Friday, August 9, 2019

Pride Of The Navy

Landing Ship Dock USS Fort McHenry, LSD-43, sailing into Kiel, FRG,
this June, looking like a Somali garbage scow.
CDR Salamander has the scoop. RTWT.

This was for BALTOPS, in mid-June this year. After a small crapstorm, they finally cleaned it up in August.

After sending it overseas to be the laughingstock of NATO's other navies, and the world.

There is no excuse for this whatsoever in a peacetime navy, and damned little more even if we were at war, unless it was coming back from six months' continuous service on the Murmansk convoys or something.

And if USS Rustbucket looks that bad on the outside, imagine what an unredeemed cauldron of shit it must look like on the inside. Let alone how well it functions.

Relieve the captain, march him down the gangplank in irons, then do the same for the squadron commander (COMPHIBRON 6), and the group commander (COMEXSTRKGRU 2) for dereliction of duty. And that lenient treatment only, once again, because "keelhauling" and "flogging around the fleet" are no longer countenanced in the current edition of the military Manual For Courts Martial. Gawd, how standards have slipped since they went all soft on this behavior.

Then make every officer and CPO on that ship each write "I will not sail out of port in a rusty bucket of shit." 10,000 times, on a blackboard, non-stop until completion or collapse, or else voluntary surrender their promotion and commissioning warrants, and retire on the spot, for cause, in lieu of a general court martial.

Then park that tub of shit pierside at Norfolk, and set all hands, both onboard that ship and assigned to the base proper, to rust and paint detail, around the clock, until it looks like a Navy ship of the line, rather than a pirate mothership from the Horn of Africa, or something left floating in the head after the plumbing has broken down.

If they need to do that with every other ship in the Navy, in a conga line, so be it, until they stop sending ships to sea looking like they're departing on their final voyage to be scuttled.

This is like Naval Operations 101 stuff, and yet we've got alleged leaders with 20+ years commissioned and non-commissioned service who can't grasp it.

It's a good thing the current Navy has nearly one admiral for every commissioned ship, and they still look like this. Not that that's a flagrant waste of taxpayer dollars or anything.

If the Navy is so hard up for maintenance, perhaps all those soon-to-be cashiered JAGholes from NRSW formerly persecuting SEAL team members can be reassigned to paint details while they await the processing of their paperwork for either enforced or early separation.
It would do them, and the Navy, a world of good.

Regarding Comments about how this was manpower, over-utilization, etc. etc. blah blah blah:

Excuses are like @$$holes: everyone has one and they're all full of $#!^.
There are many reasons for a ship of the line, even a gator freighter,
looking like a rusty $#!^bucket on the Zambezi River garbage packet, but there's NO excuse for this.

If those squids (and anyone serving aboard her is a squid, not a sailor) had time to eat, crap, and sleep, they had time to chip and paint.
They failed to do so for months.

Thus the harshest punishments should be doled out to that shit's (not a typo) officers and CPOs.
They're leadership fuck-ups, deserve 0.0 pros and cons, and there's no excuse that suffices for that.

If the ship is short on maintenance funds, maybe a couple of weeks on bread and water at all mealtimes for all hands will magically loosen up funds for paint and brushes. Start that policy in the wardroom and the goatlocker, and you'd be amazed how fast the crew will turn to.

After that, a command inspection of the inside of USS RUSTBUCKET, from bilge to radio mast tip is in order.

The fleets should also start awarding a red "F" for fuck-up, to be painted in the same place and same size the "E" goes currently, to the worst ships in each fleet, worn as a badge of shame until the next annual awards, and with every foul-up in every rate all transferred onto the ship, and anyone showing merit transferred out.

It's the same reason Gen. Savage detailed his deadweight former XO to command the B-17 "Leper Colony".


Unknown said...

Dang, Aesop, tell us what you really mean.

Nits to be picked: it's 'aboard', rust & paint detail are chippies gang.

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

The American military in one image.

-Boat Man

Jim Scrummy said...

Sal has an update on the rust bucket. Did a little maintenance and fresh coats of paint, looks 100 percent better.

JT said...

And according to Wikipedia, the ship has suffer TWO total shipwide quarantines for infectious disease in the last two years...I wonder if Aesop can comment on how common something like that would be or what bad shape a command would have to be in for such a thing to happen on a modern (well Cold War vintage) ship.

Wayne said...

@JT. Specifically, the USS Fort McHenry had a months long outbreak of mumps among the crew. Even though the entire crew was vaccinated against mumps with multiple doses of MMR. This may make Aesop’s head explode, it it is one more evidence that the current obsession with all vaccines all the time not only contributes to the massive increase in childhood chronic diseases, but that the sacred potions don’t even work as advertised.

Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

@Wayne @JT

Re: the USS Fort McHenry and the Mumps outbreak - So much for "herd immunity".

By the way, here is a picture of USS Fort McHenry in the Atlantic Ocean, December 24, 2018:

Looks like the lack of maintenance problem has been going on for a while.

I'm guessing lack maintenance due to lack of budget, time and manpower.

I'm thinking that less money thrown down the bottomless pit of endless overseas wars we will never win and more to spent to refresh and rearm and strengthen our military for the defense of our national interests at home would sure help.

Anonymous said...

Kevin at The Smallest Minority once said something like "Enlisted men with time on their hands are capable of doing one of only two possible things: 1) Painting the grey wall grey, AGAIN or 2) Plotting the murder and ritual cannibalism of their commanding officers"

So it makes one wonder, if the squids are obviously NOT painting the grey walls grey again, WTF ARE they doing, and are there piles of gnawed bones atop brass-encrusted uniforms in the corners.

Perhaps, given recent trends in the military, the sailors are permitted NOT to have to go on scrape-and-paint duty if they'd just had their nails done. Time to re-instate rum and the lash (they have sodomy down pat).

Mark D

Reltney McFee said...

Dear Wendy and Wayne: the plural of "anecdote" is NOT "data".

Vaccine failures are well known. As are cardiac stent failures, antibiotic failures, and surgical (tubal ligation, vasectomy, appendectomy, etcetera) failures.

None of which present persuasive arguments for abandoning any, or all, of these interventions.

Anonymous said...

Wendy is correct, manpower, money and time are all lacking for the Preventative Maintenance that used to be de rigeur in the Fleet. I haven't gone to Sal's place yet but if "Optimal Manning" is not somewhere in the blame line (along with the ever-sainted "Diversity") I'll eat my khaki cover.
The ship's appearance is indicative of the blatant mismanagement of the Fleet in particular for well over a decade.
Boat Guy

Anonymous said...


But I bet their diversity score is outstanding.

Anonymous said...

And a large part of the "sailors" have synchronized...

DAN III said...

That scow's appearance is indicative of the rot in not only the Navy (and Army and Marines and Air Farce), but the fUSA itself.

Old NFO said...

It's a combination of 'many' things. 'Optimal' manning, reduced shipyard availability, and reduce OPM monies being the big three. However, most of the COs I knew, had enough leadership skills to get the crew pulling together to keep the ship looking good. Another issue is probably the PCism rampant today, with people filing grievances if they are 'singled out' for work parties, like chipping and painting... Sigh... And yes, some folks need to be relieved. CO/CMC among them. That is embarrassing!!!

tweell said...

I'd add one more small part of the picture - the paints that I used as a sailor are considered toxic and are banned. The replacements just don't hold up as well. No tributyltin for you!

I'd agree that 'rightsizing' and 'diversity' are the major factors. You have fewer sailors, and more of them can do less. Now that you're doing more with less and overworking the few competent sailors you have, the time between paint coats has to be cut because it doesn't last like it used to. Good luck, and thank Neptune I'm retired!

The Gray Man said...

SecNav, the CNO and the MCPON need to be scrubbing that ship. And then move onto the next rustbucket, because I am not inclined to believe that we have discovered the rustiest ship in the fleets. That one looks bad, but I’ll bet there are worse.

Fucking embarrassment. Our Navy is supposed to be above that.

Unknownsailor said...

As the person who used to issue the particular paint in question to the crew on a carrier, let me be the first to inform everyone that the paint in question is no longer paint, but a 2 part acrylic coating. I can also tell you that the Navy has been ridden hard, and put away wet over the last 20 years. Maintenance suffered as a result. It has gotten so bad the Navy was contemplating retiring Nimitz class carrier Harry S. Truman at the 25 year mark instead of refueling it like normal.

As it has been noted, the ship was painted, but I can all but guarantee that was done like it was on the ship I retired from, paint rolled on top of all the salt spray and gunk and grime that coated the hull. No, the hull is not scrubbed first before being painted, they just put the paint on over the top.

Anonymous said...

In 1995, I was on a cruise that we called the Cocktail Cruise, in that we were doing numerous port calls in the Mediterranean Sea celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ending of WWII. One of the port calls in Southern France there was a Polish and a Russian ship there. They both looked like the USS Rustbucket pictured above.

I retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 2004 and recently visited Mayport Naval Station, where I had been stationed for 14 out of 21 years in the Navy. The whole fleet there didn’t look as bad as that picture, but pretty darn close. Very Sad!

Aewl said...

Retired Chief here again.

Aesop is right, you dumbfucks are making excuses. The Navy has gone downhill in a hurry since I retired. When the McCain and Fitzgerald had their collisions at sea, as a former OOD Underway, I saw immediately from just the initial reports that the OOD's on that ship were not qualified in any way shape or form.

As the primary trainer of OOD's underway, I've shitcanned Junior Officers from the bridge for much less bullshit than those OOD's did.

If you want to blame something, then blame the Social Engineering started by the Clintons and then shifted into overdrive by Obama.

Miles said...

I've got pics of the Ford, which isn't even on active service yet, with rust runs down the hull already.

I'm of the opinion that Uncle Navy doesn't care about anything but emergency maintenance at sea or port of call anymore and the military & civilian shipyards take care of it during a 'maintenance availability'.

Just the cynical side of me figures that's to keep the need for massive contractor & civil service manning.

Gotta keep bringing the Military Industrial Complex $$ bacon home.

CaptFrag said...

I came to break years of radio silence, but 0900 Anon beat me to the "but muh duhversity" line.

The Freeholder said...

God, but I love that movie. So many lessons on the nature of being a man, responsibility and leadership when it counts. You could never get it made these days.

Anonymous said...


On your next visit to the nearest (Army) post for PC/Commissary/medical, take a leisurely drive past motor pools and comment on what you see.

On my most recent active post visit I was shocked...rust, flat tires and even lights left on (it was a Saturday night). The unit was supposedly one of those "tip of the spear" units.

On the plus side, my state's National Guard motor pool was totally squared away.

Anonymous said...

As a Retired Chief I learned to look at the big picture before jumping to post. If you look the ship was tasked from the 5th Fleet to a Unscheduled 6th Fleet NATO Tasking when this picture was taken. Removing them from scheduled maintenance.... So lighten UP Francis..... Sometimes things are out of the CO's Control... You are told to JUMP and you DO.... And "what" could cause the Navy to JUMP at a moment's notice to "Show the Flag"? Bet it was on the "TV" News... Someone said JUMP and we had no choice... And this SAD Picture is getting allot of Sailors Angry... At least until you understand the back story...

Aesop said...

And what is the effective range of an excuse, Master Chief?
And according to Navy Regs, who is it, precisely, that's responsible for every aspect of any given ship's performance?
Just curious.