Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rumors at Sea

When I heard the United States Navy’s newest nuclear powered aircraft carrier was being redirected to the coast of Syria, my first concern was for the sailors and their families waiting on their return. Then, I remembered why I started my campaign to have the heads working properly. The military personnel are at the mercy of the world political climate. The absolute worst thing I could imagine was that the 5,000 or more military personnel on the USS George HW Bush might be redeployed another six months or longer without options for the next time the heads fail to flush.

It’s been stated that one of the reasons for system failure is deliberate clogs from what must be assumed are disgruntled sailors. How disgruntled would they be if their deployment were extended?

It happens more for “ground pounders” than in the Navy, but if a serious *incident* broke out, our sailors could be facing a long-term deployment without working toilets or options for relief.

The good news is the “lock experiment” is over. All cipher locks have a common decode sequence and although the hull technicians are still working to ensure the integrity of their repairs remains at least until the ship is docked at its home port, many heads are still not functioning properly. To my knowledge, there haven’t been any total system failures in about two weeks. Happy coincidence?

The bad news is that I have not heard of any backup plans for future failures. Fortunately, Captain Brian Luther has publicly declared that he will recommend upgrades – let’s hope the upgrades can be made efficiently, without too much additional cost.

Better news comes from the Navy.

In a Facebook note, Capt. Brian "Lex" Luther wrote, in part,
It's common when a ship starts to head home that rumors will spread about possible changes to the schedule, and because you miss your Sailors so much, it's natural that you might be worried, especially with recent world events. I'll tell you the same thing I have said to the crew of this awesome ship. Nothing has changed. The news being reported about us today is done without the benefit of input from the Navy. If world events dictate any change to our schedule, we will get that information out through the appropriate channels as quickly as possible. But as of now, nothing in our schedule as changed.

Also - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Gregory Wilhelmi, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) arrived in Marseille, France, Nov. 25, for its seventh liberty port of the ship's first combat deployment.

The visit to Marseille marks the carrier's fourth stop in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, and supports efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security. George H. W. Bush and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 8 completed combat operations in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility Nov. 20.

During the port call, officers and crew from the ship will meet with local officials and experience the rich history and culture of France. The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program have a variety of tours scheduled, to include overnight trips to Paris and the French Riviera, and the Command Religious Ministries Department scheduled several community relations opportunities, including soccer games with local schools and visits to children's homes.

George H.W. Bush is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility on its first operational deployment conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77),.

Bring the ship home. Make repairs and get that expensive piece of machinery up to standard.