Monday, October 22, 2007

Hampton crew allegedly radioed records

Six Navy personnel on board the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton have been punished for forging inspection records for the cooling system of the ship's nuclear reactor, Navy officials said Monday.
The crew neither maintained inspection records nor conducted the required inspection of the chemical levels associated with the cooling system, the Navy officials said. The crew then went back and falsified existing records to make it appear the work had been done, the officials added.

Let's do some nuclear translation...the ELTs apparently forged primary chemistry and it looks like it got caught during a pre-ORSE look by their new squadron.

Not a good day for the nukes. These guys will be under an intense microscope. And I'd read between the lines to say that the one officer and five enlisteds that were sent to NJP were likely the CRA and the bulk of the ELTs, and they are also likely to lose their nuclear NECs/designators.

This won't bode well for the skipper, either.

I once served aboard Hampton, though it was many, many years ago (1994, I think). I was a rider, on for only a couple of months for quals. Still, my past association with the Hampton is what made this article catch my eye.

Again, not a good day to be a nuke on the 767...


At 10:09 PM, Blogger pat said...

question for you, does it seem odd that now (4) nuke CO's have been relieved this year? i'm no submariner, just curious if anyone can offer an opinion.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

This period reminds me of the era when I was a JO during the Vietnam War. I the mid to late sixties, there were a rash of submarine 'incidents' that were related to the tempo of operations. There may be some of that involved now but some folks on active duty that I have discussed this with think it is the lack of seatime in the senior and middle grade officers. The demands of the Goldwater-Nichols Act and its successors, along with the declining number of submarines contribute to a lack of operational experience in the DH and the CO/XO teams. So, from a distance, I would offer the opinion that high OPS TEMPO from the decreasing number of available submarines, combined with short sea tours has led to the present circumstances

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Rob said...

As someone who is very recently out of the sub force (3 months), I can say an even larger aggravating factor is time. Not officer experience, but schedule, and not Optempo. Any given day/week is so packed with "non-job" BS that you end up having your work/maintenance squeezed into about 1/4 the time it should take. Shortcuts invariably crop up. Not to say it's an acceptable excuse; it most certainly is not. But as an example, my division on my last boat had a rather large job to do (align new S/G water level detectors), and it was rather important (we couldn't move forward with preps to defuel the reactor until it was done). We got the system turned over to us from the shipyard, knowing full well it was going to take 5 members of an 8 man division and the better part of an entire workday to do. But it was more important for us to attend training, GMT, and other non-work related stuff. We didn't finish until past 2100. I normally wouldn't care, as I figured if the job needed to be done it needed to be done, but what really aggravated me was that we were kept from even starting until 1530. Our work was done almost completely outside the, GMT, PT, and other non-mission related junk got in the way. Somewhere along the way we forgot as a service just what we are there's not to sit in classrooms or to run nice-to-have programs like community service or's to do the job in our job descriptions (i.e., operate/maintain power plants, etc.).

The above example was, sadly, not exceptional, it was typical, at least for engineering divisions. It was very common on my last two boats for aft divisions (and even forward divisions, when they had actual work to do) to muster around 15-1600 to start the "work" day. You just knew, even in upkeeps/availabilities, that you had two workdays...0730 to 15-1600 for the stuff "management" had on the schedule (meetings, training, etc.) and 15-1600 to whenever for your actual work.


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