Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hartford CO Cashiered

Well, you had to know this was coming, no matter what the investigation found. When a naval vessel collides with another, especially a target, somebody is going to lose their job. And that person typically is the head man.

I would also expect there to be more firings off of the Hartford. The Nav, Weps, Sonar Officer, Sonar Sup and Lead Nav ET are probably toast as well. While the CO usually takes the brunt of the blame, sometimes things turnout differently.

I was on the Ustafish when she grounded coming into Charleston. The whole mess got blamed on the QMC. I had the great displeasure of working at squadron when his mast came up while the boat was deployed on a multi week work up. (Funny how defense counsel can't find witnesses when they're all at sea.) His JAG attorney lit up when he heard that I was on board and had been on the bridge that day with the captain. He thought he might actually have a witness that could save the QMC.

Now, I hadn't been in the navy too long at that point but I had been in long enough to know a thing or two about how Naval "Justice" really worked and I fully realized that no good deed would go unpunished so I quickly talked the two of them out of it.

The powers that be had their villain and no amount of eyewitness testomony from Seaman Paintscrapper was going to stop the hanging. The QMC got runout of the Navy over it. Bad situation all the way around. The CO finished his tour and then went to shore duty with a black mark that he never recovered from.

The good Lord only knows how the New Orleans got in the path of the Hartford but I would lay my money on some staff puke back at Sublant that should have had a closer eye on the Hartford's box. They were just lucky that the collision didn't remove the entire sail!


blunoz said...

I disagree with your speculation on the Nav, Weps, and Sonar Officer. If it were a grounding, then maybe the Nav and Anav. In the case of a collision, it all depends on who was on watch at the time - i.e. OOD, JOOD, Sonar Sup.

Jeff Lee said...

Heads will roll, either way. They won't be satisfied until there's some more blood.