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Author Topic: CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved  (Read 701 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
« on: May 26, 2010, 06:29:12 PM »
CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
May 20, 2010
Navy News
MANAMA, Bahrain - The commanding officer of the Mayport-based destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), Cmdr. Neil Funtanilla, was relieved of command by Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 50, Rear Adm. Phil Davidson, due to loss of confidence, following an Admiral's Mast.
The Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) proceedings were convened to address allegations that Funtanilla was derelict in the performance of his duties during an inbound transit to the port of Bahrain, when his ship allided with a buoy.

The misjudgments associated with this incident called into question Funtanilla's ability to continue to effectively and safely lead his command. As a result, he was relieved due to loss of confidence.
Cmdr. Robert Cepek, the Surface Operations Officer for CTF 50, will temporarily command USS The Sullivans until a permanent replacement is named.
Funtanilla, who took command of the ship in August 2009, has been temporarily reassigned to administrative duties at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

Okay.. this is getting out of hand. Chester Nimitz, Arleigh Burke, and Jeremy Borda ALL had ship collisions during their naval careers, as did COUNTLESS others through history. In the last 20 years it's come down to the point that if you're CO of the boat, whether you're at the helm or asleep in your at sea quarters, and the paint of your ship rubs off of the hull you're relieved.

I can understand it when it comes down to gross negligence, sheer incompetence or criminal neglect that results in the loss of life, yes the officer should be relieved.

But for hitting a BUOY?

That is wasteful, it takes a LONG time and LOTS of training to make an officer capable of running a boat like The Sullivans. You shouldn't shit can them on a lark, and this is what this is.

Offline Ket

Re: CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 10:46:23 PM »
Sadly, there is much missing from that article stub.  Such as where he was at the time of the incident, was there a pilot aboard, size/type of bouy, amount of damage, etc.

I highly doubt that an NJP Adimiral's Mast for loss of confidence was conducted based solely upon this incident. He must have done something seriously wrong, and for the sake of public face they are calling it loss of confidence and only letting out what they want to be seen.

I had a friend who drove a destroyer aground (on an officer's orders, because the officer didn't know his head from a hole in the ground), causing millions of dollars of damage and the ship needing a new bow. Pretty much the entire east coast fleet knew about what happened to the enlisted sailor, but what happened to the officer was brushed quickly into some need-to-know confidential file.

What's worse is the navy is going through a huge process of booting people out for the slightest thing anymore. Used to be the shipyards here really had to hunt for good trained workers. Now they have to turn people away because they are so overloaded with forced retirees, HYT personnel and those who were kicked out because of some stupid tiny technicality in the back of some unknown manual somewhere.  I see it every day.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 11:13:16 PM »
Sadly there won't be much in the public view on this but if I had a dollar for every officer that got burned for a 'ship handling' mishap, I wouldn't need my 9/11 GI for school to pay my bills. I know the 'head up his butt' type officer (the first XO on the Nimitz during my first cruise was an UTTER tool who abused the system in ways that should have got him canned) but I've also seen guys get into trouble for aircraft mishaps (I was an Avionic Tech my whole career) and not lose their chance to continue on.

Boat Handling has become a MASSIVE career ender when it didn't used to be. Officers have mentioned that too.

A lot of the changes that have occurred under the Donald Rumsfeld and on era have irked me.

'Perform to Serve' which is a way to phase out manpower. Problem is they tend to use the CURRENT manpower levels not projected levels.. so you wind up with ratings fluctuating over time.

The lowering of high year tenure to ridiculously low year terms. When I got in 3rd classes had up to 12 years before getting out, and 2nd class had the full 20. Now, 3rd Class Petty Officers have what.. 6 years and 2nd Classes have like 12.  Which for some ratings is ridiculous, advancement being tied up.

Finally the upper ranks of enlisted folks were for a LONG time 'dead weight'. I had department I worked in that had 3 master chiefs, 6 seniors and 10 regular chief. Not a lot of folks till you realize they were basically doing the jobs of 5 or 6 senior enlisted.

So, this recent decision to evaluate the Chiefs to phase the 'deadwood' out has been a positive move. When I first came in (post 1st Iraq war) they were having problems getting down to the levels they wanted to and the Chiefs and officers were the part they were having problems getting them gone.

Offline Ket

Re: CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 12:39:43 AM »
They needed to drop the dead weight chiefs before they went and screwed around with the HYT. My old roommate was a BM2 (you know how fucking hard that rate is to advance in?!), kicked out on HYT at 16 years (long story, I'll explain over PM if you want) and is now struggling just to survive because the job market here is so over flooded with sailors out of jobs. 

So yeah, it's good now that they are getting rid of the senior enlisted who've sat in their cushy position to long, but entirely too late for all the men and women I've seen kicked out over HYT in the past couple of years who have ended up living at poverty levels. It saddens me.  To put so much money and time into training these personnel only to say sorry, we don't want you anymore, bye bye now. It's a waste of time and money, resources which are so valuable right now.

HYT isn't just lowering in the navy though, it's military wide right now. They are up to something up there in Washington and NoVA, the rest of us will know their plan in a few years. They are getting rid of all the people with the experience and training and replacing them with young kids who haven't got a clue. My theory - they're looking for expendable units. I could be wrong on that though, just what it seems like to me.

If my grandfather were alive today he'd probably have a heart attack at the state of the navy.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: CO of USS The Sullivans Relieved
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 01:09:28 AM »
What scares me is the increase in work load with diminishing assets. The navy is supposed to have an order a battle to cover 2 1/2 wars. We don't have that. And yes Ket I know how bad the BM rating is to get beyond BM2. Stood watch with several in my day. (for those not in the know they typically advance like 0.5% of the ones who pass the exam)