Monday: 10.January.2005

US Nuclear sub runs aground

Been getting mail & phone calls asking, "Did you hear about the nuclear sub that ran aground near Guam?"

I spent a few years stationed aboard a nuclear sub. It was home-ported out of Pearl Harbor, but we spent several month-long stays in Guam ("Where America's day begins"), which is in the middle of nowhere. [aerial photo]

My memories of Guam are not pleasant. We worked long hours (not a problem when you're 20 years old) and it's hot & humid there, even at 5AM. I remember pulling dirty clothes out of my dirty clothes bag, because they were cleaner than the ones I was wearing. But that's another story.

continued

Apparently one person died and 19 were injured in the accident. You gotta hit something pretty hard to *kill* someone in a submarine. I can't imagine what happened. The Dog & I were trying to figure it out. We suspect they hit an underwater mountain.

I had a buddy serving aboard the USS George Washington when it hit a Japanese freighter (the Nissho Maru) while surfacing in the China Sea, sinking the freighter (on 09.April.1981).

My buddy had less than a month to go before he was schedued to get out (which he eagerly anticipated). At the moment of impact, he said (not knowing what happening), "I was kinda p*ssed cuz I thought I was going to die with less than a month to go." =)

The captain of George Washington was relieved of his command (fired) and I suspect this captain will face a similar fate. But maybe things have changed in the military. When I see how the officers in the Abu Gharib prison scandal eluded prosecution, it makes me wonder.

When I was in (back in the day), officers were held to a higher standard than enlisted folk. Now however, it seems they use enlisted men as scape goats and claim ignorance. When I was in, "I didn't know" was never an excuse. In fact, it was *worse* than saying "I screwed up," because it indicated incompetence. If you didn't know what was going on, you were quickly replaced with someone who did.

But now, of course, we now have presidents using ignorance as an excuse. And if the boss is getting away with it, it doesn't surprise me that those under him have adopted similar tactics (blame the Navigator). So it will be interesting to see how they handle this one. More info at CNN, USAToday, Pravda, Reuters.





Posted by Rad at January 10, 2005 01:42 PM

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