Thursday, September 7, 2017

Criminal Negligence

Read this bit related to the recent spate of groundings and collisions in the 7th Fleet.

“Adm. Scott Swift has taken on direct supervision of the “risk assessment management plan” program, a system otherwise known as RAMP that allowed the local destroyer squadron, fleet trainers and stateside commanders to keep their ships on patrol even if their qualifications in critical areas such as damage control, navigation and flight deck operations had lapsed.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is set to testify Thursday that nearly 40 percent of the Japan-based cruisers and destroyers were operating without valid warfare certifications.” [emphasis added] (1)

ComNavOps has been preaching the hollowness of the Navy and the criminally negligent behavior of Navy leadership for the last few years.  Now the ironclad proof is beginning to come out.

Is there really anything further I need to say?


(1)Defense News website, “US Navy worked around its own standards to keep ships underway: sources”, David B. Larter, 7-Sep-2017,


  1. Yes - Fire the SOBs!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. "Fortunately the LCS ..."


      Your point about frigates versus fewer destroyers is interesting although I don't know that it excuses anything in my mind. Even if the Navy only had one ship and it was deployed all day, every day, there's no excuse for poor seamanship, poor training, expired certifications, ets. In fact, one could make the argument that fewer ships means more training opportunities for the non-deployed sailors!

      Overworked ships may well mean poorer mechanical condition but there is, as yet, no indication that material conditions played any part in any of the recent incidents.

    2. CNO,

      I can understand "demand" or "deployment schedule" being causal for deferred intermediate and shipyard maintenance.

      So, like you, I could find an argument linking poor material condition to at-sea time credible.

      But I can't link bad seamanship to "too much time at sea". That may make me an idiot, but it sounds laughable.

      On the other hand, I could link "low standards" to high demand. For example, everyone knows wardroom x is a total sh*tshow, and deficient in skills q, r, s, and t but we need another deployer. Postpone the certification/inspection until they get back.

      That at least is consistent with the newly disclosed RAMP program. And weirdly consistent with the Navy's public behavior with the LCS shock testing (its going to fail anyway, so stop the test)

      And that's a culture that gets people killed. And, unsurprisingly, it did.

      Anyone above O-3 who knew about the RAMP program should be shown the door. If the CNO was briefed on it, he needs to go too. They made the wrong choice. For whatever reason. If they're not gone, things will continue to deteriorate.

      In a culture of liars, the dishonest flourish.

      RAMP is much worse than Tailhook. It should be a national scandal.

  3. Seems like there is no oversight/transparency or even accurate accounting of the hours that an average sailor is required/expected to work. And all the statements I have seen from people with senior navy experience have been totally counterproductive (and probably indicative of the attitude of most current leadership) in that they just talk about how grueling their time was and everyone should just suck it up, no excuses, etc., etc. You want to have that attitude you can go coach highschool football. They act like abuse victims who want to keep the cycle of abuse going.

    Note that no one puts up with that shit regarding the pilots hours on duty requirements.

    Maybe now people will start to see that a ship full of over worked and sleep deprived sailors is just as costly and lethal as a pilot flying in the same condition.

    1. That's because you are running into the innate masochism of the SWO community. Surface Warfare prides itself on doing more with less and never so no.

  4. This reminds me of a book about Lombardi I once read, where he went into training camp with the Packers and stressed the fundamentals, the point where he held up the ball and said 'Gentlemen, this is a football'.

    One of the fundamentals of the Navy is seamanship. You can't get around it. Technology can't replace it. I don't think that simulators can give it to you.

    It seems with everything coming out the Navy is focusing on the whiz bang (LCS modules, F-35C, Zumwalts and their magic empty guns, payload modules, social justice programs...) but forgetting about the basics.

    Gentelmen. This is an ocean going vessel....

  5. Fewer social cyber special warfighters, more sailors.
    A zoomie in a white uniform is still a zoomie,
    a purchasing agent in whites, is still a purchasing agent.
    a snake eater in clean clothes, is a snake eater.
    Admirals command ships, not airplanes, not infantry.


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