The (Acting) SECNAV Thomas B. Modly has booted the skipper of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett E. Crozier (USNA 1994), from his post over the leaked letter the carrier’s commander penned in reference to the spreading COVID-19 cases among his embarked 4,000-man crew.
Several sources told USNI News ahead of the announcement that Navy leaders in the Pacific did not recommend Crozier’s removal from command.
Modly’s two minutes of reasoning is in the video below, essentially boiling down to breaking the chain of command on the face of it, with the unpardonable sin of making Big Navy look bad on the sniff test.
Loose lips sink ships, or at least careers, anyway.
Of course, all the public attention has resulted in the crew getting the attention they needed, which was the meat of Crozier’s concerns.
Crozier had a big send-off from his crew.
A Seahawk and later Hornet driver who flew with the Warhawks of VFA-97, the Mighty Shrikes of VFA-94 and the Rough Riders of VFA-125, Crozier completed numerous downrange deployments during OIF and the Global War on Terror. Serving as the XO of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for two years and then as skipper of 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), for another two before moving into the captain’s cabin of The Big Stick, Crozier was on the path for a star after 26 years of honorable service.
After an epic two-week battle for the remote island outpost of Wake, 449 Marines, 68 U.S. Navy personnel, and 5 U.S. Army soldiers, as well as a force of civilian contractors, surrendered to a 2,500-man force of Japanese infantry backed up by a 19-ship armada on this day in 1941– two days before Christmas.
While transiting the area, Navy aircraft fly conducted a heritage flight off the coast of Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean, in October from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
A Marine flight consisted of four F-18C’s from VMFA-312, a unit that first saw combat during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 and was credited with 59.5 Japanese kills during the war, also participated. As the “Checkerboards” C-model Hornets are a bit long in the tooth when compared with more current E-series Super Hornets, they are a good analogy to VMF-211’s F4F-3 Wildcats flown at Wake back in 1941.
A few of the better ones that I have seen this week. My skyline was socked in by low altitude cloud cover and I got nothing 😦
As noted in an editorial in Sea Power, according to Bryan Clark and Jesse Sloman of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the Navy/Marine Corps team is at a tipping point, with a 272-ship fleet still tasked like its the old school Lehman 600-ship Navy of the Cold War, of possibly not being able to meet commitments.
The fix, instead of either just pulling a Royal Navy post-Suez drawback or moving to 9-month+ deployments, is to keep more ships overseas and use civilian-manned vessels more. You know, how like we moved the fleet from California to Pearl Harbor in 1940.
One alternative is to “increase further the portion for the fleet that is forward deployed,” the report notes. The advantage of forward-deployed ships is that fewer ships are required to maintain a given level of presence. The adaptation of some Military Sealift Command ships as expeditionary ships in relatively permissive environments, with rotational crews, also could reduce the burden on warships. Maintaining forward-deployed ships is more costly, however.
Clark said the forward deployment of a second aircraft carrier in the Western Pacific would enable the Navy to meet the requirement for a carrier strike group year-round using only forward-deployed forces. This would allow the Navy to get by with a total of nine carriers or, with 11 carriers, it would allow the Navy to keep an East Coast-based carrier deployed to the European area of operations, leaving the Persian Gulf to West Coast-based carriers and the Western Pacific to the two forward-deployed carriers.
From the Aviationist
The image in this post shows the nose of a VAQ-137 EA-18G Growler aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Interestingly, the aircraft sports a quite unique kill marking, showing a person “hit” by a lightning bolt.
According to our sources, this is the kill mark applied when the Growler is used in an operation during which it jams cell comms or pick up cell comms and that person is targeted.
All the other “standard” lighting bolts are for generic Electronic Attack support: usually, jamming during ops when F/A-18s are dropping ordnance.
But the cell phone one is very specific to targeting a High Value Target or other individual with a cell or cell-jamming over an area. Ordnance is often employed in this context.
Take a close look at the two dozen Grumman F-14 Tomcats arrayed on the 1,092-foot long flight deck of the Roosevelt below.
And on the elevator of the Conny…
U.S. Navy Seaman Marlena Peter paints a mural of Popeye the Sailor Man in the foc’sle windlass room aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Dec. 5, 2013, while underway in the Atlantic Ocean US Navy photo 131205-N-BD333-047 by MCSN Bounome Chanphouang
He first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theater on January 17, 1929, hence the ship out date on his forearm. Then of course the barn swallow on his shoulder is a traditional illustration for a mariner that has seen more than 5,000 nautical miles underway (and since its a land bird, always helps find shore). Also note the old school Figure Eight knot on his right hand denoting pre-1904 service in the old Apprentice programs (the same emblem is used as the seaman apprentice rate insignia these days)