Another Navy Officer Sacked

The Navy has relieved the commanding officer of the 82,000 ton warship, John F. Kennedy after the aircraft carrier plowed into a wooden dhow while transiting the Persian Gulf on July 22.

To make matters even worse, the aircraft carrier was in the process of recovering an F-14 Tomcat in the moments before the collision. After the Tomcat landed, the carrier made a hard right turn in an effort to avoid the dhow causing the Tomcat to skid into a parked F/A-18 Hornet.

It was reported that the J.FK. had something like 28 minutes to avoid the dhow, but failed to take any action until it was too late to avoid the small wooden vessel. Apparently, all aboard the dhow were killed in the collision.

While it’s true that an aircraft carrier can’t be making radical maneuvers while recovering aircraft, it would seem that (assuming that the plane had enough fuel) 28 minutes would be ample time to wave off the F-14 for another go around.

Besides the question of how a wooden dhow could be allowed to get so close to an aircraft carrier after the USS Cole incident, the sacking of the JFK’s CO bings up serious questions about the leadership in Rummy’s Navy, as Captain Squires was the 11th commanding officer to be relived of command in 2004 and the 28th to be sacked since February of 2003. Over 80 commanding officers have been relieved of command in the last five years.

It’s legitimate to ask what is going with the Defense Department’s selection process that allows so many officers to be placed in major commands only to be found to be failed leaders.

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