chris Henry is a nice guy. Maybe too nice to effectively turn around a boat that was lead to low standards of day to day operations by the previous CO. He should have been given a full 12 months to turn the boat around. That's the time frame that Donald at least told us he would give us all to either make things better or be fired. To me that's a fair amount of time to impact the crew. Four months is not enough time to change a culture of poor standards. Henry is a victim of paranoid leadership and I feel for him. The rest of us are saying to ourselves "If Doug Sampson and Chris Henry get fired for non-tier one events, who's next?"

12/22/2009 10:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks...I may be a little off track on this, but my gut is telling me we are looking at the remaking of what the submarine fleet was prior to 07 DEC 1941

While a lack of good night optics, good working torpedos, and a sudden surprise when the Japanese did business different from the tactics the Force trained was bad enough...the Force was full of guys that had no business being on a sub. (Example: USS Wahoo's days before Mush Morton) At least back then you could send those clowns back to the destroyer fleet.

Today, it seems you can only promote them to get rid of them. You have a lot of guys that never get a shot at command due to some missing check in the box, and a bunch of guys that you have to wonder how they remember to breathe much less command a ship. And when we actually fire someone, alot of people are left standing around wondering "why him?" I don't have the details of what happened with BUFFALO, but the trend is alarming. I don't know if it will take WWIII or a boat going to the bottom to finally make someone at the helm wakeup.

Lord knows I never want either to happen, but, when we are more worried about banning smoking and putting women on ships, the end result is not looking bright. If the people on high are worried about politics, then they need to worry about the crews coming back home alive. The alternative would be a political monster compared to all the feminist groups out there.

On another note...anyone heard of the concept of "promotion by attrition." I overheard some guys talking about it the other day. With this post, I find it fitting. It boils down to this: "Your boss (one of those you just have to wonder about) got to where he is because all the good guys either quit or got fired."

With only four months on the job...I would love to hear the Commodore explain this one. Maybe something really bad happened...but I think we would have heard about it already. Let's hope things don't get so bad that COs start facing command tours shorter than the lifespan of an Army 2LT in Vietnam.

12/22/2009 11:07 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

I will agree with the apparent lack of CPO leadership but it's easy to sit in judgement from the sidelines.

FTC,

Yes, it is certainly easy to judge from the cheap seats. I know you are right about it not being uncommon in days past for a boat to be short-handed Chiefs. My last year on my first boat, we had no EMC, one ETC (Bull Nuke), and no MMC nuke. We First Class LPO's depended heavily on the MMC A-ganger, and the bull nuke for leadership assistance and guidance, but we were the technical experts. We survived and actually did ok on our ORSE (AA). One thing I learned from that experience was how important a fully involved Chief is to the success of a division. I'm not there so I can't say, but I would be willing to bet BUFFALO possessed an EMC and MMC(A). If they were there, they shoulder the majority of the responsibility for the maintenance issues that are being reported. I still maintain that the Chief, not the CO, sets the standard for maintenance excellence in his division. If the Chief accepts substandard maintenance, that's what the boat will get.

All in all, this is a damn shame. Too many Captains are losing their commands, and thus careers, and too many boats are going through needless upheaval.

Yes, I'm glad I retired when I did, but I still miss it from time to time. It was too much a part of my life for 26 years to just forget. That's mainly why I come here.

12/22/2009 11:38 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decline in the leadership of the CPO quarters is a continuing trend. Unfortunately, there are three kinds of chiefs. Those who crare about their men, those who care about themselves, and those who don't care at all. I have watched several good chiefs be burned out and ruined by command politics and scapegoating. Some chiefs will eat their own too, by selling out their shipmates when it is politically convienient. Some assclowns will even go so far as to watch their brethern fail and do nothing because that failed chief is one less competitor for that EP. The CPO quarters is slowly becomming the wardroom, where leadership is just another pretty word we use to sound importaint and impress the old man. The sailors can sense this too. They aren't stupid. Sailors follow good leaders. Many of our fellow CPOs now are not leaders, but opportunists and assclowns who care only of themselves, or worse, are so burned out from politics and BS that they just don't give a sh!t anymore, and that is sad. Dysfunctional chiefs = Dysfunctional boat.

12/22/2009 11:44 AM

 
Anonymous SubIcon said...

Man, stuff like this makes my dolphins feel like they weigh fifty pounds. Reminds me why I'm glad to be on shore duty for the moment.

Other than name BUFFALO their current Battle 'E' boat back in January, what exactly has CSS15 done to support the command up to this point? Objective evidence says that whatever "help" they've provided, it's been inadequate and/or ineffective. Time to fire another O5... apparently only mid-grade officers have any responsibility for performance.

Funny how we have so many individual anomalies but no systemic problem.

12/22/2009 1:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how Joel can't post a topic on this blog without some nimrod chiming in about how the issue at hand is somehow:

connected to,
due to,
happening in preparation for, or
the result of,
ahem,

the "women are coming to submarines" issue.

12/22/2009 1:45 PM

 
Anonymous anon e. moose said...

CO BUF was my SQENG, then XO. He was a major improvement over the previous XO, and a very squared away ship driver. Top of the list of men I would 'sail in harm's way' with.

The Submarine Force lost a great CO out on the tip of the spear here.

12/22/2009 1:50 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

The decline in the leadership of the CPO quarters is a continuing trend. Unfortunately, there are three kinds of chiefs. Those who crare about their men, those who care about themselves, and those who don't care at all. I have watched several good chiefs be burned out and ruined by command politics and scapegoating. Some chiefs will eat their own too, by selling out their shipmates when it is politically convienient. Some assclowns will even go so far as to watch their brethern fail and do nothing because that failed chief is one less competitor for that EP. The CPO quarters is slowly becomming the wardroom, where leadership is just another pretty word we use to sound importaint and impress the old man. The sailors can sense this too. They aren't stupid. Sailors follow good leaders. Many of our fellow CPOs now are not leaders, but opportunists and assclowns who care only of themselves, or worse, are so burned out from politics and BS that they just don't give a sh!t anymore, and that is sad. Dysfunctional chiefs = Dysfunctional boat.

Don't kid yourself, none of this is recent news. The CPO quarters is a cross-section of society as much as any other group. There are true leaders, true followers, and self-serving asses in the quarters just like any other group. The great CPO quarters out there learn who is who, and compensate.

Sailors need to quit "sensing" this if this is truly the case, and focus on what part they play in their own success, and ultimately the success of the ship. Too much emphasis gets placed on who is jacked up, and not enough on what can I do better.

12/22/2009 2:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the "women are coming to submarines" issue."


I think you have that backwards, women are coming because of the issues Joel posts about.

There is a known man shortage. The sub force needs a viable personnel source if are to stay a threat.

12/22/2009 2:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noted a headline (Navy Times) last week at the NEX that a large number (10?) of MCPONs (force level?) have been fired recently. Concur that CPO community probably may be culpabile in this instance, but what's the backstop? This could get butt ugly...top to bottom in the khaki ranks.

12/22/2009 2:31 PM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I have been retired for over twenty years and twenty five years from my command tour. The comments I above have me very concerned about the submarine force. The loading of variable ballast in port was not something that a CO had to worry about in my time. The Chiefs and the Ship's Diving Officer (Generally the overworked and underappreciated A Div/DCA) worried about those details. To CO's job was to run interferance with the Squadron and the Tender to get the support needed for his troops. The ENG and the OPS officer ran the upkeep with the XO and the COB providing backup. Nowdays, I am sure the WEPS also has to play a larger role. It is possible that the CO got relieved just because he ran interferance in a manner that crossed the Commodore. One of my contemporaries, who was a highly regarded officer, crossed the breakers with a COMSUBLANT Rep while in the shipyard and lost his job as CO because he did not see his ship's "problems" in the same light as the CSL REP. Although I have never discussed it with him, I suspect that he never regreted standing up to the senior Captain. In the current case, I have to agree with those wondering where the Goat Locker was during all of this. We all know that Water in the People Tank is a big NONO so the Chiefs should have been paying attention to the evolution. The real story here must hold some serious lessons learned since it led to the CO being fired. "Recently a ship of this force...."

12/22/2009 2:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scary thing is that a lot of people who post and read this blog are active duty or recently active and still remain close to the force.

This is different than places like Rontini's BBS where the crowd is a little more "seasoned" and set in their ways.

This blog tends to give a digital picture of the current situation instead of the "polaroid" picture that the older crowd provides. I am not knocking one or the other and both provide a vital service. Just and interesting observation.

The Buffalo CO being fired is just a small annoyance compared to the real issues such as those decribed in earlier posts.

12/22/2009 2:32 PM

 
Blogger FTC(SS) ret. said...

630-738 I completely agree with you and the anon @ 1144.

Even if there isn't a Chief in those divisions where were the other Chiefs? On Trident we never had a TMC so I always owned the TM's. When we twice lost our STSC, I owned them too. Same when we lost our A-gang Chief. M-div Chief stepped up, etc. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

So my question now is ( and yes I'm sitting in the cheap seats) where were the other Chiefs? Where was the COB?

12/22/2009 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

This just sucks and until more information surfaces it will only be speculation on the reasons why. The submarine force has always been tough on COs, but this is insane because 4 months in not enough time to get to know your people and what they are capable of. I had a CO hit a buoy on his first underway and he didn't lose his job (looking back it may not have been a bad thing, but that is another story). Good boats overcome issues, bad boats keep stepping on their crank. This CO may be a casualty of the previous command climate.

12/22/2009 4:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous command climate was AWESOME. Any sailor or officer would have taken a bullet for cdr pappano (co), xo, eng, or nav, weps was iffy, but thats a different story. Majority of cpos were great and edmc was a stud. Battle e, no orse problems, and the pacific work horse.

12/22/2009 4:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome xo mentioned above was kerr not the current one

12/22/2009 4:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad to see the awesome boat that I was lucky to be a part of fall apart so quickly. To say that it is the fault of the previous leadership without any knowledge of the boat is completely ignorant. CDR Pappano was an incredible CO. The previous Eng was probably the most competent submariner I have ever met. As for the chiefs, the EDMC was solid and the previous A-gang chief is a submarine legend. The EMC, well, you could certainly argue that he should have been fired a LONG time ago.

I am honestly not surprised to see maintenance issues though. There was almost an entire turnover in the wardroom within a few short months, and I could be wrong but I am pretty sure there were some senior enlisted people leaving around that time too. Combine that turnover with the fact that the boat had been run at such a ridiculous operational schedule for so long and you get the result that most of the crew either isn't experienced at those evolutions or hasn't done it in a long time. It shouldn't really be a shock that mistakes were made. I'm not saying its right, but it certainly doesn't come as a surprise to me either.

12/22/2009 5:21 PM

 
Anonymous Hummmm said...

"Cmdr. Christopher Henry, who took command of the submarine Aug. 7, was relieved as a precautionary measure, said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Kuntz, spokesman for Submarine Group 7 in Japan."

I thought a "DFC" stood for Detachment For Cause" - has the Navy endorsed the "DFPM" - Detached For Precautionary Measures? What a load of Crap and Ass covering.


The Guam boats are supposed to get preferential detailing with both the wardrooms and CPO quarters. Are PERS-42 and PERS-403 asleep on watch?

Hummmmm

12/22/2009 5:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really worry about the precedent that this case establishes and what it says and means for those serving in our Submarine Force, particularly to those aspiring to command.

You do not get to be selected to serve as a Squadron Engineer unless you have done well as an Engineer onboard a ship. He did well as XO on an operational SSN.

The Guam based SSNs are Forward Deployed Naval Forces. Being homeported in Guam presents a unique set of challenges, not the least of which is that it is a tough sell to get good people to go there. Throw in the maintenance challenges (often having a lower priority to the deployed SSNs and SSGNs), needing to always be ready to get u/w to avoid a typhoon (leaving families behind) and demanding opeations for good measure.

The fact that CDR Henry was assigned as a CO meant that the Submarine Force felt that he had demonstrated the ability to succeed in this demanding assignment. The fact that he failed in just four months warrants further review - and the review should not be limited to what happened within the pressure hull of USS BUFFALO. Not to do so would be a grave injustice.

12/22/2009 6:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:45 PM,

"...Joel can't post a topic on this blog without some nimrod chiming in about...the "women are coming to submarines" issue.

I have merely suggested an emergent pattern here. All one needs do to confirm its legitimacy take one's head out of that place and wait.

Here is the suggested pattern, again: USNA grads are uniquely pre-programmed to treat women as equals, even when women fall short of being equals.

An anonymous academy grad like you (male / female?) might care to answer an obvious question regarding women: Why submarines crews before tank crews?!

Should I answer for you? Public perception of submariners since I served has taken a very deep dive. In other words, too many of you are letting the Marines get away with what they have always done -calling submariners pussies. - We never let it stick, because, well, we were not.

Outside-Insider

12/22/2009 6:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

403 isn't asleep but to my knowledge wasn't giving any extra attention to BUFFALO (until very recently) any more than any other FDNF platforms.

This 'preferential detailing' you speak of is a misnomer. The preference is basically making sure that Sailors being detailed there meet all the MILPERSMAN requirements. Those can be found in Articles 1300-1302.

The other extra attention FDNF boats DO get is a higher priority in keeping up manning percentages, filling gaps faster (when possible) & making sure the screenings are finished before cutting the orders - but NPC doesn't do the screenings.

If there are no obvious flags (like EFM, FAP, etc) & the screenings are done, NPC isn't to blame. The preference portion is that married non-quals, custody battle situations, etc, don't get sent there.

Unplanned losses are a fleet problem everywhere - the distribution side has limited inventory to send & almost never has a ready asset to send when someone gets fired on the enlisted side.

The enlisted guys that get fired over this (& talking to CSS-15 there is more fallout to come) will get replaced by whoever is available or whoever can be coaxed into volunteering to terminate shore duty. A 3yr trip to Guam on a known 'problem' boat is a hard-sell. In the meantime, Squadron/NSSC is supposed to fill w/ staff personnel.

12/22/2009 6:40 PM

 
Anonymous ex-721elt said...

WTF is going on with the Submarine Force these days? All these COs getting relieved and crews getting in trouble . . . has that much talent left and have things really gotten that sh**ty? Something needs to happen and somebody needs to wake up before we have another Thresher on our hands . . . the most dangerous part of the iceberg is the big ass chunk you can't see . . . funding's always being cut, manning has always been low, and "women on boats" has been coming for the last 20 years - excuses are like assholes - somebody needs to pull their head out and focus on the issue - and quick - before we lose a whole boat & crew.

12/22/2009 7:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is the Anon posting at 3:%4 possibly the BUFFALO WEPS that is stuck as the permanent SSW? Maybe not...but calling almost everyone senior in the WR a "douche" is a hefty charge.

Enlighten us on what you (anon at 3:54) tried to do to prevent some of these things from happening? You spent time in that people tank. You describe a lot of serious problems that risk the ship. I would hope you tried to stop something serious from happening. Or have you become the person that only looks out for #1 or stopped caring all together?

12/22/2009 7:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone said:

Here is the suggested pattern, again: USNA grads are uniquely pre-programmed to treat women as equals, even when women fall short of being equals.

No different than any of us treating the worthless JO or spineless CPO as our superior.

My apologies to those of you out there that were competent JOs or who still had their spines after the initiation.

12/22/2009 7:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something to think about also . . the previous ENG on BUF is now the current SQUENG at CSS 15 . . hmmmmm....

12/22/2009 7:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Something to think about also . . the previous ENG on BUF is now the current SQUENG at CSS 15 . . hmmmmm...."

Oh, it keep getting better! I am sure that guy was seriously overworked with only three boats to keep track of. I would like to know what he was doing "to help." After all, that is what squadron is supposed to do...if anything, they should have uncovered something juicy to prevent something bad from happening. Looks like even the squadron help failed to come though.

Hey, I wonder if he pulled anything like another SQENG that went downt to his old boat after transferring and hit a bunch of stuff that was his fault. That was classic when I heard about it.

12/22/2009 8:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very unfortunate news about CDR Henry. With only 4 months in the job, he inherited the problems and 4 months is not enough time to change the culture and address the systemic issues. Best of Luck to him and his family.

12/22/2009 8:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:46 PM said,

[Treating women as equals, even when women fall short of being equals is...]

"No different than any of us treating the worthless JO or spineless CPO as our superior."

Hmmm! Women who do not meet the standards of men are equivalent to inferior superiors.

Anon, your freudian slip is showing on that one.

Outside-Insider

12/22/2009 8:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With only 4 months in the job, he inherited the problems and 4 months is not enough time to change the culture and address the systemic issues."

What I find hilarous is that our Commander in Chief gets a pass on that all the time...with all the Bush problems he inherited. I guess that excuse is now reserved for the President only...Navy COs need to apply anymore.

Well, looks like the Navy has raised the standard to only the born-perfect will make it to the top. Once a normal guy (uh, and ladies now) makes a mistake...he (or she...this will take getting used to) gets the boot.

12/22/2009 9:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I guess that excuse is now reserved for the President only...Navy COs need to apply anymore."

Correction to my last...that should read "Navy COs need NOT apply anymore."

12/22/2009 9:05 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Had to delete a comment. Remember, don't mention any NNPI-specific terms that may be related to the issue at hand.

12/22/2009 10:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead, does this memory hole technology work on trolls too?

12/22/2009 11:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rootcause: the great co micromanaged the shit out of everything and created a horrible working environment. 4 short months was long enough for the crew to check out and stop caring.

12/23/2009 4:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a retired Senior Chief and former COB I concur with the comments regarding CPO oversight. Things like this do not happen unless supervision at the CPO level is absent or lax. Regarding the manpower shortage issues - can someone expand on that? Is it that bad? I'd happily go back.
OldCOB

12/23/2009 5:41 AM

 
Anonymous ShoreJO said...

Every boat has some dark days. This blog helps me remember mine so I don't accidentally sign a contract.

Although it would be an incredible challenge to be a department head, it seems we just teach to the tests. Deployments (the pinnacle of our peacetime ops) are too infrequent to justify the pain endured the rest of the cycle.

12/23/2009 6:25 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

The enlisted guys that get fired over this (& talking to CSS-15 there is more fallout to come) will get replaced by whoever is available or whoever can be coaxed into volunteering to terminate shore duty. A 3yr trip to Guam on a known 'problem' boat is a hard-sell. In the meantime, Squadron/NSSC is supposed to fill w/ staff personnel.

Guam may be a hard sell, but for a hard-charger Chief looking to improve his stock, a known "problem" boat should be pretty enticing. I'll use my own experience. I was cross decked from one SSN to another after the loss of 6 senior nukes including EMC and ETC. They had fallen into the trap of making up continuing training exams, and assigning "designated failures". They got caught by NRRO (shipyard), and subsequently canned. The boat was considered a "troubled" boat. I came onboard as a fresh Chief, quickly found a young, inexperienced yet talented division. With a little experience and guidance, they did very well, and I reaped the benefits.

Guam? Can't fix location. Never been there, but I have heard good and bad.

12/23/2009 7:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm! Women who do not meet the standards of men are equivalent to inferior superiors.

No, nimrod. Women who do not meet the standards of the Navy are equivalent to all those inferior superiors who don't meet the standards either.

12/23/2009 7:53 AM

 
Anonymous Ex ANAV/COB said...

I know this is OFF TOPIC, but I had to share with all of you. I was reading an article on Russiansentry.com WRT the sinking of the KURSK. I included an excerpt form the article. Of particlar note is the comment about the Mk-48. Read and enjoy.
French film-maker Jean-Michel Carre analyzed this version in his documentary titled "Kursk: A Submarine in Troubled Waters" (2005). According to the documentary, the two above-mentioned US submarines were watching Kursk. Toledo approached too close, and Memphis launched a torpedo against Kursk to prevent the attack from the Russian sub. Both Memphis and Toledo were supposedly damaged in the maneuvers and underwent repairs in Norway and Britain. Official spokespeople for the US, British and Norwegian authorities rejected the information, Pravda.Ru reports.

The version from the documentary film is the version I believe to be true. It was very odd that the US ship ended up in a port with mysterious, unexplained damage...that is a fact that people are trying to cover up.

"A US military source in the documentary declares the hole to be the trademark evidence of an American MK-48 torpedo, which is made to melt cleanly through steel sheet due to a mechanism at its tip that combusts copper.

The film suggests the attack happened while two US submarines, the Toledo and Memphis, were shadowing the Kursk in a routine military exercise.

The documentary says the Toledo accidentally collided with the Kursk, at which point the Russian submarine opened its torpedo tubes, leading to an attack from the Memphis, which was protecting the damaged Toledo while it retreated.

The cause of the sinking was covered up at the time in an act of diplomacy between then US presidents Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin - a deal that included the cancellation of $US10 billion ($12.5 billion) of Russian debt, the film states."
Here is the link to read the entire article:
http://www.russiansentry.com/?area=postView&id=1526

12/23/2009 8:08 AM

 
Blogger Tyson Van said...

"Something to think about also . . the previous ENG on BUF is now the current SQUENG at CSS 15 . . hmmmmm...."

Oh, it keep getting better! I am sure that guy was seriously overworked with only three boats to keep track of. I would like to know what he was doing "to help." After all, that is what squadron is supposed to do...if anything, they should have uncovered something juicy to prevent something bad from happening. Looks like even the squadron help failed to come though.

Hey, I wonder if he pulled anything like another SQENG that went downt to his old boat after transferring and hit a bunch of stuff that was his fault. That was classic when I heard about it."


I'll try to keep this tame but I have to step in on this one:
I love all that you guys are trying to insinuate from all of this limited information and without knowing any of the people involved. I was on the boat with the old command. I left a couple of months before all of the turnovers. To try and say the Eng/Squeng is an incompetent slacker and hitting people for his mistakes is ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself. The truth is that he is an INCREDIBLE submariner, incredibly competent, and an all around great guy. The sub force is lucky to have him and if more people were like him it would be a much better place and we would have more people staying in (myself included).

You people can sit there and play armchair quarterback all you want, but be careful trying to trash the people involved without the details. If you weren't there, you have no right to do so.

12/23/2009 8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You people can sit there and play armchair quarterback all you want, but be careful trying to trash the people involved without the details. If you weren't there, you have no right to do so."

I agree...and it looks like that SQENG may be going back at least for a short time.

What I would like to know are some details as to what happened. It's true that we shouldn't "armchair quarterback" this, but how are we going to prevent similar things from happening with knowing some details. I still haven't heard anything solid about all the happenings on LA JOLLA or ANNAPOLIS. Something bad enough to cause people's heads to roll, and now a CO goes in only four months!

I hope someone decides to put the word out...despite popular belief, most submariners aren't mind readers.

12/23/2009 9:11 AM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Unless standard procedures have changed in the past twenty five years, I am sure that there is/was and informal JAG investigation conducted on what ever occurred and that the Force Commander will send out a "Recently a Ship of This Force..." classified message that will lay out the lessons learned. Obviously, and correctly, we will and should not read about that message on this blog (or any other unclassified forum). There is a good reason that ORSE reports are classified documents.

12/23/2009 9:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:53 AM,

"Women who do not meet the standards of the Navy are equivalent to all those inferior superiors who don't meet the standards either."

Seriously doubt that you comprehend the import of your stated standard, but it also makes inferior women equivalent to their substandard Navy peers and inferiors, not just their "superiors" . Why are you so stubbornly loathe to admit the lesser equivalents?

Try thinking about it without so much emotion, it should become clearer to you.

12/23/2009 9:51 AM

 
Blogger King said...

For all the people saying how great the old CO/ENG/Command Climate was and how this couldn't possibly be any of their faults: The same things were said about the Greeneville and its CO prior to surfacing under that Japanese trawler...

So is it a case of the new CO just not living up to the old one, or perhaps the awesome personality of the old CO helped cover up the fact that his boat was deeply screwed up and no one bothered to look too deep?

12/23/2009 10:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like the old saying.."Behind every good man is a good woman...." The same is true for every command. Behind every good CO (or enter any position) is a good XO, DEPT HDs, Officers, COB, Chiefs, PO1s, PO2s, PO3s. Enter your fav. It goes right down the chian of command. No command is ever successful because the CO is a great guy. They are successful because all the players are involved.

So to blame any one firing or grouding or collision on one person is incorrect.

I have been at may outstanding commands and really shitty ones. The can be attributed to one person, but it is usually the players below that affect the overall performance of the crew. So for this CO's firing, yes where were the Chiefs, and the XO and the DEPT HD and the JOs and PO1s???

STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

12/23/2009 10:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Someone said:

Here is the suggested pattern, again: USNA grads are uniquely pre-programmed to treat women as equals, even when women fall short of being equals.

No different than any of us treating the worthless JO or spineless CPO as our superior."

I guess that's indicative of how far the force has fallen - in the 80s and 90s we wouldn't treat a worthless JO or spineless superior "as our superior." At least on my boat, the rank didn't get you respect or even a salute. If you didn't cut the mustard, you were simply ignored, or told to "Go fu@k yourself, SIR."

12/23/2009 10:56 AM

 
Blogger Tyson Van said...

So is it a case of the new CO just not living up to the old one, or perhaps the awesome personality of the old CO helped cover up the fact that his boat was deeply screwed up and no one bothered to look too deep?

The Greenville issues were more caused by the CO being relied upon as the only one with the answer and everyone being too scared to speak up. That certainly was not the case under the old CO, so I don't think you can make the same comparison here. The boat didn't have an environment where you had to be perfect, but it also far from had low standards.

Like I said when people were trying to trash the Eng, if you weren't there and don't have the facts, don't try to trash the people. I'm not saying they were perfect, and the official critique may find some old practices had some effect. The difference there is that the official critique will have actual knowledge. But for someone with no actual information to sit here and try to talk bad about real people that I am close too, I won't let it stand. Talk about the big picture of the submarine force and how this affects it, talk about how "back in the day we were so much more awesome", but unless you know the people, don't even start to trash them.

12/23/2009 11:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...we will and should not read about that message on this blog (or any other unclassified forum)."

I understand that we shouldn't here the details on this blog (like how one anon poster posting NNPI on here). But, I, and many of my peers haven't seen much on the high side. Let's hope the word gets out soon (on the appropriate forum of course).

12/23/2009 11:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but unless you know the people, don't even start to trash them."

75% of the people on this blog routinely trash people when they don't have any of the facts. Many people talk out of their a$$. Always have, always will.

12/23/2009 11:54 AM

 
Blogger Bailey said...

Anon 9:51- Your negative outlook on women in the sub force seems to be based on your belief that (1) women are less competent than men in the military or that (2) their incompetence is more widely tolerated in the fleet. This may hold some truth but still does not discount the potential benefit to the submarine force if it properly utilizes those capable, quality women who- brace yourself- actually do exist in the military (gasp!). The submarine force complains about being stretched thin but completely fails to utilize this pool of personnel. Of course incompetence should not be tolerated in any person- whether that person be male or female. So, the practical way ahead for the undermanned submarine force is to utilize females in the military while holding them to a high standard.

"Here is the suggested pattern, again: USNA grads are uniquely pre-programmed to treat women as equals, even when women fall short of being equals."

BTW, I think your argument would be more effective and true if you said that capable male USNA grads shouldn't treat incapable female grads as their equals. But they should certainly treat capable females as their equals. Why shouldn't they?

12/23/2009 12:50 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Anon @10:56

"I guess that's indicative of how far the force has fallen - in the 80s and 90s we wouldn't treat a worthless JO or spineless superior 'as our superior.' At least on my boat, the rank didn't get you respect or even a salute."

Exactly right. That is the submarine service I remember from the 60s and 70s, too.

Apparently the skimmer navy has successfully co-opted submarines as a smallish, "lower branch" of their surface navy. It will be absorbed, conformed and become just as regimented in formality (e.g. submarine warfare insignia is new term for dolphins, will lose more of its unique traditions just like drinking your dolphins, and the relatively informal officer-enlisted environment will finally be killed by the introduction of women, pregnancies and their allied problems.

These skimmer policies (called 'modernizations' by libbers and lawyers) may attract some to submarine service or have exactly the opposite effect.

For certain, I would never have volunteered for underwater navy run with skimmer formalities, nor would most of the great officers and enlisted who served with me.

I would never trade my unique, submarine service experience, and regret others will soon not have that chance. If this backfires on male volunteerism, as many expect, the navy may regret the move even more; there can be no undoing them.

12/23/2009 1:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BTW, I think your argument would be more effective and true if you said that capable male USNA grads shouldn't treat incapable female grads as their equals. But they should certainly treat capable females as their equals. Why shouldn't they?"

Answer: Vagina does not equal balls. No amount of dyking it up can overcome simple biology. Compensate however you wish, but men and women are different. Women do not belong in any potential combat unit. Period.

12/23/2009 2:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spirit of the submariner has been broken in most cases, and the CPOs are at fault for most of the downward trends in the fleet. Few CPOs seem to care about their guys, and it's all about command politics. Sure, you can say the new guys in the fleet are from a different generation and are "soft" but that is completely untrue. We feel like we have to live up to the huge expectations of those that came before us, but we can't fill their shoes with all of the micro-management and worrying about making senior chief. Retention continues to look good because they cook book the numbers. The real issue is that we are loosing a record number of individuals because who would really want to do this for a living? The only way to make chief seems to be by screwing your guys and the number one reason I have heard is "I just want to be happy again." If people aren't staying in for 90 thousand dollars (sure it's just the nukes) maybe you should re-evaluate your program and leaders. We have a great group of guys who would re-enlist not for money, but just for the sense of pride that should come with this elite community. I don't know about JO retention, but the numbers don't look good either.

12/23/2009 2:38 PM

 
Blogger Bailey said...

While I agree that many women don't belong in most combat roles, this is not an absolute. Drastic times call for drastic measures. We need the bodies. And some women are up to the task. Know your history... Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Joan of Arc successfully led French troops into battle against the English. etc etc

Men and women are indeed different. But their strengths and weaknesses frequently complement one another. Allowing both men and women to compete for all military occupational specialties is not an equal rights issue, but one of military effectiveness. And if the U.S. is to remain the world's most capable and powerful military, we need to have the best person in each job, regardless of their gender.

Now, if your beef is with women, pregnancies, and fraternization affecting unit cohesion and espirit de corps, I agree that we'll have some problems for awhile. I think men and women will adapt but perhaps some of these problems will never go away. Anyway, you've got to boil it down to a cost-benefit analysis here. I say suck it up so we can get a few more qualified bodies to fill the billets.

12/23/2009 3:18 PM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

I'm just amazed. 4 months. I know the current guy and his predecessor, and have nothing but good things to say. That said, there is no way that things went to hell in just 4 months. Not possible. Every month that goes by with my successor still in the job makes me happy.

After the GW fire some serious attention was focused on AIRPAC...as in 'where were you?' It was made clear to me that ISICs were in the gunsight and major issues on their ships would come home to roost. While we all love the idea of ISICs being held accountable, try and think through how the ISIC will react. An already zero-defect organization now has to go that much further.

Four months? Just how zero-defect do we need to be? In years past we pulled keys and fixed things. Seems more and more we just find someone to shoot.

Good luck Chris.

12/23/2009 3:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While I agree that many women don't belong in most combat roles, this is not an absolute. Drastic times call for drastic measures. We need the bodies. And some women are up to the task. Know your history... Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Joan of Arc successfully led French troops into battle against the English. etc etc"

Eliminate "female standards" on ALL tests and evaluations and compete equally with men, then we'll talk.

12/23/2009 3:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Tyson van

the only reason JOs like you get out is because they can't hack it on an ssn. You were probably just a shipyard bubba with no operational experience who spent every weekend on the sunny pearl beaches. I on the other hand am the last true wardog, and I am ice COLD.

12/23/2009 3:49 PM

 
Blogger Bailey said...

"Eliminate "female standards" on ALL tests and evaluations and compete equally with men, then we'll talk."

That's exactly what I'm advocating. Try to keep up.

12/23/2009 4:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 3:49. I would challenge Tyson Van's JO operational resume against your entire career. I know because I was next to him. What he is saying is that Leadership actually means something, and the lack thereof can have a serious impact, even in 4 months. Buffalo had some strong leaders who knew how to run the ship, and it did some damn good things for the Navy under CDR Pappano. Those guys went away, and others didn't step up. Not all CDR Henry's fault, but thats the burden of Command. Chasing down and blaming people who don't affect the command and its climate anymore is a dangerous business to get into.

12/23/2009 5:11 PM

 
Blogger Future Chaps said...

@ anon 3:49: Give it a rest. It must be nice to hide behind an anonymous tag and rip on someone you probably don't know. I can understand the holier than thou comments directed at those in command, though I don't necessarily agree. To smack talk a guy standing up for his shipmates is crazy. He's not asking for there not to be a backlash for those responsible for any violations, just to not paint everyone with a broad brush. That just shows what a good officer Tyson is. I was one of the Department Heads that had the honor of serving with Tyson as he was in my watch section (as well as a JO running one of my divisions) for many months of Deployment operations and that was in his first year of being onboard. Then he changed homeport and spent a great deal of time u/w. I wish that every JO like him would stay in. He got out, oh well. Don't attack a guy for doing what he thought best for his situation. People have many reasons to get out and I can assure you that the Buffalo JO's (all have since left the ship) that went on deployment with me were definitely not SY bubbas. I'd go anywhere with that group of guys.

12/23/2009 6:04 PM

 
Blogger Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em said...

Future Chaps,

Thanks for the post. The amount of people eating each other alive on here concerns me greatly. I hope it's not an indicator of what the Force is becoming.

I know the ENG on BUFFALO...served with him at my last command. All I can do is pray for him and his family, as well as CDR Henry's. To have to go through all this, especially at Christmas.

BTW...are you at Duke? I had a couple pastors at my last church (retired chaps) tell me I should consider it. I'll just have to see what God has in the cards after my DH tour...and I am glad I saw your blog. Good luck...the Navy needs all the chaps it can get.

12/23/2009 6:50 PM

 
Blogger Future Chaps said...

Find 'em,

I am at Duke, go back on Active Duty next summer. Feel free to contact me offline and I can answer any other questions. Don't want to clog up this thread.

12/23/2009 7:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRT holding those who transfer accountable after the fact...

Some COs will "use up" a command. The talent will all transfer just after they do, the only milestones that matter are those between now and the CoC, and many programs will languish.

A great example is "he who must not be named" He ran virtually no engineering drills between his last exam and his change of command 9 months later. He qualified one SRO his entire command tour. He left with three qualified dives (including the COB) on board.

Folks like that should be hammered, even if the issues surface after they leave.

Others build success that persists no matter who relieves them.

If you care about your command, and not just yourself, success should persist after you leave. This takes planning, hard work, and keeping a perspective that stretches a year past when you depart.

I have no knowledge (and no opinions) of the case at hand. 4 months is fast, but I'm sure that this decision was not made lightly.

The man formerly in the ring.

12/23/2009 8:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is anon at 3:49

@anonymous 5:11.

You sound like the typical department head who was probably carried by the jood. You probably spent all of your time icing your nads or trying to break something loose.

@ future chaps....

Just trying to keep things exciting. That jarhead red was delicious.

12/23/2009 8:59 PM

 
Blogger Chris Grubb said...

@Anon 3:49 First, you have to be kidding us all with your "I am the last true wardog" shtick.

Served with CDR Pappano, Tyson Van, Future Chaps, CSS-15 ENG and many others in a talented BUF wardroom. Maybe there would be a little less bitterness out there if others who are getting so personal had the opportunity to serve with our wardroom.

Tyson is spot on to rebuke ad hominum attacks of any kind, but especially of the CSS-15 ENG. He is one of the most dedicated, professional, motivated, and talented submariners/officers I have ever met. Anyone who could impugn him personally obviously doesn't know his background, his professional stature, or his great leadership.

The fact is that the submarine force in general is having to look in the mirror and face up to some serious cultural problems. Anyone who has heard the Hartford audio, remembers Hampton, or has paid attention to retention can attest to that.

My impression is that NR and SUBFOR are re-emphasizing the importance of its core professional principles (remember Formality, Ownership, Understanding, Teamwork, Anticipation, and Procedural Compliance?) and the fundamental importance of personal integrity. These principles are the basis of professional submarining.

No one in the submarine community (active duty or otherwise) wants to end up on the front page as a joke the way the Air Force was when they unwittingly flew nukes across the country. The sub force needs to be the standard bearers of professionalism from top to bottom, and it appears leadership is taking action to ensure we stay there. You can be sure the pain is not stopping at CDR Henry. Undoubtedly the crew is feeling it too.

Also, can we give the "women are inferior" lines of argument a rest. They are as tired as they are unfounded. Can't women sit in maneuvering? Use a periscope? Do mental gym? Approve tags? Go to sea? Really? Too many of you who use these arguments just want to protect the submarine fraternity from female incursion and it is obvious given your feeble arguments.

12/23/2009 9:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, can we give the "women are inferior" lines of argument a rest. They are as tired as they are unfounded. Can't women sit in maneuvering? Use a periscope? Do mental gym? Approve tags? Go to sea? Really? Too many of you who use these arguments just want to protect the submarine fraternity from female incursion and it is obvious given your feeble arguments."

Spoken like a true castrated, PC, global force for good officer.

12/23/2009 9:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Hells Bells,

This BS about women on Submarines is much ado about nothing Gents. It Is going to happen. It is going to happen within the next couple of years. It's already been confirmed.

Some of you old fucks don't realize it, but we are going to have to bring Females within the people tank eventually. There is no choice really. Yes, they will be stationed on BN/GNs first. Not certain how it's going to work on Fast boats just yet, but we'll just see what happens.

I thank the fuck Christ, I'm on shore duty for 3.2 more years. It'll be interesting to see how this transition works out in time to come.

Something tells me Life is going to get fairly interesting in the next year and more.

MT1 WidgetHead

12/23/2009 11:34 PM

 
Blogger Tyson Van said...

the only reason JOs like you get out is because they can't hack it on an ssn. You were probably just a shipyard bubba with no operational experience who spent every weekend on the sunny pearl beaches. I on the other hand am the last true wardog, and I am ice COLD.

Hey coldstone, I don't know who you think you are, but there are only two candidates for last true wardog, and that is Caleb Kerr or Stephen T. Neuman. Since I doubt you are either one of them, then you better stop hiding behind the anonymous tag and show your cards.

12/24/2009 12:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You boys are like a bunch of gossiping women. If you weren't there, and you don't know what happened, don't assume you do. I'm sure anyone who is not in the position that several of these men are now in could speculate that with their superior intellect and performance standards this would have never happened. Shit happens all the time, and there always needs to be someone to blame.

12/24/2009 2:27 AM

 
Blogger DDM said...

Interesting that after the Hartford collision, many were asking why the ISIC didn't fire the CO sooner. Now an ISIC fires a guy pre-emptively and we cry foul. I've been at two commands where the CO was DFC'd - one for a DUI, the other for off-work extra-curricular activities. In both cases, the guys that came in were a breath of fresh air. Neither of the replacements were screamers, but made their expectations on standards clear. Two telling acts were the removal of lengthy Command philosophy/CO standing orders by both guys shortly after taking command. To me the replacements were action versus motion. I hope the boys on the BUFFALO are as lucky as I was.

12/24/2009 5:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Random question: anyone know what happened to Rubber Ducky? I haven't seen him comment in a long time!

12/24/2009 8:11 AM

 
Blogger King said...

I'm pretty sure that "last true wardog" comment is someone being ironic. It's pathetic that as a force we actually believe anyone would say something that gay and be serious about it.

Also, I don't think there's anyone left who still actually drives boats that's a *war dog*. I don't think following some old and busted foreign SSN or staying at pd off the coast for 144 hours really qualifies you as a steely eyed warrior of the deep. I've seen the SSGN patrol debriefs too, I'd also rate that as not impressive. It's not exactly the Cold War II out there, no one has a submarine force or ASW capabilities that even approach parity anymore.

Hell, it's obvious to me that the biggest danger that we face is clearly transiting. It's nothing but luck that's kept us from losing 3 submarines in the last 10 years during submerged transits...

12/24/2009 8:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up King. I wish I didn't have to be that direct, but shut up.

BUFFALO has a GREAT command and they refer to themselves, without cynicism, as War Dogs. They're happy. Read the comments from the BUF sailors above. It's clear that they're a group of professionals and friends.

Don't project your cynicism on them. Don't hate.

My heart goes out to the CO and Sailors of BUF. Keep your chins up.

12/24/2009 9:07 AM

 
Anonymous Hummm said...

It's Snowing in Guam!

Nuclear winter decends over Guam and the BUFFALO.

Merry Christmas guys! It'll get better after PORSE, ORSE, or what ever it takes to get you back to sea.

And for the rest of you pinheads, this thread is about BUFFALO, not for your dumbass opinions about women in submarines.

Hummmmm

12/24/2009 10:20 AM

 
Anonymous Dimitri said...

King,

you have no idea about the generation of wardogs that were born on buffalo. As for your comment regarding not deserving the name anymore, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

12/24/2009 11:26 AM

 
Blogger King said...

So, is "war dog" some kind of nickname buffalo sailors called themselves? I thought it was some sort of euphemism for how seasoned and salty a submariner was, like saying "I've spent more time on the shitter at test depth than you have underway" or something like that.

So, if I confused boat pride with something trying to say he's the next Fluckey, I apologize.

I realize that former BUF sailors think they're command is great, but nobody thinks they're own boat is all dicked up, because it reflects poorly on yourself. But clearly somebody thinks they don't know their head from their ass. That said, I do think the new CO probably got screwed to get relieved after only 4 months.

12/24/2009 11:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King, you better un boomer-fag yourself before you get to the Pearl waterfront. I've been out for 4.5 years and I still want to kick you in the nuts after reading each of your posts.

I do think that the Buffalo defenders have their heads in the sand. If a boat can screw up so badly that the CO gets relieve 4 months into command, then it clearly has serious issues throughout the crew.

12/24/2009 2:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my head is not in the sand...in fact it is up your wife's skirt. If my boss wants to be a douche nugget, i have no problem hanging him out to dry, and i really don't care if he gets fired.

12/24/2009 3:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but nobody thinks they're own boat is all dicked up,

except for the people on dicked up boats. People on those boats do nothing but bitch about it for the rest of their lives, e.g. Puffer 85-decom.

12/24/2009 4:21 PM

 
Blogger King said...

anon @ 2:50:

Do I honestly give the impression that I will ever be showing up to work at a *waterfront* ever again, except possibly as reservist?

12/24/2009 6:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...you would have thought women have been in the sub force for years with the amount of catfighting going on in the last few posts. And all this "boomer fag" vs. "fast attack tough" shit...unfortunately, ORDERS are just that, orders. Report you butt to this command by this date. I wouldn't judge anyone by the boat they served on. Each serves a mission, and I am particularly happy the boomers have never carried out theirs.

At a time where fewer and fewer want to set foot on our boats much less serve in the military...we should be thankful our kids aren't having to take up arms yet.

So why don't you kids cool it before some CACO is having to tell your family you've been lost at the bottom of the ocean. None of this "us vs. them" shit will matter when 130 souls are lost. I know we like to poke fun at each other once in a while, but this is getting out of hand, very personal.

"Qualified in Submarines" used to be a special brotherhood of men that would be willing to risk our lives for each other, be our brother's keeper, and do our very damn best to accomplish the mission. Today, it just seems to be check in the box to go to PNEO or for advancement.

If Mush Morton was alive today, he would put a boot in your ass and tell you straight like he did about the CO of Wahoo before him. Call me a diggit or tool if you need to continue fueling you immaturity...I am simply a submariner versed in our history. Many men have died in our service. Many families have had to hear that a father, brother, son was lost and will never come back.

Remember that next time you see those dolphins on your chest...and cut this shit out. If we don't start changing things for the better...we might as well turn in our dolphins, lock up the boats, and write the last chapter of our history. And what a sad chapter it will be.

12/24/2009 10:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 12/24/2009 10:31 pm----Very well said! As one of the old farts (qualified in 1963) I agree completely with what you have posted. Most of us older guys are concerned about the state of the Submarine force today, as we are proud of our generation and the present generation of submariners. What is frustrating is not knowing the details of the past few years mishaps, this leads to way too much speculation and rumor, which is often, (and unfairly) taken for fact on internet discussions. My hopes and prayers go out to the guys on active duty, that they get a handle on this and fix it.
MMCS(SS) USN Ret.

12/24/2009 10:59 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

What I am hearing about all the turnovers it sounds like the old CO stacked his deck and failed Wardroom planning 101. The fact that there was so much rapid turnover right after the change of command screams poor planning. I am armchairing here, but been there and done that because after one patrol only the CO remained after firing the ENG & COB, NAV & XO transferred, and WEPS quit before patrol. The boat went from Battle E to bottom of the barrel, so I know what I am talking about. The new CO could have been an ass, but it is the wardroom and the cpo quarters to fix him.

12/25/2009 8:07 AM

 
Blogger Squidward said...

What do you do if you are a new CO and realize that you just got owned by the guy whose rack you inherited? This almost seems like no win, especially if the level of screw-up extends all the way to the goat locker. What do you do - go to squadron and throw yourself on CSS mercy? Beg for clued chiefs and a new DH or two? Fire your chiefs and rely on (hopefully better) PO1s?

12/25/2009 8:54 AM

 
Anonymous BavarianWhore said...

I agree with everyone, it is the previous CO's fault. If he wasn't such a bad ass and didn't create such a great work environment, then the crew might have enjoyed being micromanaged by the new leadership a little bit more.

It must suck to have little feet and big shoes to fill.

12/25/2009 11:38 AM

 
Blogger Patty Wayne said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12/25/2009 12:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I served on the Buffy with both the old Eng and CO. Both were extremely competent and enforced high standards. If it wasn't so, why would they place the old Eng BACK on the Buffy? I served with both Tyson and Grubb and can honestly say both of their opinions pretty much hit the nail on the head.
I was a member of E-Div and I can with confidence say the problem wasn't with the previous CO, or Eng. Since I didnt know the new captain I cant say anything about him. I can say with confidence that the problem was on the enlisted side...you know...that person between LPO and Div-O. Just my 2 cents.

12/25/2009 1:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:36

do you like chimichangas?

12/25/2009 2:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey All,

I am a personal friend of both Scott and Chris. I was Chris's Eng and went through SOAC with Scott. I have known them both since. Scott is a force of nature, and if I was to pick someone who could come in after him, Chris would make the list. I am surprised at the conjecture that has slowly become fact in this set of postings. We really know very little about why Chris was fired. I have see postings blaming the admiral, commodore, old CO, new CO and chiefs. I am very surprised that the commodore chose to fire the CO after only 4 months, but I am sure that he did not do it lightly. Future Chaps (who is also a friend) has the correct attitude on the personal attacks, they do not get to the root of what we are trying to discuss.

Merry Christmas.

CDR Woods Brown
Former Commanding Officer USS MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL (SSN 708)

12/25/2009 8:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:11 RE: Rubber Ducky. Went to check on him at the SubVets Convention in San Diego in early September. Talked to the coordinator of the Diesel Fast Attack Reunion. He told me the Duck had called at the last minute and cancelled, didn't say why. Must be something personal, hope it's not serious.

Keep a zero bubble..........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

12/25/2009 9:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:31. Each serves a mission, and I am particularly happy the boomers have never carried out theirs".

I agree with much of what you posted but I would like to say that the SSBN's carry out their mission every time they come back WITHOUT shooting.

Chris
610ET

12/25/2009 11:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris (a.k.a. Anon 1137)'

"I agree with much of what you posted but I would like to say that the SSBN's carry out their mission every time they come back WITHOUT shooting."

True...the boomers keep the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction in effect. Once Iran get nukes and crazy men think they can bring about the second coming...I don't know what will happen.

I am glad to see some more reasonable posts on here of late. We really need to help these younger submariners get back to a zero bubble, particularly the CPOs if they want the help. I know quite a few retired CPOs that will come back if we need them...that's how much they care about those dolphins on their chest.

At the risk of sounding like a Van Halen / Pepsi Crystal commercial, we have to turn this situation around...we never know if and when everything will depend on the submarine force again.

12/26/2009 8:43 AM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

From what I have been able to gather there were a number of serious maintenance related issues, the most serious related to troubleshooting, a discussion of which is deep into NNPI but probably useless trivia for most here.

That said, I stand by my statement that we are more interested in shooting people than fixing them. This sequence took out the CO/ENG/COB. That the decision to fire them was no doubt done after much deliberation, that does not change my view point.

While I agree that those in charge are responsible, when the decision making is SO!!! bad that these three get fired after only 4 months of a new CO...something is stinky.

And yes, SSBNs do their job, but it is far from challenging and I wish people would quit trying to say it is just as demanding as being on an SSN..must really suck preparing to enter the same port over and over again. And "wardogs" can join the rest of the 'warrior caste' at the back of the silly moniker line.

12/26/2009 9:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposedly srvd_SSN_CO said "SSBNs do their job, but it is far from challenging"

Hey shipmate...have you ever served on an SSBN before? I have done both (currently an XO on an SSBN). They both have equally challenging aspects. To carry out the strategic mission is complex and involves a lot of moving parts and dynamic decision making...especially with today's contact management standards. I find it insulting that someone with supposed seniority would make such a casual and unfounded comment.

12/26/2009 10:18 AM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

anon @10:18am
Yep, I've served on two types of SSNs and a T-hull. Sorry buddy, but ain't no way you are going to tell me that a COMCONEX or a JAVELIN is anything close to what an SSN does.

SSBNs are still a job worth doing, but so was patrolling a no-fly zone in Iraq, and that did not improve our pilot corps. If you want to say you did a job, good, I agree. But if you want to start talking about how rough it was to stay alert for 2-3 weeks, pls don't take up my oxygen.

12/26/2009 3:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Served SSN CO

Some things are easier on SSBNs, some things are harder. On average, life is certainly more predictable. At the command level, there is a lot going on to achieve the required and appropriate standard. (perfection)

If you have not done the SSBN thing lately, you are not qualified to judge it.

Served SSBN CO.

12/26/2009 4:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBFTMC: Do you have Rubber Ducky's e-mail?

Bubblehead: Do you have Rubber Ducky's e-mail?

It'd be good if someone checked on him!! I miss his insight. The wisdom of elders is ignored at one's own peril!

12/26/2009 5:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Rubber Ducky, or at least someone using the same moniker, posts on occasion at Tom Ricks' blog at http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/

12/26/2009 11:17 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

I think it is funny how we have two served COs pissing about how tough each type of submarine is, but the fact is that living and working on submarines has always been a very tough and exacting job.

There have been many casualties, but lets put some things into focus for just one minute. This CO was fired for whatever reasons his COC thought it necessary. No lives were lost and everyone still has all their parts intact.

Though it is sad and makes us pause, we must remember that failure in our jobs can mean putting another boat on eternal patrol. So with that said, let's wait until more information is out and thank God that except for His grace, there go I.

12/27/2009 4:46 AM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

In my day, we used to say, "There but for the Grace of God and Alert Watchstanding go us all." As an officer who spent all of his sea tours except for CO on SSNs and then commanded an SSBN, I have to say that each type is hard in a different way. I was doing it at the hight of the Cold War so on the SSBN we spent lots of time dodging all the SSNS, regardless of country. Since I have not been privy to how the job is done today, I can't compare the current difference.

12/27/2009 4:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys - COMMAND AT SEA:

Whether on an SSN, SSBN, SSGN, or in on any unit in a Fuk'in shipyard, each presents it's unique challenges and REWARDS.

If you're not up for it, then step aside and quit bitching "How Hard It Is". If it was easy, you (hopefully) wouldn't be there!

"Srvd SSN CO and served SSBN CO" Stop by for a beer summit and get over yourselves.

SSBN - SSN - SSGN - SSN....Been there, Done that!

12/27/2009 4:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree!

Of course...the rewards in the shipyard are fewer.

12/27/2009 5:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always found it interesting that the "reward" for time is shipyard is survival. Rarely do people flourish. High risk-Hard Work-Low Gain!

BREAK

It seems the Duck is alive and well over on Tom Ricks blog. I guess he quit us!!

12/27/2009 5:51 PM

 
Blogger Jennifer said...

I think that the process considered as deployment of talent is expected to innovate and redefine the way business is conducted in order to make organizations competitive and successful in the new environment.

12/28/2009 9:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think that the process considered as deployment of talent is expected to innovate and redefine the way business is conducted in order to make organizations competitive and successful in the new environment."

bubblehead...looks like someone with a foreign phone number wants to help our sub force better. Can you say spam?

Then again...maybe they can meet with some folks like Peter Gibbons..."we had a chance to meet this young man, and boy that's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him."

One can only wish!

12/28/2009 9:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug wright was the engineer on my boat the USS Bergall. One time when we were screwing up preparing for an ORSE he got us all in crew mess and told us we needed to get our collective heads out of our asses. That talking to gave me a lot of respect for him as it was something that needed to be said as we did have our heads up our asses.

He also did a close out of the sail when the removable mast with the light on it was left out there. Bent the hell out of it. I vividly remember the door to the Captains stateroom closing so he could get his ass chewed.

12/28/2009 1:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I vividly remember the door to the Captains stateroom closing so he could get his ass chewed."

I think we can all remember that door shutting on many a boat...particularly when you were hearing it click shut behind you.

It used to be part of growing up in the submarine force, but it looks like having that happen once could be the end right then in there. I hope it gets better for the younger guys soon.

12/28/2009 3:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually had my CO tell me, in his stateroom with no witnesses, during a requested Special Captain's Mast, "PO X, either you're going to be the death of me, or I'm gonna kill you first."

Neither happened, but considering the source, I sure wore that comment as a badge of honor.

12/28/2009 10:32 PM

 
Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Anon 12/27 said:
"Srvd SSN CO and served SSBN CO" Stop by for a beer summit and get over yourselves."

That kind of puts it in perspective. I stand chastised.

12/29/2009 8:47 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I actually ran into a BUFFALO ST yesterday in the airport. He didn't want to get into the problems. But it was pretty cool to run into someone from my old boat.

Oh, and when I left the RCP's were all running fine. Now the MG's were particularly troublesome...

I am sorry to hear about all the problems on the Buffy. It's amazing that Buffalo Bob made ADM (recently), and that even with all the racheting scrams and fried trim pumps that it took a little too much seawater balasting to get someone fired.

The other rumor I heard from the ST was that the Buffy may be re-homeporting back to PH. Could be another boat going to Guam in it's place.

12/30/2009 11:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

elt,

All good intel. Please let us know when you decide to stop spying for the russians and come back and join our team.

Material condition - check

Possible ships movement - check

Personnel movements - check

Possible NNPI - check

Not knowing when to keep your mouth shut - check

12/30/2009 11:51 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Anonymous said...

elt,

All good intel. Please let us know when you decide to stop spying for the russians and come back and join our team.

Material condition - check

Possible ships movement - check

Personnel movements - check

Possible NNPI - check

Not knowing when to keep your mouth shut - check

12/30/2009 11:51 AM


I'm pretty sure that it's public knowledge that the RCP's were running when I left. There were no special line items in the FY1990 to FY2008 budgets that indicated that a "Replacement RCP for USS BUFFALO and associated equipment" was ordered or needed. So where is the material condition problem????

Ship movements are classified as much when they involve(d) a mission. Without saying "The Buffalo will be at 0 degrees N at 180 degrees west(or east??) on 12/30/2009 at 18:14 Z, then it doesn't matter. In fact, anything other than missions associated with OPERATION CAPTAIN CRUNCH or OPERATION CHEX MIX (or the like) weren't classified after the boat returned to port. So I don't think speculating about a change of homeport is classified either.

As far as the personnel movements, I didn't give the rank or name of the ST. In fact it could've been a QM or ELT or TM, and I just changed the story. I didn't even tell you where I met him (or her if it was a 'test' boat).

I'm not really sure where the NNPI 'breach' is. Please let me know exactly. I didn't give dates, or operations, or describe how a system works.

[P.s. We covered racheting scrams in college, so they're not exactly the most secret of problems, just rare].

Thanks for looking out for us though Mulligan!!

12/30/2009 1:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that bubblehead will get a call from SUBFOR and DNR if they feel that anything of a classified nature is posted...then again, they could just say that about anything they don't like on here. That is, if they even check out this blog...but something tells me it's on their daily tickler.

As for the Russians...make sure no one leaks to them that a little Rustoleum will fix any rust problems ;)

12/30/2009 3:31 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I wonder who it is easier to talk with...SUBFOR and DNR or the FBI? We should exchange notes some day.

They did the old good special agent bad special agent deal with me.

12/31/2009 12:54 PM

 
Anonymous soon to be boomer XO said...

I would like to believe that an SSBN is as challenging as an SSBN, but unless things have changed drastically in the last 10 years than being a west coast SSN'er vice an SSBN'er (the nicer form of the word) is far more difficult and challenging a job. Of course I'm on my way to boomerville again as an XO now so I guess I'll find out for myself.

1/02/2010 7:44 PM

 
Anonymous soon to be boomer XO said...

And yes I said "SSBN" when I meant "SSN, so I better have some studley YNs backing me up as XO or I done-- especially when I'm on an SSBN.

1/02/2010 7:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UMM Sir,

Make absolutely certain that your YNs are on top of their game before anything is sent from you office.

XO, I'm dead fucking serious. Do proof read everything before it is sent. ComSubLant and Pac will tell you to piss up a rope if anything in your requests and directives are misspelled or misquoted.

You don't command the boat, but you do run the boat. A breakdown in communications is going to piss off your crew Sir, on many levels.

So please XO, make certain you read EVERYTHING before it leaves your control.

MT1 WidgetHead

1/03/2010 12:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a one tour and out guy, SSBN against my will. My understanding was that things changed quite a bit in the last 10 years or so. Talking to guys that had been there a while when I was the new guy, they complaing about how many new off-crew requirements there were.

I assume being on an SSN is somewhat more challenging in that its more varied, but also inherently more interesting and engaging (which is why of course, I asked for an SSN on my wish list), but I think being on an SSBN, particularly as senior leadership is probably more challenging because it just sucks so damn bad. There's a strong feeling that you only exist to run inspections. It's not literally true, obviously, as you probably fill an equally important role for the nation's security as a whole overall as the average SSN (if not, in some ways more important), but it feels like a continuous ORSE and TRE prep, which is just dull.

I didn't appreciate the mission much until after I left and had a different perspective that most people don't have the luxury of seeing, and even then, it's not something I'm interested in ever repeating. A lot of what you do, especially in off crew, really seems to be training to fill a training plan or so that your commodore can tell group that he's doing X,Y,Z to keep you proficient, but I personally didn't feel that most of the trainers were ran in a way that actually promoted learning new skills or proficiency (there are some that were definite exceptions, however, usually those with the least amount of oversight, ironically).

I don't envy you trying to keep people engaged and on-task during that time, particularly if you serve under a not very personable CO.

1/03/2010 1:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Enough.

SSBN sailors: please take an extra moment to refer to yourselves in accordance with your time onboard versus an SSN sailor.

Examples:

"Served (part-time) SSBN CO"

"(Half-time) SSBN sailor"

etc.

Thank you, and good night.

1/04/2010 12:39 AM

 
Blogger Rudder Amidships said...

That's insulting to call SSBN sailors "half-time". Have you been there done that? (recently?)

The SSBN fleet has changed considerably over the last few years. I'm not saying either side is harder than any other. Downplaying the work ANY submariner does is insulting. We go where ordered... even if it is an SSBN/SSN/SSGN... or yardboat. All submariners work hard, so this argument is not only moot, but it is dead.

---
MM1/SS

1/05/2010 2:48 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake up and smell the coffee MM1. Most of the SSBN fellas don't go where ordered you piss and moan about staying right where you are in your comfort zone. Your expertise must be making your job sound harder than it is. You think you were insulted try this on for size, Take a flying leap you ass clown.

1/05/2010 5:18 AM

 
Blogger Rudder Amidships said...

Oh...I'm sorry, my job is easy.

After 10 years of comfortable cruising around the ocean and shipyards, I'll stand humbled.

It was a vacation doing a refueling overhaul! Sorry I'm not fast boat tough like you anon. DMD with undermanned M-div, that was a birthday party too.

I never said you don't work hard, all I was saying was that you can't judge a force by their boomer pin. To me the comment downplaying Served SSBN CO's time served was disrespectful.

Some boomer sailors are softies, so are some of the fast attack sailors out there. All submariners piss and moan.

The other point I was making was that it is one fleet, and regardless of mission, we are all in this together.

---
MM1/SS

1/05/2010 10:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buffy now has only 2 ENGDEP CPO's...

The rest have been fired or tapped out.

1/05/2010 4:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like nuclear winter has firmly landed on BUF. Good luck guys! It gets better after (O)RSE.

1/05/2010 4:12 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Random question: anyone know what happened to Rubber Ducky? I haven't seen him comment in a long time!"

He got pissed at the tone of this blog and took some time off...

To the subject of this post, I can only quote my old shipmate Gabby Hays, QM-3: 'Cowboys don't cry.' The DFC'd skipper knew the standards going in. Higher authority judged that he did not meet those standards. A perfect god overseeing a perfect world might find injustice in this, but in this world and our navy, it's the system we have and maybe we should accept that.

The DFC's skipper may be a splendid lad and kind to small animals, he may pray regularly and give a tenth of his income to charity, he may volunteer his time at a homeless shelter and cook meals for the needy on Christmas. But his boat had some bad mistakes and he paid the price, a price he was fully cognizant of when he took command.

No slack to him for lousy chiefs, either: they work for him. And I'd have had a big chunk of the Eng's ass too. And the DCAs. And the COB. (Frankly, with the accidents described, I'm surprised they didn't take a vertical slice out of the boat: CO, XO, Eng, DCA, Engineering CPOs, maybe down to the mess cook on duty.) These guys really let down an apparently good guy ... and he didn't know that was happening to him. Fault them. Fault him.

Command is not an award, it's a job. One's career is not an equity holding, it's an opportunity to serve. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Cowboys don't cry.

1/06/2010 4:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been dispationately watching the SSN/SSBN war. Experience in both.

The fact is, I think as a community we've equalized the "level of effort" between SSNs and SSBNs.

Once the concept of "off" crew was no longer in vogue, the quality of life for the sailor and officers alike went south. Anyone who served under RADM Talbot at GP 10 can recall. The type-A's at the time responded in the only way they knew.

The sexy shit is still in the SSNs. The SSBNs suck because our manliness requires it. Job satisfaction - personally, I think is in the SSNs, but I also acknowledge the BN advantages - schedule and the (quickly fleeting) "thank god, it's not my problem" (for the BN crowd, I'll add that this joy is short lived as you soon enter the rewardless pain of the PDT). I respect the job the BNs do and the real level of pain they do have to endure - without the same job satisfaction of a SSN.

My 2-cents only. My hat off to the "Served SSBN CO" and all those that serve on BNs. I wouldn't want the job. Keep it in perspective. You do important work. Thank you.

All the best.
TS

1/06/2010 6:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Served SSN DH/PXO,

Part 1:
I am greatly disturbed, deserved or not, by the short time the BUF CO was given before stamped a DFC. Intended or not, it will send a signal to the force that could have negative consequences. I hope the details of this decision are thouroughly shared with the force.
Hear me out here - this is a long post but I think it would be good to move this discussion from the specifics to the bigger picture. I think the many problems we are having (retention, incompetence, poor command/maintenance practices, integrity etc.) are not isolated events - many I have talked with agree there are systemic problems that senior leaders are avoiding or not doing a good job communicating that they are adequately addressing them. Yes, CO’s should be held accountable, but if these systemic problems are not addressed, we will continue to flounder -- hopefully not so badly as to permanently damage our force's reputation. I would summarize them in priority order as:
1) We lack a true, motivating, coherent, deckplate level vision and have for awhile. Its more important than ever w/o a true peer challenger, previously filled by the USSR (potential peers don't count yet fellas, I don't care how you dress it up). Vision for our submarine force's post Cold War role never matured and it was upstaged inappropriately by arguments for force size. IMHO, 30 submarines with good morale, manning and a sharp focus would have served us and the nation better than the time and effort spent to argue for more submarines with insufficient vision, money, manning etc. I know the arguments, so don't start talking about maintaining a perishable infrastructure (the US produced over 12k B-17s and over 18K B-52s in WWII, about 15 bombers a day - we can build infrastructure when needed, even if it is technical, we will have more than a days warning) or COCOM demand signals - those of us who have played the game know better.
2) Many of the problems we are seeing are exacerbated by an unforgiving and unimproving OPTEMPO, as the OPTEMPO increases, so does risk. We need to set a line that is not crossed w/o strict oversight and enforce it - period. That will do more to help procurement if the need truly exists.
- We are also willing to live with more material problems that can only be fixed w/more time import – that sends signals to our crews.
-We aren't good at saying no, nor does it do much for someone's career in a "can do" environment. I sympathize here, because it is hard to say no. Some CO's/Senior Leaders that I have observed realize it is less risky careerwise to chance it (A real ceiling to OPTEMPO would help here) than to say no when they know the crew(s) are tired and overworked. Aren't we submariners always overworked - do we even know when we aren't competent. I doubt it - just like the guy drinking thinks he is OK, just a little buzzed. Do you know how tired you have to be for your reaction time to drop to half, 1/4 etc. I doubt it.

2nd part next post

1/09/2010 2:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part 2:

3) Standards and Integrity. We have a problem here and they are directly tied to numbers 1 & 2 above, current OPTEMPO directly places pressures on integrity w/o providing sufficient motivators (vision) to counter the pressure.
Although I was raised with an absolute value system, many of our young are not - we had better embrace that. Now, more than ever, we need vision. While the integrity of our force seems to be worsening, this has always been a skeleton in our closet. "If you ain't cheatin, you ain't trying." Ever heard that, I heard it the first 2 weeks onboard my 1st submarine. I didn't like it then, but there seemed to be boundaries to it then. Unfortunately, our society is losing its boundaries and it is no surprise our force is as well.
- I won't get into the standards discussion, but suffice it to say enough have lost the bubble on keeping the main thing, the main thing (with some signs of awakening).
4) Transparency. There is not enough communication wrt all the firings, loss of our best (retention), competency problems etc. Saying some CO and a couple of people were DFCd does not adequately explain the problem to the force, because we feel - perceived or not, that there is a bigger problem going on. We need frank, open and honest discussion at all leadership levels and it needs to start at the very top. I'm sure it will take tremendous personal courage. Yes this may open the floodgates and cause more problems before it solves them - it may bring the dreaded press, but anyone that has successfully dealt with problems in their personal lives knows that candid truth is the only way to heal/repair problems and relationships. It is no different in our professional lives and we will come out better for it in the end or we can follow the course most organizations choose. Take small measured steps, set off no undue alarms and hope the worst doesn't happen that will force everything on the table anyway.
Comments?

1/09/2010 2:50 AM

 
Anonymous Former Squadron Rider said...

For those waiting for the facts as to why this happened, the "straw that broke the camel's back" incident report is available if you know where to look. I've read it and it is probably the most damning incident report I've read in 16 years of doing this job. The report paints a very detailed and graphic picture of a command-wide failure to "get it."

Biggest conclusions that relate to the posts here:
1) CSS-15 was absolutely justified in the actions taken.
2) Based on the sheer number of "WTF" problems, this thing was rotten or getting that way fast before CDR Henry relieved. I worked with CDR Pappano in the past and he played a large role in saving my bacon so I take no joy in calling his leadership into question here, but...
3) Everybody, forward and aft, better have their head on a swivel when anything is going on in your spaces, with your guys, on your watch, with your gear, etc. If it's yours you better know exactly what's going on with it.

This report should become required reading at SOBC, SOAC, SEA, EDMC, PXO, PCO, any leadership course. If you have the chance, read it. It's eye-opening.

1/09/2010 4:30 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

former squadron rider: good info. As suspected. Firing a skipper, especially after just four months, cannot be an easy decision. That it was done makes clear that this was a no-shitter. The posts above marked by hand-wringing and woe for the 'victim' seemed off the mark and your comment ices that.

Am reminded of a remark by an old skipper, Cruncher Don Kniss: "In the Navy there are no new problems ... just new people."

Can you reference the hot que pasa on this somewhere?

1/09/2010 6:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Former Squadron Rider said ...

...The report paints a very detailed and graphic picture of a command-wide failure to "get it."..." Spoken so well from a Squadron Monday Morning Quarterback!

Well, ain't that great! Turns out that the exact same thing happened at the Hallowed Grounds of the program recently, but the word didn't effectively reach the fleet. How's that for effective corrective action?

Another unit did the exact same thing recently, but their DevRon wasn't as "Swift" as CSS-15, so its easy to brush it aside with an IR and no DFC for any involved.

If this was the true reason for the CO being " Removed as a Precautionary Measure" - Time to find the mirror on the wall, and ask, "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest One of All?"

BTW, the fleet, public, etc was never in danger, harmed, or even remotely affected by anything that was referred to above.

The Stupid Are Bliss!

Thoughts?

1/09/2010 7:02 PM

 
Anonymous Former Squadron Rider said...

Ducky, glad you're back. As far as I know, the "hot que pasa" can be found only on the CSP SIPRNET site. The report is 16 pages long. Three of them are devoted to breaking down how the unaddressed root causes of the two material issues, one in October the other in November, that caused a few hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair and "lost operational time" each time directly contributed to the issue in December. And further that the BUFFALO issue was nearly identical to a recent issue at one of the training commands that resulted in their keys being taken away for months. So despite intensive attention from DNR, CSF, CSP and the ISIC recently regarding proper supervision, attention to detail, and verbatim compliance in operations this command couldn't figure it out.

For Anonymous at 7:02 PM:

"...The report paints a very detailed and graphic picture of a command-wide failure to "get it."..." Spoken so well from a Squadron Monday Morning Quarterback!" -- Sorry, no quarterbacking here. Just a conclusion based on a review of the published facts filtered thru 18 years of experience.

"Well, ain't that great! Turns out that the exact same thing happened at the Hallowed Grounds of the program recently, but the word didn't effectively reach the fleet. How's that for effective corrective action?" -- As far as corrective action, pretty good. The prototype site has been just fine. Now as far as effective communication of those issues to the fleet, that was also received loud and clear. But as I said earlier, for whatever reason it seems that BUFFALO missed the messages.

"Another unit did the exact same thing recently, but their DevRon wasn't as "Swift" as CSS-15, so its easy to brush it aside with an IR and no DFC for any involved." -- Was this the commands third MAJOR incident in three months? Or did they screw up, figure out and correct their issues, and go back to work?

If this was the true reason for the CO being " Removed as a Precautionary Measure" - Time to find the mirror on the wall, and ask, "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest One of All?" -- OK, so by that you mean that this was all squadron's fault? So, by extension, squadron then is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations on the ships assigned to them? So then that would put you in the camp of those that advocate increased micromanagement of the boats by ISIC/TYCOM ?

"BTW, the fleet, public, etc was never in danger, harmed, or even remotely affected by anything that was referred to above." -- Yeah, true but not for lack of effort. Considering that they TWICE, due to failure to utilize all applicable references, violated a precaution that states "failure to observe this precaution could result in significant equipment damage, personnel injury or death."

"The Stupid Are Bliss!" -- They sure are. I get so much joy from watching them stumble through their lives, completely oblivious to what's right in fron of them.

"Thoughts?" -- Lots. Got time?

1/10/2010 12:50 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

And one should look to the BONEFISH accident in 1988 for what happens if you leave a skipper in place when DFC would have been the right answer. Battery fire submerged, chlorine, other toxic gases. 'Abandon ship' (gutsiest call in my experience: CO was Mike Wilson). Three dead, many hospitalized including the CO (Mike called me from the hospital to ask how he might protect himself legally. I happened to be playing handball that afternoon with the Navy JAG himself and asked him. His response: 'tell the CO he's a hero and quit worrying about it.')

The earlier CO had only two months left in his tour when fired. Many reasons, many unaddressed material problems among them. One of these problems - a salt water leak hidden in the waterway and slowly eating a hole in the after-battery deck - was direct cause of the fire and chlorine. The old CO had pretty much shut down communications with his people and in the old diesel boats you needed everyone on the top of their game to keep things running. Mike had been slammed into command from his post-command job while the system grew the permanent relief - he'd been there for just 6 weeks when the boat burned down.

I knew the investigating officer and he told me off the record that the original skipper should have been fired months and months before. The accident occurred because the Squadron Commander failed to pull the trigger when he should have. Delayed DFCs can have consequences.

1/10/2010 5:14 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Let me add that I've been vocal in the past on holding ISICs to task when a boat suffers an accident, even advocating that - with modern maintenance systems - squadrons should get out of the materiel business and - in concert with the training centers - concentrate on training and certification of crews. This is a case of the ISIC doing precisely that, acting responsibly before an accident rather than hiding in the weeds after. It gives meaning to that great navy word ... forehandedness.

1/10/2010 6:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened to be on board 715 for the first incident and the CSP JAGMAN investigation that followed. I have read each of the previous blogs and I can attest that a lot of the posts touched on parts of the issues but they all seem to dance around what I consider the single unifying cause for this mess: the loss of great leadership and management.

I certainly do not want to take away from CDR Henry or anyone else. CDR Henry certainly had the potential to fill those shoes, but with increasing pressure from the upper echelon to reinvent the way submariners do business, it certainly was not going to be a quick and easy task (definitely not in 4 month).

A lot of people wondered where was the goat locker or o-gang. . . They were all right there trying to deal with the rapid succession of changes that was occurring. Several new holes were created in the wardroom and the goat locker including a changeout of essentially all DH along with the CO, and notably absent was an A-gang and TM chief for several months. The crew is relatively junior (lots of self-made 2nd and few 1st classes) due to difficulty in getting sailors back to the fleet, and even worse Guam. Adding to the crippling blow is the fact that the FIPREP system is not working like it should so there is a wide array of talent in the khaki pool.

Holes like these may not be uncommon around the fleet but the difference between now and then was the leadership being able to put mitigating factors in place like having another chief step up and fill the void, or pairing an experienced DCPO with a weak SDO, or vice versa, and so on. The goat locker and the wardroom understood where those holes were and took action to fill them with the talent we had available. If you look at the leadership and personnel involved in each of these recent incidents you would find that this was not the case.

Furthermore, the previous command was able to keep the crew focused and optimistic, despite an ever increasing operational commitment. How do you balance the pressure of having a zero defect program while still meeting your operational commitment? Some might argue that there is no contradiction here, but the reality is that implementing measure that would lead to a zero defect program requires tremendous resources; most importantly time. The Guam operating environment presents several unique challenges which does not afford a lot of time. The previous command's solution was not perfect but it was pretty effective. What we see manifesting now with all the probing is that some programs suffer over time as you try to achieve the seemingly impossible with limited resources.

I do not have access to the incident report but I am pretty sure that there were some exaggerated facts compiled during the witch hunt to get to the bottom of all this. The overarching fact is you don't have a successful deployment or shipyard period (see "Total Force Completes USS Buffalo Availability Ahead of Schedule" at Navy.mil) with the kind of substandard and reckless environment that some of these gossipers and armchair quarterbacks have painted.

The old command has made me overturn my decision to get out, and hopefully I can take some of the talent that I have learned back to the fleet so that we can maintain submarining as a safe and effective business.

1/10/2010 11:17 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Question: What happens to a CO who was DFC? What do they do when they leave the Navy-- are they unemployable in a Navy-CIV job, or other Nuclear Power gig?

Question: Is this indicative of having the "do more with less" philosophy?

I was in and out after Holy Loch was closed, so the idea of forward-deployed operating base for a submarine wasn't something I considered. From the OPTEMPO discussions above, perhaps the answer is a return to PH for the Guam boats.

[On a side note, are there NRRO and RPCO reps stationed in Guam for these problems? If there's only 3 subs and the tender, why wasn't NRRO more into the 715's ass? Shouldn't they be going aboard a boat daily (and well, there's only 3 to choose from)?

I suspect that NR has taken the easy road of the Continental flight from HNL to visit these boats vice stationing someone there, since no one likes to be away from home, esp. NRRO CWO's who are already on power-trips at times.]

1/11/2010 5:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a_former_elt_2jv:

Most previously DFC'd Commanding Officers are doing well in Civ life, in a variety of jobs - albiet a bit earlier than than they expected. Recently, all have retired after at least 20 years, since they were close to that point anyway.

As for RPCO or NRRO presence in Guam - non existent. Both are tasked out of the Pearl Harbor branches for the Continental Airlines flyby. Not saying that their presence on the island would have prevented the third and final significant issue that led to the CO's DFC, since it happened underway and (thankfully) NRRO stays comfortably ashore for life.

1/11/2010 6:23 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Yeah, flooding the people tank isn't good, but as an "old school" Buffy sailor (back when Don Miller was CO), it certainly sucked getting woken up at 0500 the morning after getting back after Westpac by the Collision alarm because the Below Decks overflowed the Valve Station loading variable. It damned near put seawater in the Battery Well. Then again, I don't recall anyone getting fired over it. I guess the principle of, "Let the punishment fit the crime" kind of fell by the wayside, unless there was some SERIOUS issues at all leadership levels in the command.

I DO, however, recall a number of folks on Houston (just ahead of us in DNP back in 1991) going bye-bye after NRRO saw how a major RC-div maintenance procedure was done in 21 MINUTES and felt it necessary to take a little closer look. I don't remember a single boat in Pearl who didn't feel the pain from that one.

All that said, what's the statute of limitations for putting your name on the back of the scram switch plate?

1/11/2010 9:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if there was some NRRO/NSRO/RPCO presence on the Island, they could have given CSS 15 some feedback as to what needed some of their attention on the BUF deckplates.

I can't believe with the maintenance issues that occurred, CSS 15 wasn't onboard more often. Before the whining begins...I'm not laying blame for BUF's issues on CSS 15, but it could have saved us maintenance dollars and operational time...not to mention crew morale etc.

1/12/2010 4:50 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

So are we actually saying that NRRO is a good thing? Seriously?!>?!

I'm not sure I would've ever considered that having one of the CWO's/LT [DILDO] around was good since they usually came up with the "Toothbrush and toothpaste left adrift in ERF" on their hit lists.

So there's a leadership failure by NR for failing to monitor ships in port adequately. Maybe a more "forward deployed" NRRO presence is needed, i.e. Yokosuka, Sasebo, Guam, etc. to help keep the material conditions better.

With that said, do you suppose that the 715 could've/would've passed an INSURV a few weeks ago? I'm thinking that they've probably had lots of help in improving things, but from the sounds of it, there were some serious problems.

On a even more side note, what would happen if an SSN/SSBN actually failed an INSURV? I mean, the implications are huge!!

1/12/2010 7:38 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

INSURVs are jokes!

Only the surface fleet fails them, although the subforce has the "recurring deficiencies" message each year. As long as you can answer max ahead and astern bells and do angle and dangles, you'll pass with look ups.

The surface community actually started up a SWO PCO course on material management (how to do a zone inspection and assess your ship) instead of preparing powerpoints to snorkle the boss.

I was on a sub that was cited during an INSURV for the "inability to flood the weapons magazine" (Spoken, Torpedo Room) by a SWO INSURV inspector. To my knowledge, we've not installed the torpedo room flooding system yet, and never will.

INSURV is required by congress.....Hummmm

1/12/2010 6:17 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

I was on a sub that was cited during an INSURV for the "inability to flood the weapons magazine" (Spoken, Torpedo Room) by a SWO INSURV inspector.
He probably meant the bulk ammo locker or pyro/ammo locker in Countermeasures and as a SWO just got the verbiage wrong.

Those items are regularly gigged on INSURV if you can't show that all the valves will work.

We were dinged on having the wrong type of temperature gage on one of those lockers, even though the shipyard installed it & it worked fine. The replacement required them to re-weld the door and wasted alot of time & money.

My division took a hit on a busted off dimmer knob, that was broken while the INSURV team was onboard (fixed the day after they left since Supply was busy getting important parts).

1/12/2010 6:43 PM

 
Anonymous Go Big Red said...

As a Nuke (and ironically considering orders to this boat) I can tell you that even though many problems may have led to this relief (and there were more than just the CO relieved) it was the sole ALL CAPS and BOLD words in the Engineering bible (EDOM) that "broke the camels back". Engineering CPO's abandoned ship and now the LPO's mentioned before are left to piece together the recovery. Where was the backup to the maintenance practices? Where was the demanding of root documents to verify all t's crossed and i's dotted. No one man can know every precaution but an entire department should. If given the chance all Chiefs eligble for transfer should strive to get orders to this boat, a boat in their hour of need. It is our DUTY as submariners to help this boat out of the rut they are creating. Just ask my last boat's crew, atleast three attempted suicides... one "success" and another deceased shipmate since then due to cleanliness of the rudder ram. Go Big Red.

1/21/2010 6:08 PM

 
Anonymous Go Big Red said...

On a side note, and after reading the majority of other comments. I don't think that an orgainzation like NRRO can prevent a problem like this. They can't stand over your shoulder and ask ALL the stupid questions. Some questions need to be asked by the people that ACTUALLY own the boat.

1/21/2010 6:17 PM

 
Anonymous bubblehead chief said...

King said...
Honestly, I think many boats have had similar levels of incompetence come down without relieving the CO.

And after 4 months, it still at least partly the fault of his clearly incredibly lucky predecessor... who, of course, will screen for O6 and go on as if nothing bad ever happened...

12/21/2009 5:25 PM

The previous CO was great. He was great because he let the Chiefs and LPOs run their divisions.

The new CO, he who was removed, is a very likable and knowledgeable guy, but was over-involving himself in stuff that should have been left to the Yeomen and COB. This combined with an XO who was not respected by the crew, led to a detioration of morale, which attributed to the command's downward sprile.

1/24/2010 2:40 PM

 
Anonymous bubblehead chief said...

Anonymous said...
Only four months in command. Give me a break. That's not enough time for a DFC without a tier one event or misbehavior.

I have to agree with other posters - where are the CPOs on this ship? - and what is CSS-15 doing besides watching three SSNs and a tender?

The previous CO is selected for CAPTAIN and SCREENED FOR MAJOR COMMAND.

12/21/2009 11:16 PM
The previous CO was selected for Captain and screened for major command because of outstanding ability to lead - Commodore Wright, as well as most of the CSS-15 staff, can learn alot from him on leadership.

CSS-15 may watch 3 SSNs and a Tender, but it certainly doesn't support them, but that is the case with most of the sub force.

Forward deployed naval forces - more like the bastard children of the Navy, that's how the Navy treats the subs in Guam.

BUFFALO Sailors had to move from one barracks to another 4 times in a 12 month period becauase they were all below living conditions (no water, maybe cold (brown) water some of the time, mold, no electricity and the list goes on).

What was CSS-15's conclusion? Move all sub Sailors five miles (8 if the subs are at Polaris Point) with no support services. No galley, no transportation for Sailors without cars (and still take the Sailors to NJP if only a few minutes late getting to the boat), and no leadership, just an evil stepmother continuously damning their stepchildren, which she neither wants nor knows what to do with them.

No doubt Commodore Wright will pick up a star because the Navy knows of no other way to "get" rid of him. Some leadership.

1/24/2010 2:54 PM

 
Anonymous bubblehead chief said...

Anonymous said...
First off, anyone who says WESTPAC operations are not exciting or operationally fun has not been on WESTPAC recently. Business on WESTPAC is good. That is one place we know what our job is and there is plenty to do and Group 7 let's you do your job without micro-management. But that is not the problem here.

WESTPACs fun? Perhaps on a San Diego or Pearl Harbor boat, but not on a Guam boat.

Before BUFFALO's move to Guam from PH, CSS-15 came over to PH to tell BUFF Sailors about all the great ports that they would go to after each mission and that Guam boats were 50-50 inport/at sea.

The truth: port after port was cancelled and missions kept getting extended. 83% of 2008 was at sea, then BUFF comes back to port only to be sent off to PH for six months. Sounds good until you consider that BUFF Sailors were based in Guam, their cars, HHG, families, lives were in Guam, not PH. This is how CSS-15, CSG-7, and the Navy as a whole treat Guam Sailors, send them to Guam, keep them at sea as much as possible, and then when the boat can't be at sea, don't allow the Sailors to spend time at home or with their families.

Guam's a great place. If given the chance, everyone should take the opportunity of going there. If that opportunity requires being on a sub there, don't do it, stay away.

1/24/2010 3:08 PM

 
Blogger bubblehead chief said...

Anonymous said...
@Tyson van

the only reason JOs like you get out is because they can't hack it on an ssn. You were probably just a shipyard bubba with no operational experience who spent every weekend on the sunny pearl beaches. I on the other hand am the last true wardog, and I am ice COLD.

12/23/2009 3:49 PM


Everything you have to say about LT Van is totally untrue. The guy did a full tour on an SSN and had plenty of operational experience - a WESTPAC while the boat was homeported in Pearl Harbor and a full mission cycle while in Guam. He was no shipyard bubba. You have no credibility.

1/24/2010 3:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

need a clue?
MARF

1/30/2010 12:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old former Buffy sailor. Sad to see the poor boat get injured. After reading 80% of the comments. Wow & WTF has happened to the submarine force.

2/18/2010 3:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im on the buffalo now it was not his fault commander henry was a good co thay never gave him a shot

3/15/2010 4:42 AM

 
Anonymous BuffaloChips said...

I worked with McAneny, the guy is a complete and utter jackass. Then again, CDR Henry was a pretty piece of crap Eng. I had to deal with that prick on more than one occasion. Henry was always a little too big for his britches and back in the day he had CSS-1 Cmdre standing up for him, unfortunately for him, McAneny won't put up with it.

4/16/2010 9:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how about some facts, The E-div Chief screwed up, a lot he new all the right things to say to keep himself from feeling the consequences of his actions or lack of. He should have been DFC'd months before. Twice in the CO's short command he was asked to fire the E-div chief, he did not he put his own name and career on the line for the chief. When the chief screwed up again they both were fired. So if you think it was unfair you are wrong. I think the CO was a heck of great guy I hope he gets another run at commanding a sub. If he does I'm sure he'll be a better judge of character.

6/12/2010 4:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Chris at the University of Maryland aerospace classes. Don't understand what precipitated this, but he was sharp as hell. Maybe a little stubborn but a very sound engineering student. I hope everything works out for the best with him.

7/01/2010 12:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Buff was the WORST boat on the pier in Pearl.

Senior leadership was more concerned about putting on a show for squadron than doing right by the guys that did all the heavy lifting for them.

The Goat Locker's knee-jerk-NJP-reaction to damn near everything destroyed morale, and careers where successful.

The few exceptions (mostly JO's with no real authority, or clue, to change it), the entire leadership culture was so abysmal that they damn near killed a sailor within a few months of Pappano taking command, out of sheer incompetence and/or selfishness.

Pappano should've been relieved, and all involved in above incident should have been fired. No excuses.

9/11/2010 6:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its good to see the buffy is just as screwed up now as it was when i was there 15 years ago wonder if the snob books still exist

10/13/2010 1:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know the CO of Buffalo when this happened, but I can vouch that Wright is a "type-A" SSHOLE too. He was the CSS-11 Eng when I was a JO on the waterfront. Never met another officer who was so full of himself, and I served under some pretty bad officers. Doesn't surprise me that Wright would be so arrogant that he would relieve someone after only four months. What surprises me is how Wright not only made CO (and his crew didn't kill him), but how did he make Commodore? Sad state of the submarine force

10/21/2010 9:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to see so much trouble come the Buffalo's way. 20 years ago she was the hot boat in Pearl. We picked up many op's from other boats that could detach themselves from the pier...

11/11/2010 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Pappano was a GREAT CO. He ws the kind of CO that you may only serve under once in a career, if you are lucky. He looked out for the crew, and we got the job done, the CORRECT way. He didn't take no crap from anyone outside of the boat, Wright included. He was about, going on mission, bringing home the bacon, and coming home. I remember getting extended a couple of times, and he had a way to make you feel good about it. Awesome motivator, mentor and man.

Henry, was no different. Understand the hand he was dealt. Buffy just got out of a crazy DSRA when there was rarely a day off. Worked to the bone to get back home, just to finish up all of the maintenance that got pushed from the DSRA. He was a nuke, but a very solid tactically. He drove the boat, like nobody I have ever seen. He challenged us, every day, to strive to be the best submariners we could be. To sit here and read what people have wrote about these two men, sickens me.

The problem in Guam is how everyone there is recycled from one command to the next out there. If it were a bigger Navy area, it wouldnt be so bad, but overall climate is horrible, and it hits all the boats there. Hopefully OKC can fend off the soul reaper of squadron 15. They are the biggest problem, never around when you need them, and they give you a bunch of crap when you ask for help.

The good of Guam left with Sawyer, Wright destroyed that place, hopefull the new guy is good, he seemed like he would be.

12/15/2010 1:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or may only serve under once if, by the poor decisions of his command and himself, nearly kills you.

Just because the sailor survived, through absolutely no assistance or effort of Pappano or his leadership, does not excuse himself or the crew of the Buffalo involved.

You're not a good person for -almost-, but not quite, murdering someone.

12/31/2010 8:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What and when was the near-death event on BUFFALO?

12/31/2010 10:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aug '07. The E7 IDC on-board misdiagnosed a serious medical issue that, properly recognized, would have resulted in an immediate medevac. Instead the sailor was all but accused of malingering by some of the senior crew (though not by the IDC or goat locker, that I know of) and put back on watch, and then was left ashore at a hospital, -by himself-, for "observation". Apparently the hospital "observed" that he should have been dead or something by this point, and the sub had to turn around to drop off someone to be with him, since he was in a coma for 2 weeks or something and didn't have anyone with him (I think his wife got out there eventually, but she was pissed that Red Cross/squadron had no idea where he was or what was going on with him during all of this). He survived, but is all f'ed up, missing organs, etc.

There was a series of incorrect decisions that should have led to a correct diagnosis, or preventative action, or at the least, not leaving a fully qual'd shipmate (less anyone here think he was the s'bag of the crew) alone to nearly die alone in a foreign hospital. I'm of the opinion, and I don't think I'm alone, that the buck stops with the CO, hence my holding Pappano accountable. Additionally (although this may be incorrect, and if so I'd accept that), I thought that the IDC's CoC is pretty much directly to the CO, isn't it? If so, then, again, more accountability towards Pappano.

1/09/2011 5:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without knowing any more than what you say, I can neither agree nor disagree. I will say that medical diagnosis is the one area on the submarine where the CO is not expected to have a significant amount of knowledge. Engineering, navigation, tactics, weapons, supply, etc - in all of these, the CO should be one of the two or three most knowledgable people on board, and the expert in most cases. But for medical? No training whatsoever. So I would give Pappano the benefit of the doubt, unless he specifically ignored or countered the IDC's judgment. Sounds like the IDC blew this one. So I guess I do disagree.

1/09/2011 8:29 PM

 
Anonymous Former QM1(SS) said...

"Anonymous said...
Not to speculate, but it may to do with the improper loading of variable while inport that resulted in water in the Diesel. You will have to use your imagination to figure out how they got themselves in that situation."

Not so unusual. I was the belowdecks watch on the Bremerton in port in Pearl when I got the report that they were taking on variable. I duly noted it on the log and continued my rounds. After a while I heard what sounded like water flowing. I got my flashlight and looked in the bilges of the AMR
but didn't see anything. But the sound of water flowing was very LOUD. I went forward into the torpedo room and opened the deck hatch to check the level of potable water and much to my horror, there was water halfway up to the deck hatch. It occured to me that the tank variable was being pumped to was full and the relief valve had lifted and the water was moving forward. I picked up the 27MC and hollered for topside to secure loading variable. The end result was the Duty Chief was fired and lost his quals. (He was later removed from the boat for being a hazard to the boat.) That particular Duty Officer had to load variable whenever variable had to be loaded.

5/23/2011 10:32 PM

 
Anonymous Boise Idaho said...

I choose not to speculate.

10/29/2011 8:24 PM

 

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