Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I also kicked off a couple of phrases. I was a staff officer at Naval Forces Central Command. I was there for one particular reason and I did it. Unlike every other staff officer in Bahrain, I had to go and start up some 5 ton and deuce and a half trucks, a couple of generators and walk a water buffalo every week or two. As the cognoscenti here know, unless you 'exercise' the vehicles and the road gear, they don't work. I had a full set of surveillance gear prepositioned in the Banz warehouse next to ASU. It needed to work. As it happens, we used it, a lot.

Wearing khakis to do this resulted in some really crappy looking uniforms so I started to wear my desert weight nylon ripstop cammo to the office. I was soon joined by the new MCM commodore, then by the EOD officer and finally, reluctantly by the SEAL. We shared an office trailer known as cats and dogs since we were kind of unique.

Soon Admiral Fargo was wearing ripstops and after that, everybody on the staff except the COS. He was the one that stood to argue with the N2 during the admiral's update one day that if we wanted to put ships into the Caspian Sea we could, at any time....dammit. P3 pilot doncha know.

I really shouldn't laugh. He left us in Bahrain to, as I recall, become the same thing to COMNAVFORJAPAN and then left the service, entered the SES and became deputy to the admiral commanding whatnot in Texas where I bumped into him once again. Out there in Japan he relieved a man I knew, from personal experience, to be the stupidest officer in the naval service and that includes the Marines. He competed with J.K Sapp for the title. Unlike Sapp, to the best of my knowlege, Terry never held command.

As I recall, he could read about 4 words/minute. His office floor was stacked waist deep in all the things forwarded to the admiral for his signature. CAPT C never really understood that the job is not to rewrite every damned word, just move them out.

OTOH, I know some parents that never grasped that. My own? They charged my little brother rent and made him pay to install his own phone line. Their revenge? They made me take him to California with me and live in my place. I think parenting classes must teach them to show no mercy. I'm sure glad I never took such a class.

Why we don't stick any ships in the Caspian Sea. A ship would need wheels.


OldAFSarge said...

Those types are not as rare as you'd like. They abound in the defense industry.

HMS Defiant said...

It is just not all that often that one finds a navy captain rear up on his hind legs and tell the N2 that if we wanted we could indeed put a ship in the Caspian. To look at him you saw patrician to the bone but where there was supposed to be some measure of intelligence?, there was bone.
Still and on the gripping hand, his peer at NAVCENT was the Commanding Officer of the Administrative Support Unit, another pilot and the one who mistakenly landed on the wrong island when flying a staff delivery flight to keep his flight pay.

I had 7 peers on my first ship that quized me about what I was asked at my OOD Board. I told them but it was very very clear to me that none of them would ever be invited to join the fraternity. It really boiled down to, does the skipper trust the judgement of the officer and those guys, I wouldn't give a bb gun to, much less a 13,000 ton ship.
Maybe if we dropped it from orbit.