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CO of USS The Sullivans relieved

BigRed389

Registered User
None
If there's really nothing else there, does it really make sense to can a guy over what (to a non-SWO) seems like a minor incident? I'm sure there are commanders making much greater mistakes while commanding ships that don't get relieved.

I know seamanship is sacrosanct to SWOs, but come on. An aviator can have a mishap, but as long as he wasn't negligent, he can still go on to be a productive member of society.
Well hopefully it's NOT just zero defect mentality setting in, but even in the SWO community mishaps don't always lead to firings either. About 2 years or so back, a DDG on deployment ran soft aground while pulling in somewhere in the Med (I'm thinking it was Turkey) with a pilot embarked...no details came out, but CO wasn't fired. And then another DDG just starting its deployment fouled a prop on a tow line, again, CO survived.

Problem is, we don't know if there were mitigating circumstances or not. (low visibility? Buoy out of position? Nighttime transit, buoy lighting failed? Unable to maneuver due to traffic/narrow channel? "other" clusterfuck?)
But under normal circumstances, dinging a buoy is like hitting a fire hydrant...they don't move, and they sit where you're not supposed to be driving.
 

Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
None
Site Admin
Contributor
You have to consider that the guy running the website is probably an IT3.

Brett
And yet the bio was surely written by the XO for the IT3 to upload. IT3 Jones probably figured, hey, it came from the XO so that must be how he wants it.
 

Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
None
Site Admin
Contributor
If there's really nothing else there, does it really make sense to can a guy over what (to a non-SWO) seems like a minor incident? I'm sure there are commanders making much greater mistakes while commanding ships that don't get relieved.

I know seamanship is sacrosanct to SWOs, but come on. An aviator can have a mishap, but as long as he wasn't negligent, he can still go on to be a productive member of society.
I hear what you're saying, but rubbing paint with anything is typically frowned upon in SWO land. The CO's taking command know this up front, so it usually comes as no surprise to them. While it may seem unfair to the rest of the world, that's the life of a ship's captain.
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
I don't know if this is related at all, but whenever we communicated with them it was always terrible.
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
Relieved for hitting a buoy ??? I don't get the 'zero tolerance' policy that seems to be the norm today w/regard to CO's/XO's and such ...

Flashback: when we passed into Valetta Harbor on the Casa Grande in 1968 -- the CO refused a tug and pilot -- said he 'didn't need one'. I was on the bridge as
everyone leaned to port as the wall came closer & closer -- in an eye-watering demonstration of seamanship, we promptly ran aground/scrapped the side/free'd our self in a time-warp w/ the assistance of the tugs he had earlier poo-poo'ed ... after 4 days of LIB's w/ very appreciative Maltese 'falcons' ... we went back to sea and kept on keepin' on for another 3 weeks. No dock time, no down time ...

This particular CO was an idiot for that and some other things (opinion) -- but nothing happened to him.

Today -- while I'm not 'in' and therefore don't see all the little details and 'nuances' (whatever that means) -- it seems you can be relieved today for what was seen as the 'normal' vagaries of life at sea 4+ decades ago ... Good thing Chester Nimitz wasn't in today's Navy ..

More's the pity, as I think the PC, zero-tolerance, zero-thinking, zero-risk mentality KILLS initiative and the possibility of sometimes pushing the envelope in peacetime -- things that pay a premium in wartime. Think VADM Dick Dunleavy for an example ...


But what do I know ???? ... We're all drinkin' Painkillers ... and there is so much pain in the world today ... :)

 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
OK...I'll admit it. I chomped a buoy conning the TR into Norfolk my first time (1992). Swung the ass-end right over it. The comments?

CO: First a whale, now a buoy.....what are you going to hit next?

Pilot: Third time this year a carrier I've been on has taken out that buoy......

It was a really tight turn for a 1100 foot ship and the Pilot said they'd been trying to get that buoy moved for years. In fact, if there was any ship comiing the other direction, we couldn't make it as we had to use their side of the channel for the turn too. The Pilot said he'd report the incident and that was the last we ever heard of it. After we secured from Sea & Anchor, I went to apologize to the CO and face the music. Capt. Abbott just shrugged and said not to worry about it. He'd hit it before and it was a common occurance with carriers as the Pilot had mentioned.
 

eas7888

Looking forward to some P-8 action
pilot
Contributor
There is no such thing as an accident, only varying degree's of negligence.
I take exception to this statement. Not all accidents are caused by negligence my friend. All too often, people look for scapegoats and in the public eye, there HAS to be someone to blame. Sometimes, there are just risk factors that cannot be mitigated. That doesn't make it negligence, just piss poor luck.
 

Pugs

Back from the range
None
Not all accidents are caused by negligence my friend. .
(ASO Hat on) We don't have accidents in the Navy, we have mishaps. Accidents are unavoidable, mishaps have root causes and can be prevented. (ASO hat off)
 

eas7888

Looking forward to some P-8 action
pilot
Contributor
(ASO Hat on) We don't have accidents in the Navy, we have mishaps. Accidents are unavoidable, mishaps have root causes and can be prevented. (ASO hat off)
Well said Pugs. I made a habit of telling my soldiers "Accidents are unavoidable, ignorance is trainable, but there is no excuse for negligence"
 

Pugs

Back from the range
None
Well said Pugs. I made a habit of telling my soldiers "Accidents are unavoidable, ignorance is trainable, but there is no excuse for negligence"
Good to know I learned something 15 years in Monterey other than curing my slice. ;)
 
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