The Navy used to have some very simple clear guidance for the young men at the very tip of the decision making spear in hostile waters. They were called Standing Orders. On the Middle East Force Flag ship in 1984 they were required reading. You literally had to stand at the navigator's table on the bridge and read through the orders and then initial to signify that you had once again familiarized yourself with the Commander's Intent. The orders didn't take too long to read. They were brief but I'll give you a precis of the first sentence. It is not my intent or desire to suck up the first attack.
I had read those orders over and over as I cycled through my first 12 months in the war zone and initialed each month to show that I would comply with the Admiral's intent.
When the Stark let itself go to hell without appearing to notice that it was steaming all alone in an active war zone, I kind of wondered how any bridge officer or CIC officer could have failed to follow such easily understood orders...and yes, I checked when I returned to the Gulf that year and each year after and the order remained the same. The Admirals came and went, Smith, Less, Redd, Fargo but the Standing Orders never really changed all that much.
I'm reading the report of the two patrol craft that allowed themselves to be captured and humiliated by the IRGCN. I knew the people in charge of them. They were not responsible naval officers. They were, dare I say it, men with horses. You could not see Riverine types on account of the testosterone and horses and shiny cammo. They were the Inshore Boat Units of old but they liked the mantle of the Vietnam Riverine and so they all dosed themselves in Kerry and wore berets and behaved like junior SEALS. They should have joined the Marines.
You could see what was going to come from 2000 miles away. They were/are an embarrassment. [REDACTED] Most ambassadors don't beat up their girl friends after a drink or drive through the McDonald's drive through with a megaton of high explosives as they come home from Nyland.
Don't get me wrong, there are good lethal SEALS but without FLIR you don't see all that much of them. They are almost as stealthy as they pretend to be. OTOH, with FLIR? Can't miss 'em.
I, from the outset, despised NECC. I knew them for what they are. They are world class bureaucrats. They care nothing about reality but the form better be precisely as briefed or hell to pay. The sad thing is, that EOD Tech Div guy at the Task Force I established just screwed over 3rd Fleet. He did irreparable damage to our one good training fleet that will now see it ape the awful and disgraceful training policies of the Atlantic Fleet.
I think the combination of fools and idiots has finally pushed Inshore Undersea Warfare to oblivion. It was a wonderment while it lasted and when you think of things that survived the Vietnam drawdown, it surely ranked up there with drones.
I'd like to say thank you Congressman Murtha, Commodore Frank Rytell, Commodore Stu Cvrk.
I'd thank Vice Admiral Barry Costello, VADM Sam Locklear, et al but not only is the Navy thinking of merging the two training fleets, they already did that 15 years ago so the end will be swift for Third Fleet. Of course the Admiral and I thought that 10 years ago.
If you go to the link you'll see this.
Admiral Costello was the XO on my ship when we killed a charging Vandal drone with a skin to skin missile hit that obviated any telemetry post analysis. The system worked well enough to slay the not so dangerous drone launched at my ship. He was, for the few weeks I worked for him, one of the better officers I knew in the US Navy. They could spell his name right but they're going to be busy gutting and sucking the blood and marrow out of what used to be Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE.