Sunday, August 22, 2021


I was just reading a writer who made the comment about Biden's feckless evacuation from Afghanistan. It struck a memory chord and brought back those feckless wonderments of the Middle East Mine Countermeasure staff under the Commodore (east coast Mineron 2 guy) who assured us one and all that the moment he knew which 3 ships would be pulled out of the Gulf to head home that he would share that information with us. He stood right in front of me and the crew and told us this, repeatedly.

So one day I was in the office of the supervisor of shipbuilding and construction, Naples Det, having a beer with the two guys from Naples and they showed me their copy of the Khaleej Times and right there on the front page it said that the Navy had announced it was withdrawing three of the six mine sweepers from the Persian Gulf and it appeared that they were the 3 ships from the west coast of the United States. I used their machine to make copies of the article and went back to my ship, crossing the deck of the USS Fearless to get to mine which was moored outboard of the Fearless. I dropped off a copy of the Khaleej Times article with the quarterdeck watch and went aboard my ship, knocked on the skipper's door and gave him a copy. He was somewhat dismayed. I didn't figure the powers that be were really going to pull the 3 working ships out so I was simply amused by the whole thing.

I stepped out of the captain's cabin and one of the radioman grabbed me and dragged me into Radio where we listened as the outraged skipper of the Fearless was babbling at our commodore over MCM Admin (red radio) that he was holding a copy of the Al Khaleej Times and it was saying the 3 west coast ships were going and what was that all about!!!!!!! Dammit!!!! He went on to say that the commodore had assured him that it was the 3 east coast sweeps heading home. It was side splitting listening.

For the next 2-6 weeks while all three of us were on task up in one of the old mine fields we read the daily situation reports from the missing 3 ships who seemed to be conducting daily 'tow and be towed' exercises and practicing in-stream astern refueling and proceeding to and through the Strait of Hormuz and then rounding the Omani coast and heading north into the Red Sea and then proceeding to the Suez Canal.....with the commodore embarked. We never heard a peep from that guy. He just sailed away with his 3 ships and left us there to rot for another year. Once they entered the Suez Canal they changed operational command from Middle East Force to Sixth Fleet and we heard from them no more.

It was about then, as I recall, that I began codifying the rules. They're right up there near the header under "On Navy Leadership". Rule #1, Trust no-one.

Watching the debacle in Afghanistan is sobering. You really would have to turn over just about every single rock to find leaders as shitty as the ones now leading the armed forces of this country. From the Secretary of Defense down they are nothing but scum in the Army, Navy and Air Force. I don't know anything about the Commandant except that he is reputed to have told that idiot Austin where to shove his mandatory vaccine policy. Other than that, the man's a mystery. Oh, and of course he's carrying on the Marine project to return to the permanent emphemeral warrior status and get rid of tanks and sustainment stuff that isn't needed by the nation's 911 force. I'm pretty sure they had the idea that this would reduce the Marine footprint in shitholes far from the sea such as Afghanistan. Ha!

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