149 Comments

"the ship named after a Boatswain’s Mate First Class looks like that. I am sorry BM1, we tried."

CDR S, I think we have gave up trying a long time ago, and as a SNIPE of old I am sure the plant does not look much better, sad to say the least.

Expand full comment

Snipe here, too. I remember about 10 years ago reading a report about the CO of my old ship who was fired. I just about fell out of my chair when I read that two years before he lost his command, he just flat-out quit doing zone inspections. That's an admission of utter defeat, he should've just resigned then and there. It was absolutely mind-bending to read that he had done that.

Expand full comment

That ship is named after BM1 James E. Williams MOH. The most highly decorated enlisted sailor of the modern navy.

Here is a July 2022 photo:

https://www.c2f.usff.navy.mil/Press-Room/News-Stories/Article/3458682/uss-james-e-williams-returns-from-nato-deployment/

Expand full comment

There’s a case for firing FO’s and SESers responsible for this nonsense. The CNO is case in point, as he cares more about happy talk and DEI than Fleet readiness and maintenance. Absolute disgrace to the uniform.

Expand full comment

They can't fire people whose bodies they need to fill slots.

If they fire this clown who managed to get his ship in this state who will replace They/Them?

It's like the Veterans administration went to sea.

Expand full comment

There's also a case for keelhauling them. I'd be happy to argue it.

Expand full comment

May I join you? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.

Expand full comment

This is surely a case for one of those famous "loss of confidence" excuses they employ to fire CO's and Command Master Chiefs. Use the old Soviet tactic of The Vertical Stroke and the French pour encourager les autres. Ax everyone in the chain of command from CNO to the LPO of 1st Division on USS Williams. Better still, put that whole chain of command in their Dress Blues over the side with paint brushes, like they used to do to deck apes sometimes in the 1960s. Time for some tough love. Or heads on pikes. Dammit, I was Deck Group for 16 years of my 26. That kind of rust is like not wiping yourself after a head call.

Expand full comment

Amen. Make that painting party a very public event, and invite Navy Times to take photos.

Expand full comment

If only it were that simple. If the problem is a manning issue Like on the USS Fitzgerald (We Were Lied to - no We're Lying to Each Other May 16 2023) you are already pushing an over worked crew to work harder. The tougher solution is to deploy only the number ships you adequately man, train and maintain. If real leadership steps forward (some may have to fall on their sword) and says my ships lack the resources to deploy safely that is sure to get these issues the adequate attention. What if the CNO went before congress and said I can only put 1/3 of the fleet to sea in case of a national emergency?

Expand full comment

Yeah, that was a big contributor to the McCain collision as well, on top of cutting maintenance funds and crew staffing to the Seventh Fleet while increasing operational tempo - moving the resources to the Third Fleet so it would look good to the US public in San Diego's harbor.

Expand full comment

Are COTS limits still active? If so, gotta rotate the Sailors back to CONUS even if they want to stay.

Expand full comment

"The tougher solution is to deploy only the number ships you adequately man, train and maintain."

This.

Expand full comment

Your anger and frustration are justified. But there's only one person on board truly responsible for the appearance and material condition of that ship - the CO. You may add the Squadron Commodore and Group Commander to that list as well. Axe the three of them and you won't see things like that again.

Expand full comment

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Expand full comment

Wait until you see who'll relieve him as CNO.

Expand full comment

😢 Gilday for the 2023 “Admiral Byng” reward

Expand full comment

Pour encourager less autres

Expand full comment

Waaay overdue😏

Expand full comment

Amen

Expand full comment
May 23, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

By comparison the ITS Thaon Di Revel, the HNLS De Zeven Provinzien and the HMCS Fredericton looked pristine.

Expand full comment

Yes, it is about the people and not the ships, it is about leadership and the officer corps, it is about USNA letting down the Nation and our Navy

Expand full comment

And Congress for refusing to provide adequate funding to maintain ships and to build enough to meet operational demands.

Given that a big part of the post-1992 "Peace Dividend" came from closing naval shipyards, the maintenence issue was predictable.

Expand full comment

I prefer to keep the cause and blame inside our lifelines, furthermore it falls on us to tell our story and successfully argue our case. We are military men and women, we accept blame and don’t point fingers

Expand full comment

Sorry, but no

This is a failure by the US Navy. Period. Dot.

Unless you can point us to the testimony by US Navy officials to Congress, telling Congress "we need this much money to do maintenance, and it isn't in the budget you are giving us", this is not Congress' failure

Stop making excuses for the utterly failed US Navy "leadership"

Expand full comment

Sad looking ship.

No pride, no one cares in the world for a Junker.

The crew the command should be ashamed but they aren't, that is the problem.

Why is the government pushing this decline?

Is the US leaving the world to it's chosen successor China?

Or is it a mindless hate for the US Military that it must be impotent and powerless.

Look to the Troika in charge behind figureheads in the White House.

Expand full comment

For budgetary reasons, crew sizes have been reduced to a level where simply sailing the ship leaves little manpower available for scraping and painting.

Expand full comment

There it is.

Expand full comment

How proposed the budget? Who failed to prioritize manpower? Who is wasting sailor time on DEI classes rather than scraping and painting?

Hint: It's not "Congress"

I'm willing to be proved wrong. Show the budget provided by the Navy thet would have fixed this

Expand full comment

It is primarily the NCA - the President and Secretary of Defense.

Expand full comment

Time for fewer ships at sea, so the ones at sea can be fully crewed, and basic maintenance done.

Expand full comment

Or some useful ships under 9000 tons.

Expand full comment

Corvettes are so like, 1940 man.

Expand full comment

Just re-read The Cruel Sea after 60 years. The men who crewed those Corvettes may have been the last of the Homo Sapiens before soy, fluoride and bad parenting rendered many today to a proto-hominid status.

Expand full comment

More like reduced childhood mortality, air conditioning, and "child" labor laws.

Expand full comment

For the past 14 years INGALLS shipyard has been slowly funded (not even 1 per year) to construct NSC's for the U.S. Coast Guard. National Security Cutters are called WMSL's are a frigated sized at 4,500 tons fully loaded with 60 days of food and fuel for 12,000 nm max range. Across the Atlantic and return over 3 times without any oiler tagging along. Unlike LCS, the NSC's have been funded slowly, not even one per year since 2008, any NSC frigates are 98 percent steel construction, up to an including the lower yardarm = Steel ! One gas turbine (the same as on DDG-51) can drive these cutters at 24-25 knots. Using the 2 diesels and shutting down the single gas turbine can propell each WMSL at 24 knots, or at 18 knots utilizing just a single diesel and no gas turbine. Each NSC carries 3 Catepillar diesel generators which are larger in size than any LCS generator. While deployed, each NSC has staterooms for up to 175 crew and carries a full SESS Suite interfaced to Lockheed Martin's AEGIS CND variant integrated for the USCG. If the Navy / DoD would fund at least one (1) NSC new construction every year ( LCS was getting 3 every year being built in 2 shipyards) then the cost and quantities could remain the same as an empty LCS, without any so called mission modules ( which are always excluded from the total cost of each LCS).

Designed and built in Mississippi without any Drawings coming from Europe.

Lazarus used to post that no warship under 9-10,000 tons could be built without huge percentage of Aluminum, like his pitiful LCS short range speedboats.

USCG is buying STEEL cutters at 4,500 tons while the

US Navy buys 3,500 ton LCS's which are either 96 percent Aluminum (LCS-2) or about 40 percent Aluminum (LCS-odd). Irony, huh ?

Expand full comment

I liked your post because I like your comments. BUT...there's always a 'but' when dealing with the twits running (ruining) the US Navy. First of all, the Bertholf-class is Coast Guard and 'not invented here' comes into play, just like the practical and naval looking working uniforms the Coasties wear vs. the idiotic blueberry and now green camo worn as the Navy working uniform on board ship. Second, I have read that the Navy considers the scantlings of the NSCs to be insufficient. I wish I still had the reference but I don't and don't know if that's true.

Personally, if I were king, we would be building Bertholf based FFs. Replace the boat ramp aft with space for a towed array, a hull sonar and a short version 8 cell MK 41 up forward loaded with ESSM. They wouldn't be suitable for a high-end fight, but they would be perfect for convoy escort and a lot of other missions that don't require the firepower of a Burke. The line at Ingalls is hot (but not for much longer), the design is proven and Ingalls already has done the concept work.

Expand full comment

I know a few Admirals, hell former line-officers down to JG, that would flip their sh*t over that deterioration and it would have been a come to Jesus moment for the crew. Everyone here is having the same reaction. So is there some new paint/coating, Navy 43P-1, or something that keeps ship personnel from being detailed to scraping and painting? This is the CO, this is the Squadron Commander, this goes to the top of the Chain! What is the opposite of crap rolling downhill?

Expand full comment
May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

The former Captain of the Cole was on a local radio station after the collisions in 2017. He pointed out his first assignment was to a Burke, 315 crew. When the Cole was attacked, 290-300 crew. 2017, 270-280 crew. "That is a lot of the problem".

Expand full comment

Each LCS has both a Blue crew and a GOLD crew. So each LCS has about 200 crew if you count the embarked dets. Not to mention the permanent Civilian Contractor support in Singapore to conduct both Preventative as well as Corrective maintenance when the LCS returns frequently to take on fuel, food, repair parts, and swap out the full crew while deployed (thus preventing so much needed on-board, deployed training of their crews). Note that in a 3 year long tour of duty, each LCS sailor only is onboard his ship for 50 percent of the tour. But all 3 years count as Sea Duty. What's not to like ??

Expand full comment

I actually feel bad about dissuading a young hard charging first term MA-2 from orders to the Fort Worth.

Expand full comment

Don't feel bad. Feel bad about not encouraging them to EAOS at the end of their enlistment.

Expand full comment

It's not "a lot of the problem," it is the problem. We simply don't have enough crewmen to man the ships. Screaming at folks does not add more hours to the day.

Expand full comment

Well, having gutted the number of shipyards for maintenance has also had a role - since 1992 the yards at Philadelphia, Mare Island, Hunter's Point, Charleston, and Long Beach were closed - over half the capacity in existence at the end of the Cold War. We had also closed the Brooklyn, Boston, and Hunter's Point yards between 1970 and 1990. We now have only four naval shipyards compared to a high point of twelve. On top of that, the only repair ships the Navy still has are two submarine tenders, both based out of Guam. The last destroyer tender was decommissioned in 2006, the other five in the 1990s. The last general repair ship (USS Grand Canyon) was decommissioned in 1978.

Expand full comment

Hammer, meet nail.

Expand full comment

Eliminating all "DEI training" until the rust is gone adds more hours to the day.

Until the "Navy Leadership" does that, this problem is entirely in their court

Expand full comment

Since the US Navy warships amount to what ?? .0001 percent of the world's afloat ships, then just grant the USN warships some kind of paint waiver and let them use some of the old fashioned paint that we used before the O'bama Administration ruined it.

Expand full comment

"Why not grant the USN warships some kind of paint waiver . . ." The simple fact is that lead is a poison.

It is not clean water legislation which has resulted in the Navy not maintaining our ships. The Obama Administrations did nothing but make our air and water cleaner and safer. There are far better coatings than the crap we outlawed; what is lacking is the manpower to properly maintain the vessels in our inventory. Modern coatings are superior to the antiquated lead paint they replaced, and they don't turn children exposed to it into morons.

We have too few ships and too few sailors to man them. We can't really build new ships, because all we design is crap, and we can't keep sailors because our underway schedule is so punishing nobody can have a life, a family and serve. What we need is naval shipyards building naval ships, and enough sailors to paint them properly.

Expand full comment

And we're not going to get them, as long as the "Navy Leadership" is more interested in DEI and other left wing social war, than in being a Navy.

Unless you all can point us to the budget proposals from the Navy that would fix this, and the Congressional testimony by Navy officers detailing how the funding Congress is willing to give isn't enough, this is a Navy problem

Congress sucks. But not all problems are because Congress sucks. This one is because the Navy "leadership" sucks

Expand full comment

If the outside looks like that, what does the inside look like?

Expand full comment

(Bosuns call sounds on 1MC)

Jars of urine in Combat. That is all, carry on.

Expand full comment

DVIDS needs to include a scratch-and-sniff feature. Maybe that would help drive home the point.

Expand full comment

Appalling and disheartening as well as embarrassing. Who decided that keeping our ships up doesn't matter but that using the "Right" pronouns and hunting down "White rage" does? This stupidity flows from the very top. I have a nasty suspicion that any CO who actually tried to have his crew keep his ship up to snuff would be disciplined. Needless to say, no ship I ever served in would be allowed to look like this.

Expand full comment

Ship, shipmate, self has been inverted?

Expand full comment

Ship is no longer, apparently, part of the equation. Not sure about shipmate either.

Expand full comment

Off topic, but I think you'll find it amusing.

https://nypost.com/2023/10/14/vietnamese-student-applies-to-miami-university-shocked-its-in-ohio/

Expand full comment

Heh. As a Miami (O) grad who was born and raised in Miami (Fla) love it!! She got the better school!!

Expand full comment

The Beltway admirals don’t care. Where’s the next cocktail party?

Expand full comment
May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

Mean while, the HMS Dauntless deployed, on the same day, looking like this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FwzKfAfXoAAc_lv?format=jpg&name=large

Expand full comment

Insult to injury … I wonder if that got the Skipper’s attention?

Expand full comment

To be fair Dauntless had a 3 year yard period from 2019 to 2022 for the PIP. And she hasn't been out anywhere close to as much as the James E. Williams.

But....that is a regularly trotted out excuse, overwork, too many days at sea etc.... and it has some merit...but there is also a direct comparison available....

On CSG21, the RN's covid haunted sojourn through the Med, Indian Ocean and Pacific and back there was a number of T45's, T23's, HMS Queen Elizabeth herself, 2 x RFA Auxiliairies, the Dutch frigate HNMLS Evertsen and the USS The Sullivans.

All of the ships had brief periods docked in the journey half way around the world, and by the end they all had some running rust around the usual places....they'd spent more time at sea as they were unable to stop at lots of ports due to covid restrictions....you can see lots of the images at the below link of the ships when they returned home or stopped off just before the end of the deployment at Gibraltar...almost home.

https://www.navylookout.com/tag/csg21-photos/

But look at the USS The Sullivans....part of the CSG from the start, till they reached Rota on the way back....

In this link below there is an image of The Sullivans leaving Portsmouth Naval Base when the CSG started off...she wasn't in the best of shape then...

https://www.navylookout.com/photo-essay-10-hectic-days-for-the-royal-navys-carrier-strike-group/

Here's some video of The Sullivans departing the CSG at the end of the deployment as she sails off to Rota...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhayoYJcglI

But she's clearly weathered the deployment far worse than the other participants....

So its not just the maintenance....they had the same amount of time at sea, and in port during the deployment.....is there an issue with the USN's paint???

The RN has very high environmental standards as well, but their paint/coatings clearly weather the deployment to a far higher standard, same with the Dutch Navy.....

Does the USN need to get a new paint/coatings supplier?

Expand full comment
May 25, 2023·edited May 25, 2023

A lot of the manpower problem is due to the CNO. Programs for systems in the early stages always brief that they'll save manpower as part of their sell. The guys in the green eyeshades cut the funding at that point and move it into some other budget line. So - they cut manpower in a budget year 4-5 years prior to a system delivering. Then the system actually delivers and doesn't save anywhere near the man-hours it predicted. Too late, the money and manpower were cut in planning a couple of years prior. Sorry captain and crew, you'll just have to make it work. Manpower should never get cut from the budget until after a system delivers and proves it's performance.

Expand full comment

I suspect that HMS Dauntless will look better at the end of her deployment than this did at the start of hers. I have seen ships being prepared to be scrapped in Portsmouth that have had better paintwork.

Expand full comment

A crew that loves their old ship will often priddy her for the knacker's yard.

Expand full comment

It's a reflection of the country it represents. And the direction it's going.

Expand full comment

It's actually in better shape than the Old Republic; it's still afloat.

Expand full comment

Please, put me in charge for 24 hours…

Every single DEI billet navy wide will be on preservation tiger teams until this shit stops.

Unsat that not a single flag officer has been taken to task and demoted for this.

Expand full comment

The Navy has become what started on the LCS but has infected the entire fleet "We are operators, not maintainers" You never hear needleguns or deck grinders anymore when walking the piers at NOB, unless it is in the hands of a contractor. Not sure how a CO of one of the destroyers on Pier 3 or 4 NOB can walk to work in the morning and be proud of the ship as he walks aboard looking like that. Even worse is the dismal shape of the crusiers sitting on piers 1 and 2. Make you sick.

Expand full comment
May 24, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

The most pathetic thing I saw was a half dozen airdales chipping up a portion of the hangar bay on the newest carrier. They had chisels and chipping hammers, not a needle gun in sight. The medical folks below were losing their minds below. On the way to lunch on of my cohorts, a retired chief, couldn't help but suggest to them this thing called a needle gun. They did find one; then they had to figure out how to use it.

Expand full comment

If you look up "Needle Gun" on Wikipedia, the first picture is of an able seaman using one.:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needlegun_scaler

Expand full comment