Sunday, June 21, 2020

Navy upholds firing of carrier captain in virus outbreak

via AP
In a stunning reversal, the Navy has upheld the firing of the aircraft carrier captain who urged faster action to protect his crew from a coronavirus outbreak, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

The official said the Navy also extended the blame for the ship’s pandemic crisis, delaying the promotion of the one-star admiral who was also onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt — concluding that both men made serious errors in judgment.

The spread of the coronavirus aboard the carrier while on deployment in the Pacific in March exploded into one of the biggest military leadership crises of recent years. More than 1,000 members of the crew eventually became infected, and one sailor died. The ship was sidelined for weeks at Guam but recently returned to duty.

The decision by Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, to hold both Capt. Brett Crozier and his boss, Rear Adm. Stuart Baker, accountable is a confirmation of concerns expressed by top Pentagon officials who demanded a deeper investigation last month when the initial probe recommended Crozier’s reinstatement as the ship’s captain. The official described the findings on condition of anonymity to discuss a report not yet made public.

I almost feel vindicated.  I remember when this issue first popped up and many were saying how heroic the skipper was and how he had the best interest of his ship in mind.

I argued that he showed incredible weakness and that since he commanded one of the premier ships in our Navy that he threatened our national security with his actions.

Seems like Navy leadership agreed.

He faced a difficult situation but he could have fallen back on boot camp 101.

Mission first.

His position and command dictated that mission, regardless of peace or war, had to come first.  Carrier aviation in particular and service in the military in general is inherently dangerous.

This Commanding Officer forgot that simple rule.

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