New, Retired USS Greeneville Crew Members Visit Greene County Greeneville Sun
AM General LLC, South Bend, Indiana, was awarded a $527,400,979 firm-fixed-price contract for Contact Maintenance Trucks. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 9, 2028. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-22-D-0002).
CAE USA Inc., Tampa, Florida, was awarded a $12,529,210 modification (P00014) to contract W9124G-20-C-0008 for advanced helicopter flight training. Work will be performed in Tampa, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 9, 2027. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $7,378,257 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Field Directorate Office, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space, El Segundo, California, has been awarded $183,969,508 for Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS)-2B sensors. This contract provides for ASARS Sensors and supplemental equipment. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 16, 2027. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. Fiscal 2021 and 2022 Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $63,599,846 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8691-22-C-101).
Leidos, Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $12,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for research, development, testing, and evaluation of joint and coalition requirements for tools and technologies that allow for joint and combined planning and data interchange with U.S. coalition partners in multiple theaters of operation to maximize interoperability and mission effectiveness when combatting chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Work will be performed in Reston, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2027. This award is the result of a non-competitive acquisition. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $218,380 on one task order are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory Wright Site, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-22-F-6432).
MIG GOV, Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been awarded a $9,350,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for base-wide fencing. This requirement is to inspect, test, construct, install and maintain new and repair existing fencing systems and swing-arm barriers on real property on Joint Base Andrews and its mission partner sites. Work will primarily be performed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 15, 2027. Air Force District of Washington, 316th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity (FA286022D0002).
MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a noncompetitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a total value of $39,619,003. Under this follow-on contract, the contractor will work with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to evolve analysis capability to model the Missile Defense System’s (MDS) expected performance in support of the Director for Engineering’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT) support and analysis effort. This effort supports research, development and testing of the MDS. The analytical support for the QRT will create products used by the MDA director, the National Command Authority, the combatant commands, and Congress. Deliverables include technical reports, trade studies, predictive analysis, concept exploration and data inputs to presentations. The work will be performed in Amherst, New York; Orlando, Florida; and Arlington, Virginia. The performance period is from September 2022 through September 2027. One offer was solicited and one offer was received. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,892,000 are being obligated on this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0854-22-C-0003).
Raytheon Missile and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $39,293,592 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-22-C-5400 for fiscal 2022/2023 Navy, government of Germany, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procurements for Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2/2B Guided Missile Round Pack, spare replacement components and recertification. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (4%); and the government of Japan (96%) under the FMS program. Work will be performed in Ottobrunn, Germany (50%); Tucson, Arizona (32%); Glenrothes Fife, Scotland (8%); Keyser, West Virginia (5%); Bedford, New Hampshire (2%); and various other locations each under 1% (3%), and is expected to be completed by January 2026. FMS (Japan) funds in the amount of $37,709,452 (96%); fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,236,630 (3%); and fiscal 2022 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $347,510 (1%) will be obligated at the time of award, of which $1,236,630 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-22-C-5400).
General Atomics, Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, is awarded a $35,895,000 firm-fixed-price order (N0001922F2395) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0001922G0006). This order procures spares necessary for the successful operational capability of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary Medium Altitude Long Endurance MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper air vehicles, ground control stations and ancillary equipment for the Navy. Work will be performed in Poway, California (52%); San Diego, California (15%); Walpole, Massachusetts (5.1%); Carlsbad, California (5%); St. Charles, Missouri (2.7%); El Cajon, California (2.5%); Oxnard, California (1.5%); Farmingdale, New York (1.3%); Herndon, Virginia (1.3%); Aurora, Ohio (1.05%); Ontario, California (1%); Nevada City, California (1%); Tulare, California (1%); Huntsville, Arkansas (1%); Miami, Florida (1%); Newberry, South Carolina (1%); Toronto, Canada (0.75%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (5.8%), and is expected to be completed in December 2026. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $35,895,000 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
L3Harris Technologies Inc., Clifton, New Jersey, is awarded a $31,714,640 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N0002421C5525 to exercise an option for MK 234 Nulka Advanced Decoy Architecture Program series payloads. Work will be performed in Clifton, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed by June 2025. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $15,857,320 (50%); and fiscal 2022 other customer funds in the amount of $15,857,320 (50%) will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Oceaneering International Inc., Hanover, Maryland, is awarded a $27,357,473 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-4315 to exercise options for the continuation of the Navy’s domestic and international submarine rescue program, Submarine Rescue Operations Maintenance Contractor. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed in September 2023. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,658,009 (92%); fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $528,429 (5%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $368,188 (3%) will be obligated at the time of award, of which, funds in the amount of $9,658,009 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Systems Planning and Analysis Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, is awarded a $16,835,956 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract action in support of engineering services for the Program Executive Office (PEO), Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS) 2.0 Above Water Sensors. Work will be performed at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.; and Alexandria, Virginia. Work is expected to be completed on March 13, 2023. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy); fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy); fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); and fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) in the amount of $7,421,806 will be obligated at time of award. This contract was not competitively procured and is in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) — only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-22-C-B006).
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Charlottesville, Virginia, is awarded a $13,112,512 cost-plus-fixed fee and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract N0002418C5216 for additional engineering hours in support of continued Navy Electronic Chart Display and Information System software support. Work will be performed in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,885,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Tactical Engineering & Analysis Inc., San Diego, California, is awarded an $8,678,958 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, multiple award modification to previously awarded task order N00178-19-D-8638 / N66001-20-F-3503 for engineering services. These services will provide software support activity engineering services for the Command and Control Processor Mod system. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (100%), and is expected to be complete by September 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as incremental funding modifications are issued using research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); other procurement (Navy); shipbuilding construction (Navy); and working capital (Navy) funds. The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE HUMAN RESOURCES ACTIVITY
College Entrance Examination Board, Reston, Virginia (H9821022D0001), is awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in the amount of $38,491,800. This contract provides College Level Exam Program (CLEP) testing for military personnel and eligible civilian groups, including Reserve components, to support officer accession programs and to meet entrance requirements for postsecondary education. This is a sole-source requirement; funding will be provided at the task order level utilizing operations and maintenance funding for the year that the task order is issued. This contract has a five-year ordering period from Sept. 15, 2022, through May 14, 2027. Defense Human Resources Activity, Alexandria, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES
TM3 Solutions, Alexandria, Virginia (HQ0034-19-C-0165), is awarded an option period (P00043) on a hybrid firm-fixed-price and cost reimbursable contract in the amount of $10,723,665. The total amount of this action if all options are exercised is $58,860,027. The Joint Service Provider (JSP) has a requirement to procure software asset management support services. This requirement will provide administrative, technical and professional services for the effective management and operation of JSP’s software maintenance licenses and renewals. The contractor shall manage software maintenance licenses and renewals to improve on-time software maintenance renewal, purchase software maintenance renewals and licenses on behalf of JSP, reduce maintenance costs through co-terming and synching products from the same manufacturer, and improve software asset management compliance by linking the JSP Supported Products List to a software license/maintenance management tool. The contractor shall provide all labor, supervision and quality control necessary to provide comprehensive administrative, technical and professional services in support of JSP. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,723,665 are being obligated at the time of the award. The estimated completion date is Sept. 28, 2024. The work will be performed at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; the Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia; the Raven Rock Mountain Complex; and other government sites within the National Capital Region as defined in 10 U.S. Code 2674. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Golden State Medical Supply Inc., Camarillo, California, has been awarded a maximum $10,306,354 modification (P00002) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE2D2-20-D-0098) with four one-year option periods for duloxetine delayed release Hydrochloride capsules. This is a fixed-price requirements contract. Location of performance is Spain, with a Sept. 16, 2023, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Services and Federal Bureau of Prisons. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
UPDATE: Garsite Progress LLC,* Kansas City, Kansas (SPE8EC-22-D-0013, $150,000,000), has been added as an awardee to the multiple award contract for commercial sweeper and scrubber equipment, issued against solicitation SPE8EC-17-R-0003 and awarded Aug. 31, 2017.
UPDATE: Eastern Aviation Fuels, doing business as Titan Aviation Fuels, New Bern, North Carolina (SPE607-22-D-0107, $9,433,885), has been added as an awardee to the multiple award contract for fuel support at Charlotte County, Florida, issued against solicitation SPE607-22-R-0200 and awarded May 4, 2022.
A Chinese aircraft carrier, which raised eyebrows by undergoing overhaul and upgrades just over two years after its launch, held combat drills in the South China Sea with its full battle group, consisting of a flotilla of naval ships, including a nuclear submarine, as Beijing ratcheted tensions over Taiwan.
The Shandong — the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s second aircraft carrier and the first domestically built — recently held comprehensive drills in the South China Sea in a group consisting of full combat elements, which analysts said showed that the carrier is becoming ready for far sea operations, state-run Global Times reported on Friday.
Shandong conducted realistic combat-oriented exercises in an undisclosed area in the South China Sea in early autumn to comprehensively test the force’s combat capabilities, the report said, quoting a PLA South Sea Fleet press note released on Wednesday.
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During the drills, the Shandong hosted take-off and landing operations of J-15 carrier-based fighter jets, and practised replenishment-at-sea operations, the press note said.
A video attached to the press note showed that the aircraft carrier manoeuvred in a combat group featuring a Type 055 large destroyer, a Type 052D destroyer, a Type 054A frigate and a Type 901 comprehensive supply ship.
Generally speaking, a nuclear-powered attack submarine would also be part of an aircraft carrier group, the report quoted a defence expert as saying.
Shandong’s drills in the South China Sea with full complement of its combat group comes at a time when China has ratcheted its military drills near Taiwan after the recent visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-level visit by a US official in 25 years, sparking off tensions in the region.
The report on the aircraft carrier conducting combat drills came as a number of US lawmakers have started visiting Taiwan after the high-stakes trip by Pelosi.
On Friday, US Senator Marsha Blackburn visited Taipei and called on Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
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Pelosi’s visit prompted China to launch the exercises that saw it fire missiles and send dozens of warplanes and ships over and around the self-ruled island, which Beijing says will be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
Beijing claims Taiwan a part of it under the ‘One China’ policy and takes umbrage against any official and diplomatic contacts by other countries with Taipei.
China also faced periodic forays by US naval ships, including aircraft carriers and planes challenging Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea and to assert freedom of navigation.
China claims most of the South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.
The Shandong entered service with the PLA Navy in December 2019 in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province.
In April it had to undergo its first maintenance and comprehensive examination, upgrades and overhaul, according to official media reports, raising questions over its operational readiness.
Defence experts say that while China is producing aircraft carriers at a faster pace, it is still a work in progress for the J-15 carrier-based fighter jets, which were stated to be too heavy for deployment on aircraft carriers.
China is rapidly modernising its navy, almost launching a battleship every month or two.
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In June, China launched its third aircraft carrier Fujian, which was stated to be the most advanced as it has a catapult system called the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) for the aircraft to take off and land.
The system is used also on the US Navy’s Gerald R Ford-class carriers, according to the media reports.
Both Liaoning and Shandong are equipped with ski-jump take-off ramps, while the Fujian features a flat top flight deck.
Chinese President Xi Jinping who heads the military besides the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has carried out extensive reforms of the military, including downsizing of the army and enhancing the role of the navy and air force as Beijing set its sights on global expansion with military bases in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
China has also taken over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port for a 99-year lease and expanded and modernised Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea.
— ENDS —
Drawn to its sleek yet hidden shape, artists have long tried to capture the mystery of the submarine and the adventurous crews who risk underwater combat.
The Coronado Historical Association (CHA) is pleased to announce the opening of the “A View from the Periscope” exhibit on July 30, 2022. The exhibit unveils “A View from the Periscope” through the artist’s eye.
Twenty-eight pieces of artwork from the Naval History & Heritage Command’s Navy Art Collection are on loan to CHA for the duration of the exhibit. The artworks are diverse in medium and age, but all prominently feature historic submarines commissioned in the U.S. Navy. Some of the notable artists whose works are featured in the exhibit include: Griffith Baily Coale (1890-1950), Georges Schreiber (1904-1977), Albert K. Murray (1906-1992), John Charles Roach (born c. 1943), Salvatore Indiviglia (1919-2008), and Dante Bertoni (1926-1993). Many of the artists featured are affiliated with the Navy’s Combat Art Program, which places artists on board navy ships on duty and in combat.
The exhibit also celebrates the little-known role Coronado and its sailors played in submarine history. CHA worked with the City of Coronado’s Avenue of Heroes Committee as well as local residents to identify submariners with a Coronado connection. Efforts to identify important submariners to highlight in the exhibit has been so successful that twenty-two submariners were featured at the opening of the exhibit and an additional twenty-four are planned to be added.
The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Naval History & Heritage Command and the San Diego History Center. Funding for this exhibit is provided in part by the City of Coronado’s Community Grant Program.
The museum galleries are opened Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with hours subject to change in the fall. The exhibit will run through November 11, 2022.
VOL. 112, NO. 32 – Aug. 10, 2022
Russia launched missiles from a submarine to strike a civilian business center in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, a senior U.S. military official confirmed Friday.
The attack killed 23 people, The Washington Post reported.
The U.S. official did not have any additional updates on submarines in the Black Sea but the missiles are likely Kalibr NK missiles, given the range needed to hit Vinnytsia — about 300 miles north of the Black Sea. The Russians have a fleet of Kilo-class submarines in the Black Sea submarines capable of launching missiles that have a range of 1,000 nautical miles, USNI News previously reported.
Although the Russians are claiming they targeted a Ukrainian military facility, there is no evidence that one was there, the senior military official said. From the video the official saw, it appears to be a residential building.
“I didn’t see anything there that looked anything close to military,” the official said. “It looked like an apartment building. So no, I have no indication that there was a military target any near anywhere near that.”
USNI News contributor H.I. Sutton tweeted a picture Friday that shows a Kilo-class submarine submerging behind a Russian frigate in the Black Sea.
The submarine needs to be submerged to fire its missiles, Sutton wrote in his tweet.
Incredible candid photo of #Russian navy Improved-KILO submarine submerging behind a frigate, Black Sea
The submarine has to submerge to shoot its 4 kalibr cruise missiles at #Ukraine️ even though there is no threat.
— H I Sutton (@CovertShores) July 15, 2022
The Kalibir missiles have been in use by the Russian Navy since the 2010s and operate similarly to the U.S. Tomahawk land attack missiles. The missiles were first reportedly used in a conflict against Islamic State targets in 2015, USNI News reported at the time.
In March, the Russian Ministry of Defense released footage of a Buyan-M-class corvette firing eight Kalibir missiles at targets in Ukraine.
MADRID ($1=0.95 Euros) — Indra has received contracts from the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace for more than 70 million euros [$72.9 million] to equip the combat systems of the future type 212CD [common design] submarines of Norway and Germany with intelligent electronic defense systems that include the latest generation technologies and with low-probability-of-intercept navigation radars that provide maximum capability to accomplish any mission and speed up decision-making.
Indra’s CEO, Ignacio Mataix, stated that “with these contracts, Indra strengthens its position as one of the major European leaders in advanced technology engineering for platforms that will mark the future of defense, thereby contributing to sovereignty and autonomy of Europe”. He also added: “At Indra, we are working on digitizing the world’s most advanced armies and preparing them to face the new challenges that will arise in the coming decades.”
The company explains that it will equip the Norwegian Navy’s four submarines and the two acquired by the German Navy “with an innovative electronic intelligence system based on broadband signal interception and analysis, interferometry to determine the position of potential threats and digital reception technology to generate radar and communications intelligence”.
Through artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, the Spanish multinational details, the system includes the ability to adapt to future threats. It is also a system with a combined antenna on an integrated mast, which optimizes the use of the platform.
On the other hand, the X-band radar is Indra’s commitment to equipping submarines with dual continuous-wave and pulsed-wave radars with high detection accuracy and low probability of detection. “It is a fully digitized, solid-state system with high-frequency flexibility and high bandwidth, capable of detecting targets with a very small radar section under the worst electromagnetic noise conditions, resisting enemy attempts to interfere with its operation”, assures the company.
This Indra suite of systems will be integrated into Kongsberg’s Orcca combat system and will play a key role in providing situational awareness above that of the adversary.
Indra is part of this project with experience in equipping the previous version of the same submarine model, the Type 212A, operated by the German, Italian and Portuguese navies, with its systems. The company now joins an ambitious international project that allows it to establish a strategic relationship with the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace [KDA].
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The Navy has fired nearly a dozen officers in leadership positions in less than three months, including five in one week, due to a “loss of confidence” in their ability to command — an unusual string of terminations across land, air and sea teams, experts said.
At least nine commanding officers and two senior advisers have been relieved of their duties since April, when a cluster of suicides on the USS George Washington warship sparked widespread concerns of a mental health crisis.
A total of 13 commanding officers have been fired so far this year, including 12 in the Navy and one in the Marine Corps, the Navy said. Most recently, four Naval commanding officers and a top leader were ousted from June 8 to June 14.
It’s unclear what prompted the personnel changes, which the Navy said were unrelated to each other. The Navy did not elaborate further on specific conditions that led to the firings, but stressed the importance of “trust and confidence” across all levels of the chain of command.
“The U.S. Navy has long maintained high standards for all its personnel. Those who fall short of these standards are held accountable,” said Lt. Cmdr. Devin Arneson, a Navy spokesperson, who added that such an action is “neither punitive nor disciplinary.”
None of the leaders served the George Washington, where at least five crew members died by suicide in the last year, angering some sailors and advocates who work to reduce military suicides.
“How many service members have to die before this commanding officer is held accountable?” said Patrick Caserta, who along with his wife has been advocating for better mental health treatment in the military, after their son died by suicide while serving the Navy in 2018.
“You cannot hand-pick some commanders as fall guys and leave others untouched,” Caserta said.
At least one George Washington sailor, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, said he partially blames his commanding officer, Capt. Brent Gaut, for the rash of suicides, which include three within a span of a week in April.
The sailor and the Casertas believe Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith should also be fired, following controversial remarks he made during an address to a fragile crew in April. Smith, the service’s senior enlisted leader, is responsible for matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families.
The sailor said his shipmates still talk about Smith’s comments that sailors should have “reasonable expectations,” and that they were not “sleeping in a foxhole like a Marine might be doing.”
In separate news releases, the Navy gave vague explanations in at least four of the cases and blanket “loss of confidence” statements for the others.
It said an “assessment” of the current climate at the Naval Justice School led officials to fire both the commanding officer and her second-in-command on May 31. However, the Navy said neither officer was involved in misconduct.
That commanding officer, Capt. Amy Larson, had held the role for about eight months. She has been temporarily reassigned, officials said.
Earlier, a “command investigation” resulted in the April 28 termination of the commanding officer in charge of the Submarine Training Facility in San Diego, the Navy said.
In Hawaii, a “series of leadership and oversight failures” at the government-run Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility led to the April 4 dismissal of the commanding officer of its Fleet Logistics Center.
Most recently, the Navy said the commanding officer of the USS Bulkeley destroyer and his third-in-command were relieved on June 10 due to a loss of confidence in their “ability to effectively function as a command leadership team.”
Military experts said it’s common for commanding officers on ships to be fired, but that it’s rarer to see them booted from teams that handle trainings, fleet readiness and supply centers.
The Navy said an average of about 17 commanding officers have been relieved each year since 2011. It’s unclear if the service plans to announce more terminations soon.
At least at sea, commanding officers are relieved so frequently that it’s become a long-running joke among sailors, said Benjamin Gold, who was a Naval officer for nearly seven years.
Gold said dismissals are easily triggered, especially when complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment and conditions of employment are filed with the Naval Inspector General’s office.
“You always hear about COs being fired for one reason or another,” he said. “We describe command at sea as kind of like an experiment in leadership.”
For commanding officers, there is a very low threshold for a personal infraction, said Gold, who is now a military law attorney. “You’re under the microscope,” he said. “As you get higher up in the ranks, the microscope intensifies.”
Patrick Caserta, 57, and his wife Teri, 56, are baffled that leaders on the USS George Washington are still on the aircraft carrier when other commanding officers have lost their jobs in instances that did not involve any sailor’s death.
“They need to be held accountable for this,” Caserta said. “What’s more indicative of a leader? DUI or people dying under your command?”
The Casertas said they know firsthand how poor leadership impacts a sailor’s decision to die by suicide.
Next week will mark the fourth year they’ve been without their son, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Brandon Caserta, who took his own life while serving a helicopter sea combat unit in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Casertas said their 21-year-old son, a naval squadron flight electrician, had been chronically bullied and abused by a toxic command that denied his requests for mental health services.
The string of dismissals comes as Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro faces pressure to look into toxic command cultures.
On May 17, Del Toro and Adm. Michael Gilday, the U.S. chief of naval operations, visited the George Washington and spoke to beleaguered crew members about living and working conditions.
At the time, a senior Navy official told NBC News that “several things” were in the works and that recommendations would be developed and implemented “as soon as possible.”
The Navy Secretary’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the status of those changes since.
“There’s been no accountability, nothing, when all these changes could have happened,” Caserta said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
U.S. Navy story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian G. Reynolds, Submarine Group Nine Public Affairs
NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BANGOR, Wash. (May 24, 2022) – The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) conducted a full crew change while at sea that concluded May 24, 2022.
This previously uncommon underway change of crew demonstrates how the Navy and its strategic forces have evolved to think, act, and operate differently in order to meet deterrent mission tasking while simultaneously executing necessary ship lifecycle events.
“This event demonstrated our ability to completely change out the crew of an SSBN at sea and in a location of our choosing,” said Rear Adm. Robert M. Gaucher, commander Submarine Group 9 and Task Group 114.3. “The readiness and flexibility we demonstrated today adds another layer of uncertainty to adversary efforts to monitor our SSBN force, and continues to send a strong message to our adversaries that ‘Today is not the day.’”
Each ballistic missile submarine has two crews, a blue crew and a gold crew, which alternate manning. Previously, the crews would alternate and resupply between patrols while in port. The ability to change crews while underway adds a new dynamic of flexibility and sustainability while the submarine is executing their mission.
“This provides an opportunity to keep the nuclear deterrent at sea survivable by exchanging the crews and replenishing the ship’s supplies in any port or location across the world,” said Capt. Kelly Laing, director of maritime operations at Commander, Task Group 114.3. “Our SSBNs are no longer tied to their homeport of record or another naval port to keep them at sea, ensuring that we are always executing the deterrent mission for the U.S. and our allies.”
Alabama is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and the eighth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. The class is designed for extended, undetectable deterrent patrols and as a launch platform for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Hometown: Finksburg, Md.
High School: Westminster High School
Major: Political Science
What do you want to do after graduation and why? After graduation I hope to commission as a naval aviator or submarine officer. I’ve had awesome experiences with both communities thus far. I love the mission sets and culture within both respective professions. After my Navy career, I intend to pursue a law degree and protect the environment through judicial or legislative means.
Why did you choose Navy? I chose Navy because the institution offers an outstanding education and leadership development, while Coach Niumatalolo’s football program provides an opportunity to compete against top-tier FBS competition and be a part of a one-of-a-kind brotherhood. That combination was unique and set USNA apart.
What would you tell somebody that is considering coming to Navy to play football? Understand the enormous opportunity you are being given. Sure, the Naval Academy challenges us in ways that other schools do not and certainly has more demands outside of the football facility than your average FBS school. Yet, this is what makes the experience so rewarding. Not only do we play in some of the most storied and historic college football games, but we also get incredible training and mentorship out of our military commitments. Not to mention, the pro football pipeline does not close, and either way you have a fantastic job waiting for you. The Naval Academy pushes you to be the best in all aspects of your life.
If you could play another position, what position would you play and why? If I could play another position, I think it would be safety. I feel like Eavan Gibbons and I have a similar body type and skill set, which would allow me to seamlessly replace him.
If you could choose any opponent for Navy to play that is currently not on the schedule, who would you choose and why? I would choose the University of Maryland. I think it’s time we prove who runs this state.
Favorite class at the Naval Academy and why? Political Science Methods and Comparative Politics were my favorite classes this past year. The former had us apply scientific and statistical theory to political science research and the latter included some interesting guest speakers and simulations.
Hardest class at the Naval Academy and why? I pursued a track which squeezed three semesters of calculus content into two classes, and that was pretty tough for a guy who does not enjoy pure math.
Favorite teacher at the Naval Academy and why? All of my instructors at the Academy have been excellent; I don’t think there’s any way I could narrow it down to one individual. I’ve had exceptional military and civilian instructors the past two years.
Favorite form of social media and why? I’m not a huge fan of social media, but Twitter never fails to amuse me.
Favorite person to follow on social media and why? Riley Riethman’s dad, Rob, for wholesome Riley content.
If you could have dinner with any 4 people at the Naval Academy who would you choose and why? Wright Davis, Edie Lareau, Joe Piette and Grandma from the Mid Store. Naval Academy legends who humbly serve us and deserve a nice dinner. I surmise it would be a memorable one.
Favorite sport to follow at the Naval Academy outside of football and why? Basketball—both men’s and women’s were awesome to watch this past year and I really enjoyed taking a break from studying to spend a few weeknights in Alumni Hall watching the teams.
If you didn’t play football at Navy, what sport would you play and why? I played lacrosse for 10 years so I think I’d have potential to pull an Arline.
What song is playing on your headphones in the locker room right before taking the field? “Saturday” by Twenty One Pilots or “Shine a Little Light” by the Black Keys.
What is your dream vacation? I haven’t been snowboarding since I got serious about football, so I’d love to go up to Banff and experience some real powder.
How many teams should make the FBS Playoffs? 8
What is the best thing about being in the American Athletic Conference? Playing competition that is on par with the best conferences in the FBS #Power6
Favorite Coach Niumatalolo quote: “Choose the right”
One word to describe a Navy Football player: Disciplined
Who will be the surprise player on offense in 2022 and why? Anton Hall and Logan Point – they’re going to be a force between the tackles
Who will be the surprise player on defense in 2022 and why? Colin Ramos – he showed what he can do at the end of last year and will only build on that
Who is the toughest player on the Navy football team and why? Tai Lavatai – the guy takes a lot of shots from some large dudes
What player epitomizes Navy Football and why? Eavan Gibbons – plays with a chip on his shoulder, always chooses the right, pushes those around him to get better, and is a stand-up guy who you want on your side.
Who will be the Most Valuable Player on offense in 2022 and why? Maquel Haywood – when the ball is in his hands, he makes plays.
Who will be the Most Valuable Player on defense in 2022 and why? Jacob Busic – the Westminster High graduate will prove that those Central Marylanders are simply built different.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Seeing what this team is capable of accomplishing.