Friday, January 19, 2007

MSP CO Relieved

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Somewhat surprisingly, the CO of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), CDR Edwin Ruff, has been relieved of command. I say "surprisingly" not because it doesn't fit in with the Sub Force's recent "tradition" of relieving COs whenever something bad happens on a boat that makes the press, but because it apparently wasn't done by the first Flag Officer in the chain of command. That officer, RADM Jeff Fowler, had recently issued CDR Ruff a punitive letter of reprimand, but didn't fire him on the spot. So, either RADM Fowler didn't coordinate the punishment with the upper brass ahead of time (highly unlikely), he didn't want his name attached to the action, the Sub Force doesn't want anyone not in a boat's "home" chain of command making these things happen, or the safety report came out with additional information that made VADM Munns (SubLant) decide to pull the trigger.

Staying at PD...

Update 2227 19 Jan: Here's the Navy NewsStand version of the story. Excerpt:
Following a review of the events in connection with a Dec.29 at-sea incident near Plymouth, England, Commander, Submarine Force, Vice Adm. Chuck Munns relieved Cmdr. Edwin Ruff, commanding officer, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), and reassigned him to the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron 6 in Norfolk, Va. Munns took this action due to a loss of in confidence in Ruff’s ability to command.
Cmdr. Chris Williams, Deputy for Readiness, Submarine Squadron 6, and former Commanding Officer USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), assumed command of USS Minneapolis-St. Paul Jan. 19.


At 6:19 AM, Blogger WillyShake said...

I had thought that COMSUBGRU 8's decision to issue only a punitive letter spoke volumes about the kind of CO Ruff was. (& how I remember him)

Somehow, though, I knew this would come anyway--mistakes were made, and, in the event, men were killed.

Such a tragedy.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger jeff said...

What does this sort of thing, replacing a CO for something that probably wasn't under his control (I know, the buck stops here, but still), do to morale on the sub and in the subfleet?

How hostile an environment is the new commander likely to face, assuming that the now relieved CO was popular?


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