Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm going to go out on a limb here

And wonder how much the union had to do with all that shoddy work that has kept a Navy Cruiser in port since it's last refit.

“Bottom line: severe problems with engines, missiles, guns, links, comms and aviation,” Rear Adm. Rob Wray, president of INSURV, wrote in the April 7 email addressed to the heads of Fleet Forces Command, Pacific Fleet and Naval Surface Forces. “The ship’s material condition did not support underway operations, area air defense operations, or principal warfare commander command and control requirements.”


Upon discovering metal debris in the port main reduction gear, the shaft had to be locked for most of the underway part of the inspection. All seven gas turbine engines and generators had multiple problems that precluded their operation. The SPY-1 radar was unable to operate at minimum power and the Aegis weapon system couldn’t provide a “recommend fire” alert in simulation mode, preventing Standard Missile-2 launches. The forward deck gun was inoperable due to a faulty firing pin. Connectivity issues hampered data links, email, radio circuits, naval messages, instant messaging — even Tomahawk mission planning.

How odd- I wonder why it showed up all of a sudden?


Mobile Bay had completed a 10-month overhaul, billed by Naval Sea Systems Command as “the most comprehensive upgrade and modernization program in the history of the U.S. Navy,” according to a Navy newsstand story. The second cruiser to complete the modernization, the ship had a combat systems upgrade, installing the latest updates to the Aegis weapon system.

So, which union brotherhood do we have to thank for that?

H/T Bob.


  1. Having worked on engine room equipment on a carrier (USS Enterprise 87-91), I can say that it would take a gross degree of negligence to leave debris in a reduction gear after servicing it.

    I guarantee there was a step in the repair procedure that specifically called for cleaning out the crap and metal shavings. This was, apparently, skipped over by lazy, shiftless shipyard workers with no sense of pride who were too busy thinking about their after-work beer to do the job they were paid for.

  2. Dear God in Heaven... metal shavings in the reduction gear are about as bad as you can possibly get when it comes to engineering problems. The MRG (Main Reduction Gear) on my Frigate was leased (they are stupid expensive), and would have required cutting about a 10x20-foot hole in the side of the hull to replace - and if there are actual, honest-to-God "metal debris" in the MRG, that thing is pretty much toast. We checked for metal filings in the MRG oil on a six-hour basis, I believe it was, and if there was so much as a glimmer, all hell would break loose. Given the forces that piece of machinery harnesses, it is one of the most expensive parts of a Navy ship these days... damn shame for them to have dorked up theirs.