Navy Frigates and the 112th Congress

One potential casualty of congressional toe-dragging on the budget is Foreign Military Sales (FMS), or the transfer of old Navy ships to friendly navies. The current ships in limbo are:

• USS Curts (FFG 38); Grant to Mexico; Jan. 25, 2013
• USS Halyburton (FFG 40); Grant to Turkey; March 22, 2013
• USS Mcclusky (FFG 41); Grant to Mexico; Fiscal year 2014
• USS Thach (FFG 43); Grant to Turkey; Fiscal year 2014

Having failed to produce timely defense spending bills or avoid a chaotic end to a year-long march toward sequestration, the recently-deceased 112th Congress also failed for two straight years to approve a normally prosaic measure allowing the transfers of old U.S. Navy ships (like the USS Carr, shown above) to friendly navies.

Having failed to produce timely defense spending bills or avoid a chaotic end to a year-long march toward sequestration, the recently-deceased 112th Congress also failed for two straight years to approve a normally prosaic measure allowing the transfers of old U.S. Navy ships (like the USS Carr, shown above) to friendly navies.

• USS Rentz (FFG 46); Grant to Thailand; Fiscal year 2014
• USS Vandegrift (FFG 48); Grant to Thailand; Fiscal year 2015
• USS Taylor (FFG 50); Sale to Taiwan; Fiscal year 2015
• USS Gary (FFG 51); Sale to Taiwan; Fiscal year 2015
• USS Carr (FFG 52); Sale to Taiwan; March 15, 2013
• USS Elrod (FFG 55); Sale to Taiwan; Fiscal year 2015

I’ve toured the Thach and know the CMC on another of these ships. Frigates are great little steamers, out there alone and afraid. Sad to see them going abroad. . .

Boozy Port Visits for USS Vandegrift

These are the sort of headlines that give Navy leadership headaches: Navy Removes Ship’s Command After Boozy Port Visit. The sober facts:

The commander and top officers of a San Diego-based Navy frigate have been relieved of duty after a rowdy, booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia.

Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, skipper of the USS Vandegrift, was removed Friday by Capt. John L. Schultz after an investigation “due to loss of confidence after demonstrating poor leadership and failure to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers” during the three-day September stop, the Navy said in a statement.

Executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez and the ship’s chief engineer and operations officer were also relieved “for personal conduct involving use of alcohol and not adhering to established liberty policies,” the statement said.

There is, as with most Navy stories, more to this tale than is told here. Of course, there is historical precedent with this sort of thing, with service members overseas. (Hand Salute: Pax, a member of the Commonwealth.)