Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The chain of command works both ways

The ones on top are responsible for those below them and those below are supposed to do their job to keep those above them from falling on them.

Respect and responsibility go both ways, too.

I don't know if anyone else heard about the $70 million fire aboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73) cause by smoking in an unauthorized space.

See, onboard ship (especially an aircraft carrier) you have all kinds of highly flammable material around- fuel oil, AVGAS, JP4 and 5, hydraulics, solvents, paint, etc... leaking, applied, dropped stored or any way you can think of just waiting for that wrong trifecta of events to jump into a conflagration.

In this case it was probably diesel oil leaking from a feed to the boiler.
Because no matter how good the fitting, on a moving, twisting, shuddering ship you'll always have leakage.

What I was thinking about in the title, was that the Navy removed both the CO and XO and left the rest in place waiting on the new Captain to deal with.
Everyone had something to do with the problem that cause that fire, from the PO-3 (E-4)in charge of his detail to the 1st lieutenant(O-2)in charge of the division and the Chiefs (E-7 up) all the way up for not hammering safety enough.

That non-rate that probably caused the whole thing didn't have the pleasure of tough love to reinforce the whole responsibility thing.

What I also found surprising (and somewhat disconcerting) was that it caused so much degradation in the combat effectiveness of the carrier.
I'm sure the Navy will be learning from this fire like they did from the USS Forestal fire* of the 67.

*Oh Gawd, just wait untill the Libs see that last line...."John McCain started the Forestal fire!"

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