http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070321/ap_ ... ain_submar
Blast on British sub in Arctic kills 2 By MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 21, 6:08 PM ET
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An explosion aboard a nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine under an Arctic ice cap killed two British sailors and injured a crewmember, officials said Wednesday.
The forward compartment of the HMS Tireless was damaged in the explosion at 8:20 p.m. local time Tuesday, but the British Ministry of Defense said its nuclear reactor was not affected.
The attack submarine, which does not carry nuclear missiles, was conducting a joint exercise with U.S. forces when its air purification system malfunctioned while the vessel was submerged about 170 miles north of Deadhorse, in northern Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.
According to the U.S. Navy, a self-contained oxygen generation candle exploded.
The submarine surfaced, breaking through the ice, and a private helicopter brought the injured sailor to Deadhorse, where an Alaska Air National Guard aircraft transported him to Kulis Air National Guard Base in Anchorage, 625 miles south.
The sailor's name was not released, but he was reported in stable condition at a civilian hospital.
The Tireless was operating with the USS Alexandria in a joint operation to test submarine operability and tactical development in Arctic waters.
"I am deeply saddened at the loss of the crew members from the Tireless," said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, commander of the Submarine Force. "We stand by to assist in any way we can."
Lt. Col. Andy Price, a Royal Navy spokesman, said the submarine will be evaluated over 12 hours, performing a dive to test its safety systems, before officials decide whether the vessel will continue the joint operation.
It was not immediately clear what went wrong with the air purification system in a forward section of the submarine, a ministry spokesman said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.
Since 1986, every Arctic tactical exercise has involved both U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines. The current two-week exercise was scheduled to end March 30.
Question: The US Navy has an "outdated" policy of relieveing the commanding officer when things like this occur even when he is not in the loop of those who may have caused the accident. This is a waste of training and critical personnel in my opinion.
Do you believe the Brits will relieve this commanding officer, or maybe find the cause and correct it so it doen't happen again?
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Joined: March 10th, 2007, 3:06 am
I really don't want to appear controversial in this matter, but it was once said, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." Having said that, I'm not sure if it is sound policy to go after leadership in EVERY mishap for the very reason you mentioned, and also for the reason that sometimes "stuff" just happens. However, attention to detail by subordinates can only be acheived if it is vigorously promoted by leadership with the necessary followup and penalities for failure to comply. Let us suppose in a senario that subordinates know they can be lax in their responsibility because their leadership is slothful in followup. Who is ultimately responsible in such a case? Keeping leadership "on their toes" with the promise of dire consequenses should they fail to instill discipline in their charges usually promotes a "tight" workforce. That phylosphy will usually permeate the entire workforce. In such a workforce, those subordinates who would "buck the system" are soon revealed, punished, and sometimes removed before they can cause a serious situation. This is especially true in the military. Just as a side note, ever notice who usually gets the axe after a losing season in sports? It's not the players! It is indeed "lonely at the top."
Last edited by Bob-Lenn on March 30th, 2007, 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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- Joined: November 20th, 2004, 5:02 pm
I agree with your overview and synopsis. Having been onboard a ship that had a variety of (4) CO's during my tenure, I saw the differences firsthand. All hell broke loose when a Mustang came aboard to take command. He visited compartments and areas only a few onboard had ever been.
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