Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stennis XO fired for ‘Personal Misconduct’

OK. So the XO of the USS John C. Stennis was fired for what Navy Times calls "personal misconduct." Let's read a little between the lines.
  • He's an aviator, nuff said.
  • They are on a cruise in the Pacific.
Worst case scenario would be him being caught with his pants down. Although they are in port in Singapore, which ain't quite the PI. Any guesses?

Its pretty bad whenever you open Navy Times and they are several articles on personnel misconduct. Though we do reflect society as a whole.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hartford COB Gets the Ax, Too!

The powers that be have decided to SC the COB of the Hartford. (I am sure further investigation will reveal the root of the problem was not having enough field days.) Unless the COB was also the Diving Officer on Watch, I can't see why they would deep six him with the CO.

(Happier Times on the Hartford)
ETCM(SS) Stefan Prevot was relieved and replaced by MMCM(SS) Jon Wells, the Hartford's Bull Nuke and will serve as COB until the Hartford reaches port stateside.

You can also see the pictures of what the Hartford hit: 18 foot holes in the side of the USS New Orleans. Navy Times has the story here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sub Schedules Under Review

The pointy heads at the Sub Med Lab have started discussing the possibility of changing watch schedules underway on the boats. The ostensible reason for looking at the change is to allow greater rest time for our valiant undersea warriors.

While I certainly like the idea of giving bubbleheads more down time, I have my concerns too. I just don't want to hear about how this proposed move will lead to skimmer style reveille. I also don't care for the way the Navy Times article throws around the term "time off." My time off from watch was typically filled with quals and my "other" job. Sleep was third on the list. I wonder what Naval Reactionaries will have to say about having nukes to stand an additional 2 hours of watch.

With over 100 years of experience in sub ops under our belt, I'm sure we can come up with a good collection of watch stories that deal with the length of watches.

I seem to recall that the WWII boats used a different schedule than what we had in the fleet in the 90's. Anybody care to shed some light on the topic?

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!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Submarines and Cigarettes

The raising of the Federal cigarette tax today got me to thinking about the time the Ustafish pulled into Halifax. We had been out on training ops with one of the Canadian O-boats trying to listen to an SSK on battery.

Never a smoker, I always brought a couple of cartons on a cruise just in case a commercial opportunity presented itself. About 2 weeks out of port, the smoking lamp started to flicker due to the lack of smokes. Typically, due to poor planning by the boat's smokers, the cigarette market demand was high.

I let the smokers know that I had a ready supply of Marlboros for sale at twice the in-port price of about $5 a pack. Parasite, bloodsucker, scalper all of these names came my way and my chief quietly advised me to close up shop.

A fews days later we hit Halifax and I first section duty. I was topside as Petty Officer of the Deck as everybody went on liberty. Not more than 10 minutes later, a group of nicotine fiends come back to the boat and demanded that I get a relief so I can get those $5 Marlboros from their hiding place.

When I asked what had changed their minds, I got a stream of obscenities about Canadian tobacco taxes. It seems our northern cousins had jacked the cigarette tax to the point that a pack of Dead Cowboys cost $7USD. This is what we call a change in the market.

After running to the tiny Canadian Forces Exchange on base and spending the time to figure the exchange rate, our steely eyed killers from the deep decided the Deck Div. tax was a better deal.

And that, children, is how Seaman Paintscraper paid for numerous pints of O'Keefe's in Nova Scotia.