CTF-70 Commander fired

| September 19, 2017 | 32 Comments

Commander Task Force-70 reports that Rear Admiral Charles Williams has been fired from his assignment as commander of the Carrier Task Force along with Captain Jeffrey Bennett, commander of the Destroyer Squadron – 15 (DESRON-15) because Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet says that he’s lost confidence in their ability to commander.

Stars & Stripes reports that the loss pf confidence stems from the string of collisions;

In January, the USS Antietam ran aground and spilled roughly 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid into Tokyo Bay. In May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat while operating off the east coast of the divided peninsula. In June, a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged merchant ship killed seven sailors. Last month, a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a civilian merchant vessel killed 10 sailors.

The commanding officers of the Antietam and Fitzgerald were relieved of their duties.

Thanks to W2 for the tip.

Category: Navy

Comments (32)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    I wonder how many more heads will roll?

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      Not enough.

      The tasking has been, to put it mildly, insane.

      CTF says go, CO’s have no choice but to salute smartly, say, “Yes, sir!” and crush their crews with op tempos rarely seen outside of wartime.

      It’s also the reason (so I’m told) that the submarines in Guam got out from under the thumb of CTF and formed CSS-15.

      At some point, someone had to say no, but nobody ever did.

      • W2 says:

        The optempo hasn’t changed. As a matter of fact, the optempo has decreased a bit in WESTPAC over the years. There are more surface combatants homeported in Yokosuka than there has been in the last 25 years. The difference is the core training of sailors today isn’t even close to what is was in the past. For O’s there is no more SWOS, so they come to the fleet with little knowledge of what it takes to be a surface warfare officer. For the E’s the C schools of the past, where you go to learn how to work on your gear that were taught by humans who has real fleet experience, are gone. Nobody is trained to a basic navy standard anymore. The scary thing SEA is these sailors don’t know that they don’t know about their gear or their profession. It’s the blind leading the deaf.

        • OldSoldier54 says:

          Lots of time for Transgender/Homosexual/LBGTABCWXYZ Sensativity classes though, I’ll wager.

          It’s like watching slow mo national suicide.

        • NavyEODguy says:

          My next to youngest brother retired as an ENCS. Less than a month later he was hired as a civilian instructor at GLAKES EN “C” school.

          Ended up being promoted to the head civilian supervisor position. Within a few years there were no military instructors. After about 12 years he got tired of arguing with the higher-ups on their hiring practices; i.e. hiring guys with 4 to 6 years under their belt & having never attended this “C” school.

          So you can see where this is going…..

          Years later I saw the same thing happening with Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Hiring one-tour guys who had less time in service than some of the older guys who applied had straddling a cathole.

          Know whut I mean, Vern?!

  2. The Other Whitey says:

    The clear message here: Stop running ships into things, goddammit!

    • Fyrfighter says:

      One would think that such a message would not need to be sent, as it would appear to be common sense, but recent events do say otherwise…

    • FuzeVT says:

      At least they haven’t run an aircraft carrier or LHA/D into something. (Knocking on wood.)

      Remember the pride of the Navy, the Mighty Mo, grounded near Hampton Roads.

      That’s certainly a way to end your sea going career as a captain!!

  3. USAFRetired says:

    To paraphrase Admiral Nimitz

    Common Sense was an Uncommon Virtue.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Nimitz once ran his first command (a torpedo boat destroyer, IIRC) aground. Nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal, so he successfully argued that the captain of such a vessel was expected to be aggressive and slightly reckless. Of course, Nimitz apparently learned his lesson from the close call and made it a point not to crash anymore ships into anything that wasn’t liquid-state H2O from that point onward.

  4. Brown Neck Gaitor says:

    The RA’s current bio (updated yesterday) states that he is “Special Assistant to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet”

    The Commander’s Bio hasn’t changed yet.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    So the SH & IT rolled uphill this time?

    Get people on the weather decks and learn how to watch something besides screens in the dark.

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      Material readiness has to be an issue as well.

      Remember, the McCain had a steering casualty which caused that collision. Now that could mean any number of things, but if maintenance is deferred or not properly performed, well, you get the idea.

      Again, another little bird I heard was saying even the inspection teams were overwhelmed because there’s so much broke dick shit on those ships of late.

      Doing more with less only works up to a certain point.

      • The Other Whitey says:

        I saw an article, can’t remember where, that compared pictures of ships in 2001 and 2015. It pointed out that the ships in 2015 had a LOT more rust showing above the waterline, and said that the rust is indicative of poor maintenance, as the affected areas should have been chipped and repainted long before it got that bad if the ship were receiving proper upkeep.

        Not being a Sailor, I don’t really know, but that explanation does make sense to the layman.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          That kinda shit happens when you get dictums from on high putting PC bullshit indoctrination sessions in a higher priority than job and mission training along with equipment maintenance.

      • W2 says:

        No steering casualty, plus with a recent upgrade, there are at least 4 ways to steer JSM. DDG 56 simply got run down and hit. DDG 62 got t-boned due to watch stander inaction. CG 54 grounded due to watch stander inaction. Equipment, in all instances, worked as designed. It’s the humans that failed miserably.

        • Silentium Est Aureum says:

          I am not going to Monday morning quarterback this shit, but if it wasn’t material, why are our watchstanders fucking up at such a high rate of speed?

          And I saw your comment above. No “C” schools? Seems like our schoolhouses are failing at all levels. Mentoring? Yeah, not seeing it.

          All I know is I had no problem grabbing a set of sound powered phones, or manning a plot, or watch as needed when hitting a high traffic area, regardless of how long I had been up or what time it was.

          Humans have a lot to do with the accidents, but we can’t discount material conditions. If, as you say, we don’t have top tier technicians maintaining and repairing our gear, then we really are fucked.

          • W2 says:

            SEA, I can go on for days about navy maintenance and the material condition of the ships in Yokosuka.

            Here’s what has happened to the navy IMHO. For the O’s, they killed SWOS, or Surface Warfare Officers School. It’s where Ensigns learned the basics required to be a DIVO and were trained to the USN standard way of doing things. Now, the navy sends officers to the ship for “OJT”. We are starting on three generations of O’s who have never had formal training to a USN standard at the beginning of their careers. For the E’s, the navy killed some human instructed C schools and have made it e-learning, hoping the LPO on the ship can provide technical training once the new sailor hits the fleet. That training isn’t happening. Also, with the zero defect mentality, sailors aren’t working on gear they don’t have an NEC for. The days of you reporting onboard and learning the basics of troubleshooting your division’s equipment is over.

            So you have O’s that have not been trained to the navy standard, and E’s that hit the fleet with questionable in rate training (except the nukes, they still get trained out the ying yang). Is it any wonder the things that happened in 2017 are happening? The bumper boat issues that cost 17 sailors their lives and the CG 54 grounding are examples of human failure across so many levels. Anchoring and driving ships are basic core competencies of the surface navy and we failed in those mission areas.

            Until we address training for our junior sailors and O’s to a USN standard, the navy is just nibbling around the edges. The problem is training is expensive and takes time. On training, as with most things, you can have it good, or you can have it cheap, but you can’t have it good and cheap.

      • OldSoldier54 says:

        “Doing more with less only works up to a certain point.”

        Not according to Obama and his sycophants.

    • thebesig says:

      Originally posted by Ex-PH2:

      Get people on the weather decks and learn how to watch something besides screens in the dark.

      There are people on lookout stations, a Port Lookout, Starboard Lookout, and Aft Lookout. This is in addition to the bridge team, and the Signalmen. Those that are inside, looking at screens in the dark, are supposed to be coordinating with the lookouts to get details on what surface contacts are doing, information they couldn’t obtain from their stations. :mrgreen:

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Thank you for the feedback, thebesig.

        The impression one gets from seeing interior shots of ships’ command centers is that there isn’t anyone outside scanning the real horizon. Now that I know better, I will take a different view of these incidents.

  6. Sparks says:

    Shit rolls downhill but the turd starts at the top.

  7. Atkron says:

    Well…it’s about time to start getting rid of the PC Admiralty and other leaders that worry more about their careers than they do about the Navy.

    Time to start fighting the ship, and not Politically Correct agendas.

    I wasn’t a surface guy…but the same issues are pervasive in at least two communities Surface and Aviation.

  8. 2banana says:

    Well, at least he wasn’t porking an E-3 or watching child porn…

  9. Young Bud Fox says:

    One of my battalion commanders in the ’80s told us during a command and staff meeting that our infantry battalion was screwed up, but the good news was that we were in the peace-time Army and no one would catch on. He explained that if you were in the peace-time Navy or Air Force, ships running aground and planes crashing would always give away that you were screwed up. No truer words ever spoken.

  10. Daedalus says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I just relish the times when shit officers get what they deserve.

    If an enlistedman gets into trouble, they usually get the book thrown at them and have their careers ruined, while an officer will probably use their friends to get a slap on the wrist.

    I hope CTF-70 gets a competent officer that actually cares for his subordinates more than his own precious career.

  11. lily says:

    I’ve had at least four people in my life at some point who were navy vets who completely tried to ruin my life. A relative, a manager, a supervisor and most recently a therapist. It seems that since the 1960s on that something has gone terribly wrong with the training of navy personnel. They need some type of training on how to be ethical people.

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