Friday, October 12, 2007

USS Hampton Loses Their Keys

It looks like the new submarine in San Diego, USS Hampton (SSN 767) is under investigation for "unspecified reasons" and has had their keys taken away. From Navy Times:
“During a routine review ... conduct of procedures, although found to be safe, fell short of high Navy standards,” Submarine Squadron 11 officials said in a release, provided by spokeswoman Lt. Alli Myrick.
Capt. Chip Jaenichen, squadron commander, ordered an investigation under the Judge Advocate General’s Manual, or JAGMan, after some “issues” surfaced while the submarine and squadron were preparing for a normal end-of-deployment examination, Myrick said.
The investigation was being done “to determine the extent of these issues,” officials said in the statement. “The Navy sets high standards of professionalism and takes those standards very seriously.”
Already, one officer and several enlisted sailors have received disciplinary action, Myrick said. No details were available late Friday.
The Navy spokesperson continued that the submarine was "not getting underway" until the investigation is completed.

More later as any news emerges...


At 9:03 AM, Blogger jeff said...

Is "keys" used in a metaphorical sense, or are we talking about weapons launch authorization stuff?

Somehow I can't just see the helmsman cranking the ignition before they can fire up the teakettle.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Herb said...

Keys are a ususal term for the reactor safety key, used to allow the startup of the Rx Plant
this is the usual term used if the Engineering Department really fouls up a examination and casualty drill evaluation.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I am retired submariner, and I have thought long and hard about the recent events surrounding the brouhaha in question. Let’s face it, the issues here did not just “pop up” on the Hampton,…they have evolved across the service, and were shaped and honed over many, many years. I observed the very same disturbing symptoms in the years leading up to my retirement in 1997, and to my own shame, I never did anything about it. The Navy did not just “catch” this problem, as so many of you have already pointed out – the Navy was forced to stare into the harsh light of day, and come face-to-face with an ongoing problem that has plagued the submarine service for years. I believe someone,…an individual of great strength and courage has stepped up and taken a bullet for “the home team”. And now, the sub service must clean house and take care of our own.

In the military, we give medals of honor to men and women who have thrown themselves in harm's way to selflessly give their lives for the security of others,...and they most certainly deserve that honor. Yet, when someone who possesses the ethical and moral convictions to say that “enough is enough”, and tells the truth about the ills that plague our service, they are vilified for it and never recognized for the strength of their convictions and their selfless behavior. In fact, that are attacked for the path they have chosen.

This situation is not about a squadron, a ship, its crew, the skipper or a single individual. This is about the US nuclear submarine service, which has a rich and deep tradition that harkens back to the earliest days of a man that embodied the essence of integrity, morals, ethics and standards that were so difficult for others to understand. This is a man that the Navy did not promote him beyond the rank of Captain - Congress did. His name was Hyman Rickover, and he was the father of the modern nuclear Navy. Admiral Rickover's personal qualities were so profound and so pure,...that the military-industrial structure that he interfaced with absolutely struggled with his requirements for perfection. It was not only his demand for perfection in the ships we sailed, was his demand that every sailor embody a higher conviction and commitment that could not be found anywhere else. He wanted to know that each individual would willingly give their lives to protect our nation - and there was no compromise, quarter.

For reasons that I will never be able to comprehend or discern,...the sub service has broken down and compromised itself. Officers and enlisted alike have conducted themselves in a way that has damaged the integrity of a branch of the US Navy that has been referred to as the "tip of the spear". In the process, these same dedicated people have privately struggled with who they are,...and have questioned their own actions. While I am certainly not positive of my supposition, I believe that a single person (or a few persons) started the dominoes to fall. For too long, the submarine service has needed someone brave enough and strong enough to bring all of this to light,…and I think that someone threw himself on the grenade for those who still serve beneath the waves. I believe that someone’s actions and choices embodied the spirit of Hyman Rickover. He would have been proud to call this lone soul "shipmate", and Rickover would have steadfastly stood side-by-side with him if he had to face the court,....because he knew he was fighting for everything that Rickover stood for,...and everything that defined the service. I believe this individual’s actions will positively impact the lives of countless sailors who serve our nation in the nuclear submarine force,...and I hope those responsible will help to return a once proud service to its roots.

Whomever you are, thank you for your dedication,...thank you for your service,....and thank you for taking a bullet, honor us all.


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