Friday, March 25, 2005

"Vigilance ... Saves Us From Putting Thresher and Scorpion 3 Section"

Posted by Hagar, MMCS(SS) on Fri - Mar 25 - 3:33am, on Rontini:

I am one of the few Senior vocal members online since the mighty San Fran became a rock dart in January. Remember the old addage about mud darts? Rock darts don't work too well....

I can only say that because the healing process works with time, and I must have humor in my life as any self respecting submariner must have. I've been closely watching every discussion that is searchable online and I've been seeing some shifts around that I think are not needed. So, I will say a few general things about the thoughts of the senior leadership of the boat and what in general is happening.

Nothing for the boat has been determined yet, it is still open season for the hardworking crew and they await their new homeport, and shipmates to arrive to help relieve them on their watchbill problem.

The crew has lost alot of men from medical, discipline issues, attrition, and other things, but they are doing a good job at sucking up and saying they love submarining, I'm proud of damn near every man on that boat. She has a good crew.

You must understand, that when a boat has an incident like we had, there are many feelings and many arguments that are tossed around. But at the leadership level of a submarine, we, WE, at that level understand what our responsibilities are, and what we accepted when we took that billet. WE understand what can happen when we loose one of our sailors (god help us if it happens), or injure a sailor, or damage equipment under our orders or instructions. It is OUR responsibility to ensure that it does not happen on our watch. It is our responsibility to provide to the command the watch team backup necessary to ensure that each and every submarine is safe for our junior men. We accept that when we take the watch. People who do not accept that responsibility are the ones you see on a cable news show blaming somebody else.

The Officers and Chiefs gave the Mooney's a goodbye get together last night. It was as outstanding and tightnit as the crew of the boat is. At times it was tear jerking, hugging, and at other times it was laughing and joking about past exploits and ribbing. We are a true submarine family, and that's why we punch holes as a career. Yes, a career, a life. Submarines, GET SOME.

My thoughts on all the messages here are mixed, but I will tell you one thing. Amongst the Seniors on the command, there is no angst, no bitterness, and no looking back. Understand? We had the watch, we accepted what happened, and we will move on with our lives. Nobody wants to lose a sailor, and that saddens our hearts, but we cannot stop the life of a submarine because of that. Ash is getting a memorial on the boat, and at Squadron 15, that will last far longer than anything we can do for his family or the crew. We rejoice that we did not lose more sailors, or the boat, it could have been so much more terrible.

Out of this incident, many things have changed, and will be changed in the future. There is no single point culpable failure here, and it is something that rarely happens. But, as in space, submerged operations remain a dangerous life, we live with a hard woman in the ocean, and she likes to take sailors.

Vigilance is the only thing that saves us from putting the Thresher and Scorpion 3 section. I refuse to die in an accident.

What I ask, is to be wary of disgruntled sailors, we have a few that "gave that sh@t" up, and are on hold, and I don't expect many nice things publicly out of them. They are the few, they are not the norm, and there always are a few, and most of them had issues before this incident.

711 Tuf