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23rd Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes


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Our year one personal project was the reshaping and “Chinese Air Force Could Overwhelm Opponents”
the alignment of the United States Navy.  And we saw a
need to recreate the community leadership that in our
view we had lost.  The heart of that effort was the type Tactical and Operational Needs Run Amok?
commander merger.  To create one Navy, it was our
view that these two organizations and these two fleets Introduction: STRATFOR and Nathan Hughes
the Atlantic and the Pacific could not function as two
but had to function as one.  And the term Super-
TYCOM was born as we established these individuals to “I’ve got your back”
lead our major communities.
Major Richard C. Winters, Easy Company 506th
Tim I thought was the perfect officer to rise to Parachute Infantry, dead at 92
leadership and replace Ed Moore as the surface Navy’s
Super TYCOM.  I wanted Tim because as I said he was
an innovator, but he was also a person who had the
courage to challenge the status quo.  And it wasn’t
something that came to him late in life; it was a Pages Guest Bloggers
characteristic that he had been demonstrating all of his
About our Guest Bloggers Adm. Jim Stavridis
And it was time to do that, in my view, at the most About the U.S. Naval Admiral John C. Harvey,
senior levels of the United States Navy.  Many of us for Institute Jr.
years study, do studies, and do studies, and do studies. 
History of the U.S. Naval Alexander Martin
And then we think about maybe we should do something and maybe then we study and we
study.  Well I don’t like that approach very well.  Tim LaFleur had a different mindset too.  He CDR Chap Godbey
didn’t wait and he put the rudder over hard and I’ll tell you honestly at the time none of us What is the Naval Institute
were completely certain of the outcome.  Who could predict the future?  And yet, collectively we Blog? CDR Salamander
were very confident that there was incredible value in this journey and ladies and gentlemen, Christopher Albon
Tim LaFleur had the courage to lead us on this new journey.  He got to the heart of why we
did things.  Challenged decades old assumptions.  Helped give our institution a corporate Defense Springboard
perspective, applying business principles to logistics and training and manning.  He taught us Links Eagle1
the potential of fleet alignment.
Americans at War Fouled Anchor
He rewrote our Navy’s flag officer assessments.  He drafted the fleet requirements for the
Littoral Combatant Ship.  He engineered the concepts behind Sea Swap.  He orchestrated our Join the Naval Institute Fred Fry
Optimal Manning concepts.  He agreed that it was time to capture the full potential of our senior Galrahn
enlisted force and is now putting chief petty officers into division officer billets on the United Naval History Blog
States Ship Decatur.  And along with Phil Balisle he has led a revolution in the maintenance Naval History Magazine Jeffrey Withington
game, something that we call SHIPMAIN, completely restructuring the way that we maintain our Jim Dolbow
ships. Naval Institute
Conferences John (Jack) James
Admiral Vern Clark Edited Remarks Naval Institute in the LTJG Ryan Erickson
Retirement of Vice Admiral Tim LaFleur, News
Commander, Naval Surface Forces and M. Ittleschmerz
Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Naval Institute Photo
San Diego, Calif. Archive Military History Buffs
March 4, 2005 Naval Institute Press Nathan Hughes
Proceedings Magazine Steeljaw Scribe
The Navy has been looking into the history of a lot of problems lately. This effort is actually being led
The Bunny
by Admiral Harvey, Commander, Fleet Forces Command. I wish I could give you names for others
who are leading this effort, but those names aren’t available in public yet. At Fleet Forces Command UltimaRatioRegis: The Last
Admiral Harvey has become the canary in the coal mine. The Fleet Review Panel led by retired VADM Arguement of Kings
Phil Balisle and the SAN ANTONIO JAGMAN are results of one Navy leader demonstrating leadership
by taking responsibility, then following up by going up to Congress to hold himself accountable for his Yankee Sailor
obligations as a leader in the US Navy. An outline of what is being done now to correct a decade of YN2(SW) H. Lucien
problems can be found in the statement to the House Armed Services Committee from July 2010 Gauthier III

After a decade of red flags in shipbuilding, maintenance, training, and infrastructure why did it take
until 2009 for a US Navy leader ashore to stand up and claim to be accountable both in the fleet and Categories Recent Comments
on Capitol Hill? More importantly, how many Navy leaders passed up the responsibility to deal with
serious problems when it was their turn? The Fleet Review Panel and the SAN ANTONIO JAGMAN are
but a few of the major studies conducted. There are others, some as big and many just as detailed. Air Force Grandpa Bluewater on
“Chinese Air Force Could
Army Overwhelm Opponents”
When I read the Balisle Report, the history outlined in the report suggests the problem started many
years ago when Vern Clark was CNO, and two names in particular keep popping up – Tim LaFleur Aviation USNVO on “Chinese Air
and Terry Etnyre. It is hard to draw conclusions from a single speech, but the remarks by Admiral Books Force Could Overwhelm
Clark at Tim LaFleur’s retirement ceremony strike me as a summary that explains the changes that Opponents”[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

were taking place, and it is quite ironic the speech includes a warning regarding the outcome. In Coast Guard
hindsight it is very easy to look back and examine the unintended consequences. In hindsight we can Byron on “Chinese Air
Foreign Policy Force Could Overwhelm
also look back and see if all of the unintended consequences have been exposed.
From our Archive
There was evidence of smoke in the Navy by the time Terry Etnyre replaced Tim LaFleur in 2005, but UltimaRatioReg on
outside of LPD-17 it was difficult to identify where the fire was. Under the leadership of both ADM “Chinese Air Force Could
Mike Mullen and ADM Gary Roughead, the smoke has been repeatedly dismissed as the fog of Homeland Security Overwhelm Opponents”
change. Only as things got worse across the shoreline, and perhaps only in hindsight, do the trend
Marine Corps P on “Chinese Air Force
lines reveal the problems.
Could Overwhelm
Maritime Security Opponents”
The first serious fire was found in shipbuilding and the problems with the Littoral Combat Ship
program on the heels of the San Antonio class shipbuilding problems. Specifically for the LCS, the Navy
inability to build ships due to poor management and constantly making changes after construction Piracy
began were compounded by terrible designing and budgeting metrics up front. This combustible Archives
combination has led to the two most expensive Navy vessels built per ton for at least 3 decades for Soft Power
any ship over 2000 tons, at least that is what my calculations suggest using the historical CBO data
Travel January 2011
available for shipbuilding large surface ships over the last 30 years.
Uncategorized December 2010
Once construction already began, the number of changes requested by the Navy for the LCS program
was out of control, and what has followed has been an indictment of shipbuilding for US Navy ships November 2010
ever since with a number of hull cancellations to prove it. What hasn’t been seen in shipbuilding is October 2010
any accountability regarding NAVSEA’s role in the Littoral Combat Ship program, including all three
mythical modules of which a baseline still doesn’t exist for any type (MIW, ASW, ASuW). Multiple RSS Feed September 2010
groups, most of which are under the NAVSEA leadership umbrella, have repeatedly failed in the Atom Feed
development of the Littoral Combat Ship. On the heels of the failures with the San Antonio class, this August 2010
should be unacceptable – to someone. No one in Navy leadership ashore has officially been held Add to Google July 2010
publicly accountable.
My Yahoo June 2010
The second serious fire can be identified as the deployment of USS San Antonio (LPD 17). The oil May 2010
lube problem in November 2008 during the deployment of LPD-17 raised many questions about Twitter
material quality, but it should have also raised questions why the ship was deployed in the first place April 2010
with so many training,  maintenance, and readiness issues surrounding the ship. In February 2009,
March 2010
Petty Officer 1st Class Theophilus Ansong was lost to the sea during a small-boat operation, and with
the subsequent court martial of Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kearns (where he was acquitted), the SAN ANTONIO February 2010
JAGMAN, and the class wide stand down earlier this year observers are left with serious questions of
Admirals regarding LPD-17 that have gone unanswered. We seem to have a lot of public information January 2010
that indicts the ships officers and crew while pointing fingers at the shipyard, but that is because the December 2009
shipyard and the ship are the only folks who have been the focus of all public scrutiny to date. No
one in Navy leadership ashore has officially been held publicly accountable. November 2009
October 2009
The third serious fire seems to point to the
information brought public by Navy Times September 2009
and their parent company Defense News
who reported on the USS CHOSIN and USS August 2009
STOUT INSURVs in 2008. The maintenance July 2009
issues represented in those two INSURV
reports raised quite a few eyebrows – but June 2009
at the time no one was able to point to a May 2009
systematic problem. I think the INSURV
issue is most instructive, because it exposes April 2009
where the eye doesn’t see.
March 2009
These reports were classified by ADM February 2009
Greenert, despite never being classified
during the cold war when the Navy faced January 2009
much more serious threats than they do December 2008
today. As a classified document, the
classified INSURV prevents the taxpayer
from independently examining the readiness and condition of the fleet.
On March 25, 2009 the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing related to the INSURV
reports following the decision INSURVs should be classified. The panel was Rear Admiral Philip H.
Cullom, Rear Admiral Joseph F. Campbell, Rear Admiral James P. McManamon, and Rear Admiral
Thomas J. Eccles. They cited statistics that suggest everything is fine, the failure percentage is small, “Chinese Air Force Could
and they outlined responsibilities, or blame, depending upon how you read it (PDF). Overwhelm Opponents”
January 12, 2011
This, from David Fulghum
During the past six years, the Board of Inspection and Survey has completed 191 inspections, of Aviation Week:
an average of about 32 per year… The root causes of failures are ship leadership teams not Wargaming, including an
following procedures and policies, and not practicing the basics of equipment maintenance and extensive simulation by
operation. Rand, has shown that the
U.S. would generate a 6-1
kill ratio over Chinese
The report goes on to say “Of the 191 INSURV inspections during the 2003-2008 period, there were aircraft, but the Americans
18 surface ships found to be unfit or seriously degraded; approximately 10%. The results for the would lose. Even if every
ships with numerous issues are indicative of the ship’s leadership team not following procedures and U.S. missile destroyed an
policies and not practicing the basics of equipment maintenance and operation.” opponent, there would still
be enough surviving
It is important to note that neither a definition of what constitutes a pass or fail on an INSURV was attackers to shred U.S.
given nor a discussion of accountability was discussed at the hearing. Were you aware that the COs tankers, command and
of both CHOSIN and STOUT fully disclosed the problems that were found by the Board of Inspection control […]
and Survey? That full disclosure probably saved the careers of both COs. In some cases when a ship UltimaRatioReg
is about to be visited by the Board of Inspection and Survey, SURFLANT or SURFPAC will be sent a
Tactical and Operational
list of problems from the CO, and the response will often be for the CO to condense the problems
Needs Run Amok? January
listed into a shorter priority list due to lack of funding. Maybe someone should ask Vice Admiral D. C.
11, 2011
Curtis and Rear Admiral Kevin M. Quinn why there isn’t enough money in the maintenance budgets to The U.S. and its NATO
address all the problems reported by a CO preparing for an INSURV? allies will spend US$11.6
billion on training and[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

At the hearing we also learned something new at the time, an admission there was a serious problem equipping Afghan security
with the maintenance requirement of surface ships. forces in 2011. When only
a few years ago U.S.
defense supplemental
Additionally, surface ship class maintenance plans have not been as detailed, nor have they spending authorizations
been maintained with the same technical rigor, as those for aircraft carriers and submarines. As exceeded a hundred billion
a result, this weakness has become one of the greatest obstacles to the surface fleet’s ability to dollars, it is all too easy to
articulate the 100% maintenance requirement necessary to reach expected service life for these skim right over that sort
platforms. It is also an impediment to our resource planning, given that this requirement serves of figure. But putting that
as the entering argument to our maintenance costing model. Until recently, surface ships have number in context, $11.6
also not had a dedicated life cycle organization responsible for maintaining the ICMPs, building […]
availability work packages, or providing technical oversight/approval for Fleet work deferral nhughes
requests. Together, lack of detailed class maintenance plans and a dedicated life cycle
organizations make surface ship material condition susceptible to changes in optempo which is Introduction: STRATFOR
why the Surface Warfare Enterprise is devoting significant effort to both of these areas. and Nathan Hughes
January 11, 2011
Differences in maintenance philosophies between ships, submarines, and carriers have also had As STRATFOR enters its
an impact upon the resources allocated to these platforms. Fleet priorities, the unambiguous 15th year, we are honored
maintenance requirements of aircraft carriers and submarines, and the lack of an to begin participating in
updated/technically validated surface ship ICMP has historically resulted in surface ship the discussions and dialog
maintenance being the area where we take funding risk in a resource constrained environment. that USNI’s blog facilitates.
Dr. George Friedman, our
founder and CEO and a
In other words, NAVSEA states as fact to Congress that the fault for surface force INSURV failures is friend of Tom Wilkerson,
always with the ships leadership while at the same time casting serious doubt on the maintenance was inspired to create
requirement itself. This could be read as stating that it is the responsibility of the ship to find and STRATFOR in part by the
identify problems for the Board of Inspection and Survey. Agreed, but it can also be said that NAVSEA work that USNI has been
is saying all problems are the fault of officers and crew when it comes to maintenance while NAVSEA doing for so long. What
can’t define the requirements for maintenance, which disrupts the budget and shorts requests made STRATFOR does […]
to SURFLANT and SURFPAC. Is that what has been happening? nhughes
“I’ve got your back”
Apparently not, because the comments following the press reporting of CHOSIN and STOUT are January 11, 2011
revealing in hindsight. Capt. David Lewis told the press “We are 100 percent funded to our Cross posted from Seth
requirement for maintenance.” What does that actually mean though if the requirement may not be Godin’s Blog: “I’ve got
stated well? For the record, Capt. David Lewis in 2008 is now Rear Admiral David H. Lewis, who your back” These are the
happens to be PEO Ships today. The same statement was made in Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s Podcast words that entrepreneurs,
from May 20 later that year. painters, artists,
statesmen, customer
service pioneers and
“If there is a problem they [the media] report it, then it is our job as senior leadership to find writers need to hear. Not
out what is the truth when dealing with that report,” he said. “I don’t characterize reports as true. They don’t need to
positive or negative, I look for what are they saying, what are they telling me? Is it balanced hear them, they need to
and is it accurate? In the case of these recent two ships they were accurate.” feel them. No artist needs
a fair weather friend, an
“The root cause could be maintenance support, it could be training support, could be the ship employee or customer or
may or may not have had its priorities right when they looked toward their readiness,” Greenert partner who waits to […]
added. “In talking to staffs, Sailors and leaders, I don’t think that money is the issue. It’s a Mittleschmerz
rumor that there is not adequate funding. Congress is providing us with everything we ask for Major Richard C. Winters,
readiness. Every place I look, we have plenty of money. We fund 100 percent of what we know Easy Company 506th
that our ships, squadrons and submarines need. The key is communication.” Parachute Infantry, dead
at 92 January 10, 2011
“I think that our surface fleet overall is just fine in readiness. Our INSURV reports convey that The United States has lost
message as well. The vast majority of our ships do fine on their INSURV. But we continue to one of its treasured
look into these matters and we’ll continue to look into this to see what those root causes are, so heroes.  Richard C.
that doesn’t proliferate across the fleet. Winters, whose chronicles
of the European war from
the viewpoint of a junior
NAVSEA testified in the House just 2 months earlier saying this was an operator problem and was officer in the 101st
casting doubt on the maintenance requirement as a whole, and funding of the surface force as a Airborne Division inspired
whole. If “the key is communication” then where was the communication between NAVSEA’s March Stephen Ambrose to write
Congressional testimony and Commander Fleet Forces Command podcast in May? According to Band of Brothers (made
Greenert, everything was just “fine” in 2008, but according to the Balisle Report, surface force into the acclaimed HBO
maintenance was a mess. The Balisle Report states there was both a requirement and money miniseries), died on 2
problem. January 2011 after a long
illness.  He […]
Observations/Findings. Surface ship maintenance has been significantly underfunded for over ten
years. This is manifesting itself in the degraded material condition of the ships as reflected in
recent INSURV reports, corrosion audits, and CASREP data. The decision to transition to
condition based maintenance from an engineered operating cycle maintenance resulted in the
reduction of over 500 man days per month of depot level maintenance from DDG 51 class ships
alone and a corresponding reduction in programmed operations and maintenance dollars for ship
depot level maintenance.

While the difference was intended to be compensated by an increase in funding and

opportunities for continuous maintenance availabilities throughout the year, that never translated
into reality. A clear indicator of the fallout of the lack of funding is the steady increase in TA-4
(ship force capable) level work.

It may legitimately be said that insufficient funding applied over recent years has not been the
result of an unwillingness to fund to the requirement as much as the result of not having a
properly identified requirement.

For example, as programmed, it may appear that overall ship maintenance is funded at 95-
99%. In reality, since we don’t know the true maintenance requirement for conventional surface
ships (the “denominator”), it is reasonable to assume that our surface ships receive a lower
percentage for maintenance funding when compared to a true requirement. Currently as
maintenance dollars are allocated by the Fleets, public shipyards (where the majority of CVN
and submarine work is performed) are funded at levels between 97-100%. That leaves the[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

balance of the maintenance funding left to be allocated to conventional surface ship

maintenance. Currently one of only two items in the CNO’s Unfunded Requirement list to
Congress is $200M for ship maintenance.

The end result is the surface navy is funded below their identified requirement at the start of
the year with the goal of making up the balance as money becomes available during the
execution year. This unstable funding environment almost exclusively impacts the private
shipyards, where most of the non-nuclear ship maintenance is performed, and results in higher
work rates aas jobs get screened into the availability package laer due to uncertainty of funding
commitments. The end result is an understanding requirement that has been underfunded in
the budgeting process that is frequently going to cost more in actual execution because of an
unpredictable funding stream, in other words, a low return for maintenance dollar invested. To
further impact material readiness, the surface Type Commander frequently has to make
irrevocable mitigation decisions earlier in the fiscal year due to projected uncertain (or
unfavorable) levels of funding. If a CNO availability is subsequently canceled, or de-scoped prior
to a midyear money bring available, that maintenance most likely will not be made up later in
the year. Alternatively, cash flowing throughout the year on the hope that more money will be
available later is a tenuous business plan that can leave availabilities scheduled for the end of
the fiscal year exposed and unfunded.

Should not ADM Greenert, or anyone else, have realized there was a serious funding problem in 2008
when you had problems with funding maintenance in cases like the USS Gunstan Hall (LSD 44)?
Apparently, the USS Gunstan Hall (LSD 44) had to wait for war related supplemental funding to finish
the ships mid-life modernization, which began in July 2008. The Navy’s first modernization of an
Whidbey Island LSD was dependent upon and ultimately delayed waiting for war supplemental
funding, and yet ADM Greenert said “Every place I look, we have plenty of money” for surface ship
maintenance? Was ADM Greenert looking at different budgets? Was this what his staff was telling
him? In hindsight all the budgets were short on money because the requirement was wrong, but it
does raise the question for POM 12 if the Navy will still be paying for surface ship maintenance from
war supplementals?

What does it mean when leadership knows there might be serious problems with surface force
maintenance requirements but is saying things like the requirement is fully funded? It means they are
talking about efficiency instead of effectiveness. The Balisle Report is a list of choices begun under
ADM Vern Clark, implemented by Tim LaFleur and Terry Etnyre, whereby over a decade Navy leaders
emphasized the business end of efficiency over effectiveness. I believe the record of accountability
ashore over the same decade reflects that emphasis of efficiency over effectiveness, and explains
why the US Navy has officially held zero flag officers ashore accountable for being effective, which is
how I believe the Navy should measure job performance, in an atmosphere ashore where the record
suggests poor performance in shipbuilding, maintenance, and budgeting related to the surface force.

I believe there is a serious problem in Leadership and Accountability in the US Navy today, and I
believe a generation of leadership has relaxed standards of accountability for themselves. I believe
accountability for leaders ashore is the blind spot where those leaders aren’t looking for
accountability, and civilian leaders to date have not taken any notable action that holds Navy leaders
accountable either.

How can the US Navy be operationally brilliant and suffer from widespread and systematic problems
across the shoreline? Whether the topic is shipbuilding, maintenance, training, or infrastructure the
land side of the Navy is failing while the operational side of the Navy has succeeded in meeting
every challenge. The Navy doesn’t shoot down derelict satellites with spectacular results in a limited
time frame for action without a serious commitment to excellence. The Navy doesn’t solve a hostage
crisis resulting from the MAERSK ALABAMA hijacking in a single second with 3 shots on a rolling ship
without a serious commitment to excellence. Disaster response across the globe, whether in
Southeast Asia or Haiti, doesn’t happen consistently without a serious commitment to excellence. That
serious commitment to excellence seen on the operational side of the US Navy comes with a full
commitment to responsibility, and a full understanding of the commitment towards accountability.
You do not make it past Ensign in the US Navy until an officer has a complete understanding of
leadership and accountability – and it is demonstrated on the operational side of the fleet every day.

But is the same approach to responsibilities demonstrated on shore? The Balisle Report makes clear
– problems with maintenance started during Admiral Clark’s tenure. I believe that along with his ideas
for the Navy to operate more akin to a business culture was an emphasis on efficiency over
effectiveness that took hold in the leadership culture ashore. This in turn allowed the Navy to claim
they were a results oriented organization by showing the results of efficiency rather than the results
of job performance. When someone claims 100% funding to maintenance requirement,  for example,
that is a demonstration of results in the context of efficiency, not in the context of effectiveness.

As opportunities came up for leaders in the Navy to sound the alarm on the decline of effectiveness
as it gave way to the efficiency focus, no one acted until late 2009 despite several opportunities and

The first fire was inside the Navy and not discussed widely
outside the US Navy. When the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-
51) ran aground in May 2007 Commodore Destroyer
Squadron 2, Capt. Larry Tindal was on the ship. In the end
he was only given a soft reprimand for the ship running
aground. Why? Every Ensign in the Navy knows the senior
officer on a ship is accountable for the ship, and Capt.
Larry Tindal was on the bridge when the ship ran ashore.
The Navy correctly dealt with the ships officers in that
case, but let the Commodore slide. Everyone noticed – it
was a big deal at the time.  That should have been a red
flag to Navy leadership regarding standards of
accountability, but the CNO down did not see the problem,
or did not want to. Today, Capt. Larry Tindal is Deputy N86
for Surface Ships at OPNAV N86E, which if you ask me is a
department right in the middle of that leadership culture at[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

OPNAV where accountability ashore is measured in

efficiency instead of job performance.

There were two other fires that were more obvious outside
the Navy – the cost problems for building the first Littoral
Combat Ships, and the first deployment of USS San Antonio
(LPD 17).

When it came time to deploy USS San Antonio (LPD-17), there were a lot of problems that had not
been addressed on that ship, and based on factual findings during the recent court martial everyone
apparently knew it. The question was, would the problems be addressed or was the Navy in a hurry
to put the ship to sea? In my opinion the senior leader in the Navy that should have been the canary
in the coal mine in 2008 was ADM Jonathan Greenert at Fleet Forces Command, but as the senior
leader involved in the decision to deploy the ship, he sent the ship to sea despite red flags the SAN
ANTONIO was clearly not ready, and a sailor died. ADM Patrick Walsh was the Vice Chairman of Navy
Operations at the time. Was he unaware of  the serious problems surrounding USS San Antonio
(LPD-17) or was he one of those Navy leaders pushing to deploy the ship. These leaders had reasons
for their choices, and they might be good reasons, but when a leader in this generation of Navy
leaders pushes ahead with action when there are already public problems and criticism, something
tells me ship combat effectiveness wasn’t the motivation. Navy leadership really doesn’t see the
problem, or you could say no one is learning because no one will admit deploying USS San Antonio
(LPD-17) before she was ready was a mistake. The same leaders did the same thing when USS
Freedom (LCS 1) was deployed well before she should have earlier this year, and hardly surprising,
FREEDOM ended up limping back to dry dock for repairs. Thankfully, no one died this time.

I strongly believe deploying the ship wasn’t about the effectiveness of USS San Antonio (LPD-17), it
was about running an efficient command ashore and meeting deadlines. If something went wrong,
they would do what they always did with LPD-17; blame the officers and crew, and of course the
shipyard. What was the “communication” at the time from SUPSHIPS, PEO Ships, PMS 317, and a
host of others at NAVSEA? Good question, no one knows.

Perhaps we should ask someone? PEO Ships in August 2008 when LPD-17 was deployed was Rear
Admiral Charles H. Goddard, who was actually the only leader fired at NAVSEA during this time
period. It is absolutely vital to understand – Rear Admiral Goddard was officially fired for personal
conduct, not job performance. Program Manager at PMS 317 was Captain Bill Galinis, who is now
Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast. SUPSHIPS Gulf Coast at the time was Captain Beth Dexter
(PDF), who is now Commander at EDO School.

NAVSEA has reach into every over budgeted and poorly executed problem ashore related to
shipbuilding and maintenance, and yet there is no evidence of accountability for these problems inside
NAVSEA. Admiral Kevin McCoy has been in upper leadership of NAVSEA in some capacity over the
last six years, over half the period discussed in the Balisle Report, so perhaps he should be asked
why NAVSEA has had so much trouble simply staying on budget. While Vice Admiral Bill Landay was
PEO-Ships, every surface ship program was over budget and had additional cost increases, surface
ship maintenance was underfunded, and there was a poorly defined requirement tied to the absence
of TOC data for surface ships. Is VADM Landay the one who deserves credit for identifying and
addressing these problems? He was given his third star, but seriously, what does a promotion for
someone working in NAVSEA mean anymore? The absence of accountability in NAVSEA makes it
difficult to identify the folks doing a good job, because it makes them equal with those who haven’t
been doing a good job.

A casual look at the command rotations this summer might, to some, raise questions regarding the
application of accountability to leadership for job performance, or some may question whether these
moves reflect efficiency over effectiveness.

CAPT Chris Mercer has relieved CAPT Jeff Reidel as PMS(377) the amphibious ships
program manager
CAPT Jeff Reidel has relieved RDML Jim Murdoch as PMS(501) the LCS program manager
RDML Jim Murdoch is relieving RADM Orzalli as the N43 Fleet Forces Command
RADM Clark Orzalli is relieving RDML Dave Lewis as Deputy Commander of the Naval
Sea Systems Command
RDML Lewis is relieving RADM Bill Landay as PEO(SHIPS)
RADM Landay is getting a third star and relieving VADM Jeff Wieringa as Director
Defense Security Cooperation Agency
CAPT Jim Downey has relived RDML(sel) Jim Syring as PMS(500) the DDG1000 program
manager[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

RDML(sel) Jim Syring is relieving RADM Terry Benedict as PEO(IWS)

RADM Terry Benedict is relieving RADM Steve Johnson as Director Strategic Program
RDML Dave Gale has been appointed Commander Navy Regional Maintenance Centers
relieving Ms Peggy Harrell, SES, and moving that organization from SEA04 and reporting
directly to COMNAVSEA.

My point is, just as I believe the Balisle Report states in great detail, the Navy leadership culture
ashore measures job performance by efficiency, not by job effectiveness.  My point is not to say
some specific person needs to be fired for job performance. My point is to say no one has been fired
for job performance under this new standard of accountability. My point is the Navy can address
specific problems or processes, but my point is also to highlight that without accountability in the
process the Navy is not addressing the culture problem in leadership ashore.  I believe the trends of
effectiveness ashore are going in the wrong direction in multiple categories as outlined in this post,
and I believe further evidence of sloppy budget management by leadership in shipbuilding is coming
in the very near future as it relates to large surface combatants.

I believe it is fair and important to question the absence of public accountability of leadership ashore
at a time when the strict standards of accountability for job performance at sea happens to coincide
with brilliance in execution and effectiveness in operations at sea. At sea efficiency is often discarded
in the name of effectiveness. Ashore, too often the drive towards efficiency as a goal line has been
the reason effectiveness has been elusive, and the short cuts taken in the name of efficiency over
effectiveness is ultimately why efficiency is never achieved over the long run anyway.  If you believe
that poor budgeting and poor execution of shipbuilding and maintenance does not reflect on job
performance, then by what standards should leaders ashore be measured?

I am not trying to say that some of these people are responsible for the problems in shore based
support, rather I believe that if leadership and accountability on the shore in the US Navy means the
same thing that it does on the operational side of the US Navy, then every single leader named in
this blog post and many more not listed is responsible, and is part of a generation of leaders in a
leadership culture that focuses on efficiency of a department over the job performance of fielding an
effective Navy. When you are the senior Commander on a ship, and the ship runs aground,  it used
to mean that senior leader is accountable. In today’s peacetime home front Navy leadership culture,
as the case of Capt. Larry Tindal suggests, everyone above the CO of a ship gets a pass.

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Exchange of Fire, 23 Nov 2010 »

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17 Responses to “Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes”

Someone Says:
Everything you’ve said is on target, Galrahn. We can fire 04-05-06 at the drop of a hat, but
once you make flag rank, you’re golden and nothing can touch you. THIS MUST STOP. The
people most accountable for the Navy’s poor material condition and terrible shipbuilding
program are the Admirals. Don’t blame the civilians, we just get a check from you. You’re the
ones that make the decisions and so far there hasn’t been many of you who’ve paid the price
for stupid decisions. This must stop also; senior Navy leadership needs to cowboy up and get
ready to pay the piper: you’re running out of Lt. CDRs, CDRs and CAPTs to blame, and the
ones that are left will get out first before they put their necks in the block for someone elses

November 23rd, 2010 at 7:26 am

CDR Salamander Says:


November 23rd, 2010 at 8:12 am

UltimaRatioReg Says:

Nicely done. Of course, in chasing the mania of “efficiency over effectiveness”, the US Navy
ignores the unassailable fact that, for a Navy at war, training for war, prepared for war,
efficiency IS effectiveness. The “business” buzzwords have ruled the day in DoD, and never[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

more than in the USN. Use them, and you are “in”. You are part of the “transformation club”.

What is missing is the understanding of those buzzwords, what TCO really means, and why a
maintenance funding cycle should be funded in as predictable fashion as possible. But instead,
some artificial deviation in some powerpoint presentation gets lauded, while the downstream
effects (which there ALWAYS are) get ignored.

Here’s a test. Take some of the Admirals in question, and tell them to run a business, or a
major subsidiary of a business, in the fashion you describe above. Bring those BS powerpoints
into a room full of shareholders who care about the bottom line and know how business should
be done. They would leave that room with an a$$full of rock salt and proceed to clean out
their desks on their way to the unemployment line.

November 23rd, 2010 at 8:42 am

UltimaRatioReg Says:
Oh, and when I talk about maintenance funding cycle, I also mean the proper number of
maintainers at the proper level of maintenance for the hours of operation of the equipment in
question. True “optimal manning”.

November 23rd, 2010 at 8:44 am

Byron Says:
URR, you know if they get the manning back to the right level for maintenance, there will be
no more fluffers

November 23rd, 2010 at 9:38 am

UltimaRatioReg Says:

Not nearly as many, anyhow!

November 23rd, 2010 at 9:44 am

Grandpa Bluewater Says:

Too many Admirals. The billets never get culled. Too many staff officers, waiting upon the
Admirals. The number of billets grow.

Every thing else shrinks for two decades.

Earlier, in the “fat years of the cold war, things were pretty thin. Too little money budgeted by
Congress to accomplish the Navy’s mission. Too few sailors assigned to ships who rotate to
waterfront support activities to begin with (the Navy manned its ships at 80% or less of
wartime complement throughout the cold war, often the number was less for individual ships).

Ships just back were stripped out and brought back up to the bare bones baseline (below the
wartime complement baseline) just weeks or days or hours before their departure. Busloads
from the Brig to the LPH about to leave port just days before departure become standard, as
were CASREPs sitting on back burner until POM gave visabilty and priority to get them fixed.

Nowdays, those times are refered to as the good times.

Instead, as the budget was balanced by slashing the DoD budget under Clinton; and later,
under Bush and Obama, the Navy was excavated for personnel and funds to support the
branches (ARMY and USMC) engaged with the enemy, the drive was to cut ship manning. This
was resisted with a degree of success by the fleet, so the new ships were “designed” to have
minimal crews from day one. Types of ship of low cachet were allowed to wither: Frigates;
Minesweeps; LST’s; aircraft(A6, S3, P3)too, in favor of the promised jack of all trades and very
high cost new equipment with very low manning authorizations.[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

Those who pointed out the risks, historical poor record, and hidden or not easily reduced to
bullets on a Powerpoint costs of previous efforts of this sort were silenced or ignored. Since
careers could be and were blighted by a comment in a selection board that a candidate was
“too” (meaning actually) direct, candid and blunt with flag officers, or by a flag officer’s frown
to a reporting senior, few and fewer even made the attempt. Each promotion board underlined
the survival value of silence.

Insulated from career risk due to failure to deliver, isolated by acolytes from deckplate reality,
the Admirals proceed as they see best, never understanding how narrow their field of view has

As the fleet becomes smaller, and inadequate (for replacement of aging systems) construction
funding remains the norm and the expectation for the future, “transformational” (magic bullet)
solutions sell well.

Training and maintenence effectiveness starts a death spiral as traditional low glamour
workhorse practices are axed for pretty promises on colored slides.

Fleet sailors loose all cachet. Deckplate ship’s officers fail select, unable to compete with flag
officers signatures on their staff competitors’ evals, more in each succeeding grade. The USN’s
dominance of the world ocean first slips, then slides downward.

Now, finally, the chickens are coming home to roost. The Greeks had a word for it…Hubris.

So Admiral…besides your picture in the Naval Review…what to you contribute – personally –

to the readiness of the fleet for no notice, prompt, sustained, successful combat at sea due to
consistent training, technological and maintenence superiority.

Because in this business, THAT IS the bottom line.

(Rhetorical question, no answer expected).

November 23rd, 2010 at 10:55 am

Excellent post. Airlines routinely overbook flights, have excess crewembers available, etc. Why?
Because they know a certain percentage of the passengers who bought tickets will not show
up for various reasons, people will be sick, decide to quit, etc. As a result, the flights tend to be
full with full crews. The same thing should apply for manning, training, and maintenance in the
Navy. Plan for excess and then when things crop up, like say a grounding or collision,
unplanned losses, or training course failures, you have a cushion to support the unexpected
requirement. Of course, periodically you would have excessive trained people and too much
money in maintenance accounts, but while not as efficient, it certainly is more effective. As
someone once said, you don’t want to plan to kill the last enemy with your last bullet.

November 23rd, 2010 at 10:58 am

G-man Says:
Well done. The elephants in the herd stand around, and write the citations for the next DSM,
clap each other on the back, and laud their false accomplishments. Hmmm, kind of like Wall
Street bankers and DC politicians – no one really wants to wade into the ship $hit and do the
hard work. A culture of calculated indifference. Twas not always this way.

suscipio vestri vigilance

November 23rd, 2010 at 1:11 pm

SWO Says:
VADM Phil Balisle was the group Commander, and ISIC, for the CG Optimal Manning project
on the west coast. He directly supervised the project – where was the pushback then to the
Navy leadership?[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

November 23rd, 2010 at 9:53 pm

virgil xenophon Says:

Re: Grandpa Bluewater on what sort of officers get promoted, I am reminded that In the last
large-scale war-games prior to Pearl Harbor held by the Army in Louisiana Joe Stillwell,
commanding the Orange forces broke the rules by having his aggressor side jump off an hour
earlier that the official start time. His superb handling of his side mechanized troops in out-
maneuvering a superior force caused Gen. Marshall to rank him as the Army’s best General–
even ahead of Paton in mechanized warfare. I wonder what would happen to a General or
Admiral on active duty today were he to disobey orders, break the rules and on his own
initiative display such brazen originality. Unfortunately I think we already know the answer–
which is why, like the obsequious maitre d’ in Ferris Bueller, “I weep for the future.”

November 23rd, 2010 at 10:58 pm

virgil xenophon Says:

PS: And drink “mass quantities” (h/t Beldar/SNL) of 5-Star “Rhume” Barbancourt.

November 23rd, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Shawn Colson Says:

I need to buy Galrahn a beer someday. I’ve been working in shipbuilding and maintenance for
the last 15 years after getting out of the Navy and have pulled my hair out everytime
somebody says “Enterprise” when they are not referring to a certain aircraft carrier. A Navy
that has more ships than admirals is experiencing a loss of gyro casualty.

This article excellently exposes the debacle we have lived through in the
construction/maintenance side of the Navy, but we also need somebody to shine a signal light
on the damage that has been done, on the operations side by the combining of rates. One of
the causes mentioned of the USS Port Royal grounding was that the Quartermaster was really
a Signalman who was trying to plot. Obviously this was not the primary reason (as a former
Navigator the fact that a ship ran aground on the runway of a major airport still astounds me)

Years ago, a mentor of mine and a great admiral Vice Admiral Doug Katz resigned. When I
asked him why, he told me that he had become frustrated that his fellow admirals wouldn’t
“take the Navy back” from Congress. This was post Tailhook and I think that still is a root
cause of some of the issues we are dealing with today. The Navy needs to get to PERSONAL
accountability vice worrying about how to make their FITREPs look, and we need to remind the
Flag community that the U.S. Navy is not a training program for CEOs.

The fact that the “corportate-ization” of the Navy continues after the ‘excellent performance’
of many large corporations over the last few years is simply astounding. It’s time to stop
making legacies by changing programs, uniforms, and Navy venacular and get back to being
sailors. Hand the Navigator a sextant, the sailor a chipping hammer, the leadership some
accountability and lets get this ship back underway

November 24th, 2010 at 10:44 am

FormerCO Says:
One of the best articles I’ve read in a while… refreshing in its honesty – we, the US NAVY,
need more of it! But hey, you get what you incentivize, and honesty ain’t rewarded in this

Since the comments have turned towards manning issues, I have to ask: where is the
leadership & accountability in buying the LCS??

We’ve just downsized the USN by some 30,000 people in the past few years and yet we’re
planning to buy the Navy’s LCS (LEAST CAPABLE SHIP) and we will then have to man LCS with
more crews than hulls? If peopel are our most expensive asset (pay, retirement, tricare for[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog

life…) how does this make any sense?

The LCS crew is also going to be Optimally Manned, anyone want to take a look at the Failure
Optimal Manning has been in the Fleet before we buy an entire class of ships based upon its
supposed success? (PS – I suggest we take a good look at where the Surface Force’s
manpower “savings” come from – on the small boys, they come from NOT living up to any of
Commander Naval Air Forces (CNAF) requirements, you know like manning Fire Fighting
teams, boat crews, etc. during Flight Quarters.

As said elsewhere, the business buzzwords we have adopted as our mantra to run teh Navy
don’t add up… when you optimize your manning, you have no capacity to surge – isn’t that
one of our core capabilities?

We need honesty, not efficiency!

December 13th, 2010 at 5:48 am

Byron Says:
Hope you got a lamp with a lot of fuel, Skipper.

December 13th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Grandpa Bluewater Says:

People are not the Navy’s greatest expense.

They AREthe Navy.

Ships are just rusting piles of junk without their crew. Warships are helpless without
auxiliaries, bases, shipyards and a supply system. These are useless piles of construction scrap
without sailors and civilian administrators, professionals and craftsmen.
Nothing gets done without them. With well trained, motivated, intelligent and brave people
there is nothing that can’t be done. Without them all the money in the world is just waste

Doesn’t get said enough. Never forget it.

December 13th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Lowly USN Retired Says:

For over twenty-five years the majority of surface flag officers have failed their sailors who
serve in ship’s in harm’s way. These so called leaders were too busy making the United States
Navy conform to social standards of the civilian community and march to the drum of our
politicians who will have the Navy a politically correct machine rather than the greatest sea
power known to man. It is these flag officers who have failed their sailors by reducing training
and maintenance requirements and funding, requiring our sailors to be operators not
maintainers who only know push the button and it should start or it should shoot. If it doesn’t,
call the “civilian-in-charge”, he or she will come and fix it.

It is a sad day when an Engineering Department 1ST Class Petty Officer PQS qualified EOOW
does not understand the fundamentals of operation of an APD and the prerequisite that must
be met in order for the APD to accomplish its function. “Geeze, the APD must be broke it won’t
close the GCB.” So, PO1 bypasses the APD’s incorporated safety logic and places the APD in
manual by order of the Chief Engineer. The PO1, not adhering to EOP, the Sync Meter or Sync
Lights, manually closes the GCB at the Switchboard paralleling the SSDG out of phase with
shore power. This same ship accomplished this feat on three different occassions before a JAG
was ordered and accomplished.

What a shame the Surface Warfare Flags are wavering responsible for training and readiness of
our sailors and ships are sleeping on watch while our dedicated surface sailors are flailing
about smartly paying the price for the Admirals agenda of “corportateization”, optimal manning
and political correctness. Ray Spruance is surely looking down very displeased with what has[1/13/2011 8:28:49]
Leadership and Accountability, Sometimes | USNI Blog


December 14th, 2010 at 2:27 am

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