There has been a commotion
in the ocean of late over the Navy allowing itself to be overcharged for services provided by contractors in ports overseas. The Navy is working hard to convince us that the Navy first noticed that it was paying what the contractors demanded as the going rate for services such as trash removal, refueling, potable water, liberty launches, sewage disposal, etc in the Far East
. It appears that this scandal was perpetuated by a lone Malaysian contractor who somehow held guns to the heads of every officer on the 7th Fleet Staff and corrupted them into sending ships into ports for liberty and to refuel and top off fresh fruit and vegetables so the sailors didn't collapse from scurvy and rickets and beri beri, thoughtless low-life bastard that he is. He got away with his evil machinations for many years before somebody smelled a rat 4 years ago. [Gads the Navy is on thieves like a bolt of lightning]
The perps appear to be lonely officers of the Line who had the awesome responsibility to pick ports all over the Far East to play host for a day or three for Navy ships and sailors to take their ease, just for a bit, during the never ending long war on terror. These men were senior commanders and captains and the Navy has been firing them left and right. They even roped in the Director of Naval Intelligence and his operational commander, both, admirals of the line.
Oddly enough, it is the Navy's contracting and auditing arm that selects the Contractors who get used by the Navy when it pays port calls in various regions of the world. So far, nobody in this part of the Navy is accountable for the fact that they selected the companies the USN does business with. In the Far East this was a man called Fat Leonard
. This loathsome spotty soul was lured to San Diego with false pretenses by the forces of Order who immediately jailed him and refused him bail on the likely assumption that he wouldn't hesitate to shake the dust of such a lost to law land and skip to Mexico for further movement onwards to Malaysia and home.
Yesterday, the forces of Order determined that the Contractor given these contracts in the Middle East is also overcharging the Navy after decades of close observation and paying the bills submitted by this other loathsome low-life company.
One of the officers that Order has roped in is a captain at my old duty station who used to be the XO on USS BLUE RIDGE. I remember being ordered to attend the Level III Anti-Terrorism training for COs. It was held over 2 days at the Navy Amphibious Base, Coronado, CA where one of the featured moderators was the XO of USS BLUE RIDGE. He told us that we had to adopt more aggressive ATFP postures and plan our port calls more carefully and with an eye on preserving the ship from attack. This training was provided in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the USS COLE in Yemen where some absolute idiot ordered it to stop for fuel rather than across the Red Sea in Djibouti, a port internationally famous as a place where NOTHING EVER HAPPENS.
The XO got up alongside one of the senior interrogators of the terrorist bomber captured in Yemen and spoke about putting up a waterborne barrier of floats around the 7th Fleet Flagship when it pulled into some little port nobody ever heard of. That cheesy barrier cost $450,000 for 3 days of use. The XO's immediate superior in command signed off on that necessary force protection expense without demur because it was 'necessary' and because that guy was also a 3 star admiral and Commander, 7th Fleet. The XO continued to list the necessary security expenses that his ISIC routinely approved and they were enormous to my mind. The Commanding Officer of one of the larger amphibious ships asked the XO what the rest of us were supposed to do when we had to take these security measures/expenses out of our operating budgets and didn't have the nearly infinitely deep pockets of all 7th Fleet to pay for our security expenses on deployment. The moderators said that that sounded like a personal problem.
So anyhow, the Chief of Naval Operations isn't questioning the expenses or the necessity of the expenses many long years after the services were requested and paid for. He isn't concerned with whether or not they were necessary. He isn't concerned that the officers summarily relieved of their duties and tarnished forever are innocent of any crime other than using the duly selected Husbanding Agent of the USN overseas. Nope. He does not appear to be any more concerned with that than he is in finding out who approved those contractors as the sole source providers of logistical support to the United States Navy.
The funny thing to my mind though is going to be when they turn their gimlet eye on the hideous out of control outrageous costs and fees demanded by those who provide the same logistical services to the USN's ships in their own home ports. They might look at how much Public Works charges for a crane or to rent a passenger van. They might even look at how much shipyards charge for the same sorts of support.
Then there will be Hell to pay.