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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Captain of USS Ohio Is Sacked By Navy: Nuke Sub's Skipper Nailed For 'Inappropriate Personal Behavior'

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Navy has been tight with details about its decision to remove the commanding officer of the nuclear-powered guided missile submarine's blue crew. Capt. Ronald Gero was relieved Friday because his bosses lost confidence in the sub skipper's ability to command the 560-foot ship, which is the 5th U.S. Naval vessel to be named after the State of Ohio. The ship was converted from carrying nuclear tipped Trident missiles to conventional Tomahawk cruise missiles after the end of the Cold War. It also carries a complement of Navy SEALS for commando operations. A Navy press release explains only that the skipper was relieved after an investigation into reports of inappropriate personal behavior that have not yet been specified publicly. The Navy said the behavior eroded good order and discipline. Gero is the second high-ranking submarine officer fired this week -- the commander of the Trident Training Facility was removed Tuesday, also for unspecified inappropriate personal behavior. That led to a loss of confidence in Capt. David Solms ability to command. Nothing said so far by the Navy ties the two firings together. Bubbleads, a submariner blog, has more about Solms, and counted up the 13 other Navy commanders who already had been relieved so far this year.

Commenters at the Kitsap Sun, a Scripps newspaper near the USS Ohio's home port near Seattle, suggest numerous reasons for the skippers' ouster: "Plenty of senior officers that I served with could have been relieved for any number of reasons. A few were relieved, but far too few. Many 0-5 and 0-6s attempt to lead by the 'do as I say, not as I do' rule. The usual problems that lead to relief are1. Booze 2. Problems at home that go public 3. Sex with a consenting male or female 4. Sex with a non-consenting male or female 5. Screwed up paperwork or orders given 6. Damaging Navy property - hitting a sea mount not shown on the charts or a grounding 7. Personal conduct, like fighting 8. Booze. I know, I said it twice.' Read more:

The Daily Bellwether located a website called with a lot of archival information about the USS Ohio. The ship reportedly is manned by 15 officers and 139 enlisted crew members. It spends about 70 days at sea followed by 30 days at dry dock. The blue and gold crews rotate.

1 comment:

  1. FYI the way that the rotation works changed. The ship is forward deployed out of Guam. It stays there for about three "mission cycles" or 18 months. The crews swap out each cycle and are flown back to Bangor to spend time with their wives and kids and to re-train for the next mission.
    Time at sea can vary widely depending on what the mission is. In between each mission cycle there is a brief refit period where work is done to maintain the ship and then they are back out again.
    About once every 18months the ship returns to Bangor, WA for a dry dock period and major refit.