USS Connecticut Officers Relieved After South China Seas Crash

USS Connecticut Officers Relieved After South China Seas Crash

USS Connecticut Officers Relieved After South China Seas Crash

Top officers from the USS Connecticut have been fired after the submarine hit an undersea mountain in the South China Sea on October 2, 2021. The Captain, Executive Officer and Chief of the Boat were fired because the Navy had lost confidence in their abilities.

The USS Connecticut (SSN-22) is a Seawolf Class Nuclear Attack Submarine. Eleven sailors were injured in the attack and the craft sustained $3.1 billion in damage. After hitting the sea mountain, the 7th Fleet submarine, out of Japan, limped back to Guam for repairs. According to the United States Naval Institute:

Connecticut commanding officer Cmdr. Cameron Aljilani, executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Cashin and Chief of the Boat Cory Rodgers were removed from their positions at the direction of U.S. 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas.

The reliefs are “due to loss of confidence. Thomas determined sound judgement, prudent decision-making, and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident,” reads a statement from the Navy.
“Capt. John Witte will assume duties as interim Commanding Officer. Cmdr. Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim Executive Officer. Command Master Chief Paul Walters will assume duties as interim Chief of the Boat.”

The reliefs follow the completion of the investigation into the Oct. 2 collision in which the nuclear attack submarine collided with an uncharted underwater seamount in the South China Sea.

“The investigation determined USS Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” 7th Fleet spokesperson Cmdr. Hayley Sims told USNI News in a Monday afternoon statement.

I know absolutely jack about how submarines operate, so I read through the comments at the end of the Navy Institute’s article. The submarine hit an “uncharted” underwater sea mountain. Underwater topography is constantly changing because of earthquakes and other natural activities. The submarines operate under varying degrees of “EMCON”:

In both battle and test scenarios, naval ships need to be able to enter EMCON (Emissions Control) conditions. This can mean restricted emissions (no uniquely identifying transmissions) or no emissions at all (radio silence).

Why is EMCON at sea so important?
Signals travel a long way at sea, and out on the water there is nowhere to hide. EMCON is used to ensure the enemy cannot triangulate the signal source and the ship using radio direction-finding techniques. Since RF transmissions are less common in the middle of the sea, even a very low power and short duration signal can stand out and make the ship an easily locatable target.

An additional reason for restricting emissions can relate to HERO (Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) requirements. This is known as HERO EMCON and is used to prevent ordnance systems from being inadvertently fired due to the effects of electromagnetic interference.

The submariners are blind in their windowless boat. If they cannot use sonar, do they rely on currents charts for their navigation? This comment from Full Astern intrigued me:

Full Astern • 5 hours ago
Interesting outcome of events. Especially given that the boat hit an uncharted sea mountain. As many who post have noted, along with the Navy admitting the undersea topography in that area is constantly changing due to seismic and undersea volcanic activity. It may be telling to hear from the CO, XO and COB from their perspective. The boat has obviously suffered damage beyond the repair capacity in Guam and will undoubtedly enter a long repair period at Puget Sound. For this the Navy is on par with the someone must be held accountable mentality. Fire the command triad! That seems to be the norm these days.

Put the officers out there without the equipment they need and fire them when they can’t do their jobs. What in the unshirted Hell is going on in the U.S. military?

That area of the South China Sea is being swept for evidence of a nuclear leak:

And, the USS Connecticut may be out of service permanently:

How much of this is due to lacking training because of Covid restrictions and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s 60 day stand down to combat extremism in the military?

After the embarrassing loss in Afghanistan, this means our military needs more training. By the way, did you hear about the humiliating scenario our Marines encountered, according to the British Marines:

British media has been gloating since Tuesday, when The Telegraph reported that British Royal Marine commandos had “dominated” the U.S. Marines during the exercise and ultimately forced the Marines to surrender after annihilating most of their unit. The story, which has since been picked up by other British media outlets, also claimed that U.S. troops asked for a “reset” halfway through the exercise after suffering extensive casualties.

The U.S. Marines are disputing this, but…. I kind of think something happened to make the Royal Marines think they had won.

I ask again, what in the unshirted Hell is going on with our military?

Featured Image: U.S. Pacific Fleet/ Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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  • Birdog357 says:

    A USMC regiment lost to an opposing force that consisted of foreign marine units and…another USMC regiment. The British headlines are bunk.

  • Bob says:

    I have lost all faith in the people leading the different branches of our military. Its primary objective is to defend the country, which is accomplished mainly by killing people and blowing up things. The leaders are more concerned about “systemic racism” and the appeasing LGBTQXYZ crowd.

  • GWB says:

    Put the officers out there without the equipment they need
    No. They have the equipment they need. Notice this from the original quote:
    sound judgement, prudent decision-making, and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident
    See that part in there about “adhering to required procedures”? That means they didn’t do something that their Run Silent, Run Deep exercise required to avoid needlessly smashing into underwater dirt. Not everything is about equipment. Part of the incredibly intense training of submariner crews is training and procedures for those times when they have to turn that equipment off.

    Which brings us to your paragraph about training. Yes, this is where the question lies, I think. We need to know how much was sloppy procedure, how much was sloppy leadership (did the crew start sloppy and the leadership didn’t fix it? or did the leadership lead them into sloppiness?), how much was faulty equipment, how much was just plain dumb luck? Also, how much might be spoofing from the Chinese, in the form of bogus marine surveys or something like GPS interference?

    • GWB says:

      BTW, if you want to see a fantastic use of MATH watch Red October or a couple of other modern submarine movies (or a couple about WW2, also). Watch them establish speed by the power they set on the engines, then hack watches and run their turns and so forth based entirely on speed/time calculations and how long it takes to do a 30 degree turn at such-and-such a speed at such-and-such a depth and such-and-such bank. That is how sub crews prove to be so darn deadly.

      • Toni Williams says:

        I love hunt for red october. I really know less than nothing about submariners. I really worry though about the time lost for the 60 day stand down and the Covid shutdown. The gyms at both Fort Knox and Fort Bragg were shut down for the last year. The military hasn’t had proper training in the last 17 months. And, they Navy has been having odd accidents for several years. Thanks GWB.


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  • Erasmus says:

    “I ask again, what in the unshirted Hell is going on with our military?”

    It’s all about the pronouns. Follow the pronouns.

  • wolfwalker says:

    I find it very interesting that the Chief of the Boat was also relieved. The last accident similar to this, the collision between USS _San Francisco_ and an uncharted seamount southeast of Guam, resulted in the relief of the commanding officer and non-judicial punishment for six enlisted men. The XO and COB were not relieved or otherwise punished.

    But this time, the COB was relieved. Why? Even more curious is that the COB is not an officer. He’s an enlisted man – typically a Senior Chief or Master Chief Petty Officer, grades that require at least ten years in service and outstanding performance evaluations. What could be so bad that Seventh Fleet would decide that relieving the COB was justified?

  • Armageddon Rex says:

    Comparing UK Royal Marine Commandos to USMC is an apples to oranges comparison. Yes our USMC is generally tough and competent, but Royal Marine Commandos are really a Special Operations Force more comparable to US Army Rangers 75th regiment. They’re a large body of elite, highly trained volunteers who already served in the military before volunteering to become Commandos following an extremely rigorous “selection” process. If the Commandos lost anything resembling a fair fight, heads should roll in Britain

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