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Author Topic: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf  (Read 6467 times)

Balog

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Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« on: July 07, 2016, 12:15:09 PM »

http://usdefensewatch.com/2016/07/cowardice-and-incompetence-in-the-persian-gulf-the-us-navy-has-severe-problems/

The .mil has released their report on the sailors captured by the Iranians.
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BobR

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 12:47:57 PM »

That whole evolution was FUBAR'd beyond belief.

A couple of things that really jumped out at me;

A female on one of the boats as a 2nd Gunner (WTH is that?), I don't believe women are assigned to Riverine boats as crew at this point. I could be wrong. Was this a transit and they took whoever wanted to go? Possibly office types, I really don't know.

I read earlier that one of the recommendations was Riverine crews receive Code of Conduct and in-person SERE training but I can't find it now. :(

How can anyone in these boats not have SERE is beyond me.

Hopefully they are at least well trained in preventing sexual harassment, being diverse and learning to accept LGBT shipmates and completed all required NKO courses to be politically correct in any situation....you know...the important stuff. ;)  :(

bob

Perd Hapley

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 12:50:02 PM »

One is reminded of the feigned, lefty outrage over Bush "failing" to provide ever soldier with a bullet-proof vest, and to armor every bit of rolling stock.
This member used to have another name, and the name that this member used to have was fistful.

wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 01:09:10 PM »

I read earlier that one of the recommendations was Riverine crews receive Code of Conduct and in-person SERE training but I can't find it now. :(

All military members receive training on the Code of Conduct, continuously throughout their career.
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Ben

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 01:34:02 PM »

Wow. Don't remember reading this before:

Quote
The report also found that the crew members improperly revealed passwords for laptops and cellphones and even sensitive technical details about their two ships, including their top speed, capabilities and missions, the report said. “It is clear that some, if not all, crew members provided at least some information to interrogators beyond name, rank, service number and date of birth,” the report said.
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BobR

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 02:09:36 PM »

All military members receive training on the Code of Conduct, continuously throughout their career.

How do they get it these days? While we talked about the CoC a bit, especially before deployments I don't recall a bunch of formal training sessions. This was before NKO, or any other computer stuff so we did it as GMT once a year or so, or so we said. I just don't remember a lot of it though. :(


bob

wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 02:14:01 PM »

How do they get it these days? While we talked about the CoC a bit, especially before deployments I don't recall a bunch of formal training sessions. This was before NKO, or any other computer stuff so we did it as GMT once a year or so, or so we said. I just don't remember a lot of it though. :(


bob

For us it is via an annual brief along with several others that are mandatory.  Also as you stated it is drilled in over and over during just about every brief while prepping for a deployment.
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Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 02:27:39 PM »

This is what stood out to me. A crewmember refused a direct lawful order because it might have been dangerous? That bastard should be rotting in a cell the rest of his life.

Quote
Instead, Nartker did order the boats to speed away. But by then it was too late, the Iranians were able to block their vessel and had their weapons fixed on boat. The crew’s coxswain saw the Iranian’s AK-47s were close enough for him to see they were pointed at his gunner. When the captain wanted another attempt to go, the coxswain said no.

“I tell the [boat 802] captain that we are not moving. [The boat 802 captain] said we just got to go and if they shoot through us then whatever. I am having this dumb conversation with him about how I am not going to drive. I am not going to get the [boat 802] gunner killed,” according to the investigation.
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If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 02:41:18 PM »

This is what stood out to me. A crewmember refused a direct lawful order because it might have been dangerous? That bastard should be rotting in a cell the rest of his life.


Actually no, I wouldn't see where putting a life into jeopardy would be a lawful order.  I don't think I would have followed that order at that time either.
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Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 02:44:04 PM »

Actually no, I wouldn't see where putting a life into jeopardy would be a lawful order.  I don't think I would have followed that order at that time either.

Are you serious? So, it is unlawful for a officer to order his men to fight against the enemy? Good Lord...
Quote from: French G.
I was always pleasant, friendly and within arm's reach of a gun.

Quote from: Standing Wolf
If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

RoadKingLarry

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 02:44:48 PM »

This is the kind of *expletive deleted*it wrought by turning the military into a *expletive deleted*ing social experiment.
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makattak

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 02:55:20 PM »

Actually no, I wouldn't see where putting a life into jeopardy would be a lawful order.  I don't think I would have followed that order at that time either.

!!?!?!?!?!?

WHAT?!?

How is it not a lawful order to put a sailor's life in jeopardy? THAT'S WHAT THE MILITARY DOES.

One thing I'm noting in all of this, that there is a female gunner on the crew.

Might the gunner that was at risk have been the female, leading to the greater reluctance to put her in danger?

Oh, that's right. We can't talk about that kind of thing happening.

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wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 02:57:13 PM »

Are you serious? So, it is unlawful for a officer to order his men to fight against the enemy? Good Lord...

!!?!?!?!?!?

WHAT?!?

How is it not a lawful order to put a sailor's life in jeopardy? THAT'S WHAT THE MILITARY DOES.

One thing I'm noting in all of this, that there is a female gunner on the crew.

Might the gunner that was at risk have been the female, leading to the greater reluctance to put her in danger?

Oh, that's right. We can't talk about that kind of thing happening.


Considering that the order came to late to act....The officer in charge is also committed to make sure that his team stay alive.  It isn't as if our Sailors had an opportunity to defend themselves. 
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Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2016, 03:10:19 PM »

Considering that the order came to late to act....The officer in charge is also committed to make sure that his team stay alive.  It isn't as if our Sailors had an opportunity to defend themselves. 

If the officer is committed to anything other than accomplishing his mission then he is a failure.

I know we joke about the differences between the services and all, but I cannot fathom defending the refusal of a direct order to attempt to evade capture on the grounds that it would be risky. I am dumbfounded.
Quote from: French G.
I was always pleasant, friendly and within arm's reach of a gun.

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If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2016, 03:12:31 PM »

If the officer is committed to anything other than accomplishing his mission then he is a failure.

I know we joke about the differences between the services and all, but I cannot fathom defending the refusal of a direct order to attempt to evade capture on the grounds that it would be risky. I am dumbfounded.

If one wasn't already staring down the barrel of an AK maybe, but you even quote the coxswain stated that he saw the AK pointed at the gunner.
There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.

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Hawkmoon

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2016, 04:31:33 PM »

One is reminded of the feigned, lefty outrage over Bush "failing" to provide ever soldier with a bullet-proof vest, and to armor every bit of rolling stock.

Well, hey -- Now that they have vests, who cares if the engines work? It's all good, right?

dogmush

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2016, 04:36:28 PM »

Hmmm usdefensewatch is all angsty about this.  I'd like to read the actual report, not excerpts.  That said, I'm going to quote myself from the original thread:

Quote from: dogmush
Sooooo. I have actually trained with that Riverine squadron. also the one on the east coast.  Those guys (the coxswains of small craft) are barely competent sailors.  By doctrine, they are supposed to provide security for US Army Logistics Over the Shore operations.  We plan on doing that ourselves, because in the Chesapeake Bay it's 50/50 they will get there on time.  I 100% believe that navy officer that was violating the Code of Conduct: Those tool's got lost, and were picked up by the Iranian's before they could figure it out.  It's not a conspiracy, it's lowest common denominator boat handling.  We (the Army) normally know our position to within .5 NM or so.  We train, and routinely use, GPS, RDF, visual, and celestial navigation. My experience with small (read less than 300 or so ft) Navy boats, is that if it isn't on their commercial grade chartplotter, they don't know it.


On the coxswain refusing an order?  There are some questions.  A competent officer would have been looking at that whole situation and trying to pick the least risky way to save his crew and boats.  There was no good choice by that time.  Are the Iranians really going to shoot? After all they don't actually want a war either.  Can we limp out to international waters?  If they take us what is the threat to the crews?  What is the threat to the security of the boats and onboard equipment? Gotta pick the least crappy option and go with it, as there are real risks to each choice.  The thing is, assuming the chain of command is as we've been told, that's the LT's call.  The Coxswain (of the 802) doesn't get to make that.  Right or wrong when the commander says "we go left" that's what you do.  Now, I will amend that to say it's possible that the LT, while the ranking person present, wasn't actually in command.  If there wasn't an actual "This is the convoy/flotilla, and the LT is in charge" then the individual responsibility for the safety of the boats and crew stays with the Master of each boat.  i.e. the Coxswain.  IF that's the situation and the LT was kinda riding along, the Coxswain was legal to make his own call on his boat.  For example: I often take Generals out on PAO rides.  As soon as we throw lines and get underway, I'm in [legal] command of the vessel, crew and passengers.  Stars down to LT aides.  We do what I say.  (That being said, I tend to pay pretty close attention to what the Generals want :) )

So we'd need to know specifically what the command structure of that little flotilla was in some detail.

Personally, from what I know of their situation, I'd have bluffed them and headed for sea.  The Iranian's didn't KNOW they weren't in contact with 5th Fleet, and no one wants to be the first to pull a trigger.  Aim for sea, engines dead slow ahead, and don't turn.

Pretty much everything the crews did after capture was stupid, and professionally embarrassing. (Except the sailor that hit the beacon (I assume an EPIRB))  It also sounds like they shouldn't have gotten underway at all as the boats don't sound seaworthy, much less ready for ops in the Gulf.

Quote from: Balog
Are you serious? So, it is unlawful for a officer to order his men to fight against the enemy?
It's worth remembering that however much you don't like them, we ARE NOT at war with the Iranians, so overt aggression would indeed have been an illegal order.  The ROE in CENTCOM/The Persian Gulf are pretty dang specific, and from what has been described so far, shooting at the Iranians would not have been authorized, or legal.  If they had actually shot at us that would be different.


Shitty training, shitty SOPs, shitty equipment, and shitty seamanship put those crews into a situation where there wasn't actually any good choices, just an array of bad ones.  They still seem to have managed to pick the worse ones.

Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2016, 04:56:18 PM »

If one wasn't already staring down the barrel of an AK maybe, but you even quote the coxswain stated that he saw the AK pointed at the gunner.

When I was in Iraq I didn't get to refuse lawful orders because people were actively shooting at me, this fcking coward doesn't get a pass because someone had a gun in his general area.
Quote from: French G.
I was always pleasant, friendly and within arm's reach of a gun.

Quote from: Standing Wolf
If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2016, 04:58:07 PM »

It's worth remembering that however much you don't like them, we ARE NOT at war with the Iranians, so overt aggression would indeed have been an illegal order.  The ROE in CENTCOM/The Persian Gulf are pretty dang specific, and from what has been described so far, shooting at the Iranians would not have been authorized, or legal.  If they had actually shot at us that would be different.

Granted, but he was ordering them to leave the area not open fire.
Quote from: French G.
I was always pleasant, friendly and within arm's reach of a gun.

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If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2016, 04:59:57 PM »

When I was in Iraq I didn't get to refuse lawful orders because people were actively shooting at me, this fcking coward doesn't get a pass because someone had a gun in his general area.

Big *expletive deleted*ing difference.  You're trying to compare apples to VW's.
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Balog

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2016, 05:01:13 PM »

Big *expletive deleted*ing difference.  You're trying to compare apples to VW's.

Show me in the UCMJ where it discusses which lawful orders you can disobey because you're scared.
Quote from: French G.
I was always pleasant, friendly and within arm's reach of a gun.

Quote from: Standing Wolf
If government is the answer, it must have been a really, really, really stupid question.

RoadKingLarry

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2016, 05:03:27 PM »

Quote
Shitty training, shitty SOPs, shitty equipment, and shitty seamanship[s/] leadership put those crews into a situation where there wasn't actually any good choices, just an array of bad ones.  They still seem to have managed to pick the worse ones.

FTFY
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wmenorr67

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2016, 05:20:25 PM »

Show me in the UCMJ where it discusses which lawful orders you can disobey because you're scared.

My point being is it wasn't a lawful order.
There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Bacon is the candy bar of meats!

Only the dead have seen the end of war!

Ben

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2016, 05:38:57 PM »


Pretty much everything the crews did after capture was stupid, and professionally embarrassing. (Except the sailor that hit the beacon (I assume an EPIRB))  

EPIRB is what I figured when I read it. I'm only talking from my armchair, but with clearer heads, that would have been a good thing to do before they were boarded. Good on her for doing so afterwards though and taking the risk. Sounds like she was the only one on either boat with testicles.

How do you guys in the mil handle EPIRB pops off your own vessels? Because on the civilian side, it's always, "some idiot must have bumped the switch" especially if it's a short signal. I would guess you all are more professional than that and verify, which means she was smart to activate it, if only for a few seconds-minutes.
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dogmush

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Re: Cowardice and incompetence in the Gulf
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2016, 06:00:10 PM »

EPIRB is what I figured when I read it. I'm only talking from my armchair, but with clearer heads, that would have been a good thing to do before they were boarded. Good on her for doing so afterwards though and taking the risk. Sounds like she was the only one on either boat with testicles.

How do you guys in the mil handle EPIRB pops off your own vessels? Because on the civilian side, it's always, "some idiot must have bumped the switch" especially if it's a short signal. I would guess you all are more professional than that and verify, which means she was smart to activate it, if only for a few seconds-minutes.

In the Army, we go find the device no matter the length of signal sent. Either someone needs help, or someone is in trouble.

Quote from: wmenorr67
My point being is it wasn't a lawful order.

Other than a possible COC issue that I mentioned what makes you think it wasn't lawful? What Law do you think was broken to order the boats to leave?
 I'm allowed to risk my soldiers at my discretion for  mission accomplishment.  I may  very well have to answer to my commanders for the risks I take, but that goes up the chain, not down.
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