SSN 767 Update(s): USS Hampton
UPDATE (Nov. 2nd): USS Hampton Incident Getting A 'Hard' Look'I Think They Were Pushing The Easy Button,' Commander Of Sub Force Says M.E.: ELTs and CRAs fleetwide will be individually debriefed by their XOs (Engineers may be present) and the UCMJ will be addressed with recent examples at hand.
UPDATE (09:25 Friday): The aftermath of the unfortunate Hampton incident is provided in its simplest form here for adults. (check out *****5*****)
UPDATE (20:32 Thursday): Nuclear sub commander relieved of duty Navy: He failed to do safety checks on reactor, tried to cover up omissions
Cmdr. Michael B. Portland was relieved after a Navy investigation found the ship failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission.
“His oversight of the crew’s performance did not identify these issues” without an outside inspection, Navy Lt. Alli Myrick, a public affairs officer, told The Associated Press.
UPDATE (11:48 Monday) : Navy: Submarine Safety Checks Skipped WASHINGTON (AP) — Sailors on the submarine USS Hampton failed to do daily safety checks on the ship's nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission, a Navy investigation shows.
Th above lends credence to the sub community's rumored story of malfeasance by Hampton's ELTs (see Brian in comments).
The notion that there are 5 ELTs in an SSN crew nowadays underscores how much "necessary overhead" fills first-line subs. While these are qualified submariners and fine people, they take up space, a fact which tends to help those pushing the Navy to make AIP subs one of their new construction imperatives. - Vigilis
It is too early for flurries (not the frozen precipitation, the Admiralty kind). When the squadron admiral speaks publicly, the investigation will be over. At that point, no one contradicts his final words. This is not a criticism, it is a time-honored necessity we should all applaud.
People had suggested a music video posted to YouTube.com by Hampton crew members might be part of the investigation. It shows them joking around some sensitive sections of the sub.
After NewsChannel 3 (WTKR) aired a related story, the Navy did confirm the video is not part of the investigation. That is credible.
This is simply diificult to fathom:
In fact, officials told us [WTKR] they didn't even know about it. [Truth or incompetence alarms going off]. Since submariners are anything but incompetent, I pick the truth alarm.
How could anyone say the Navy did not know about a video created in a secret stealth platform?
Answer: the Navy has shrunk, but its still large enough to find an official spokesperson who can honestly say with a straight face that they did not even know something was on the world wide web. Betcha there was not a CPO in the submarine fleet who did not know the authorized video was out there. If chiefs knew, guess who else had to know?
Right. But, even though the YouTube video has little to do with the ongoing investigation, why pretend YouTube videos slip out of submarines without a submarine admiral's staff's notice? A responsible party at least had to send an e-mail to a squadron clerk, I'll bet you. By the way, the video seen below, looks like an excellent recruiting tool to me (in fact, that is how it is registered on YouTube).
This IS a Recruiting Video...
Now, some experienced bloggers lean more toward problems in the sub's aft end administration that have sidelined one of the Navy's starfleet vessels. If true, that could be one more reason to de-emphasize construction of nuclear submariners in favor of modern AIPs (which, in fact are under consideration). Shhh.
By the way, it looks like whatever the problem, the sub's captain, Jaenichen, who ordered an investigation originally (last month) is off the hook. Six crew members so far have received NJP.
Once an asset like a nuclear sub is taken out of service, someone's head is going to feel the axe. Will we ever find out what the root cause was? No, not officially. We may only know whose unidentified misconduct or error contributed to or created a bad problem.
Submarines are always silent and strange.