The deployment of the 70 sailors of Crew 204 plus its embarked air wing has been extended indefinitely because of the Navy's overhaul of the LCS manning structure launched earlier this year.Having been in that "needs of the Navy" shadow zone - I really feel for 204. They are just paying the bill run up by selfish people last decade motivated to feed the bureaucratic beast so the PPT slide was right, the metric matches the schedule, and Flag Officers had to answer fewer awkward questions on about program problems.
The ship and its crew deployed in June from San Diego en route to Hawaii and the semiannual Rim of the Pacific Exercise, followed by a transit to Singapore. The initial plan was for a six-month deployment and for the crew to rotate back to the states for the holidays. But that’s not happening, according to a Navy official familiar with the crew’s plight.
"They were originally told they'd be back around Thanksgiving, then it was Christmas," said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
"Now they are being told it might be April or May, but the truth is nobody seems to know when they'll be relieved."
It also isn't the fault, really, of present leadership. They were given this scupper-trout in a hoagie roll at turnover. They are just having to figure out how to eat it.
Ultimately Crew 204 will be relieved by Crew 203, which is in its off-hull training cycle. But the change will come only after leaders are satisfied that the 203 is ready to take over Coronado, according to Cmdr. John Perkins, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force Pacific, which is in charge of training and equipping the surface Navy.As we warned here over a decade ago - the manning concept was not going to work. It isn't, and here we are in 2016 accepting the hard facts we told you would manifest themselves once LCS started displacing water and we tried to deploy.
“Based on recent investigations into engineering casualties on board USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth attributed to insufficient turnover time and on-hull training opportunities, Naval Surface Forces directed that crews will receive on-hull training opportunities as part of the certification process,” Perkins said.
That should happen by early next year, he said.
Yes, we need to keep repeating that fact - so all can see and as such will not repeat with future programs - the baby-shambles that came from all the wishes and words of yes-men ; the cants of lickspittles, dreamers, and time-serving fonctionnaires.
Sailors and their families will simply do what they have done for centuries; just accept it as part of the job. In a way, it is.
Read all of David's article. Feel free to get angry for Crew-204, and though again it isn't their fault, but someone needs a Crew 203 Grinch patch made pronto.