The Other Shoe Drops
In the least unexpected piece of news about the Submarine Force in some time:
Capt. Blake Converse, Commander, Submarine Squadron 6, relieved Cmdr. Thomas Winter, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765), of his duties Jan. 4 due to loss of confidence in Winter's ability to command.Our previous discussion about the Montpelier collision can be found here. While I'm interested to see the relief announcement say that the investigation uncovered "contributing factors" among the headquarters and oversight commands (normally these investigations say that it was entirely the fault of a few "bad apples" on the boat, and the shore duty guys who trained them were blameless) we won't know what really happened until someone does an FOIA request for a redacted copy of the investigation. Hopefully that will come out soon.
The relief comes after a thorough command investigation into the collision that occurred between USS Montpelier and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) off the coast of Florida Oct. 13, 2012.
The investigation revealed that the principal cause of the collision was human error, poor teamwork by the Montpelier watch team, and the commanding officer's failure to follow established procedures for submarines operating at periscope depth. Additionally, the investigation revealed contributing factors threaded among the various command and control headquarters that provide training and operational oversight within Fleet Forces Command.