Thursday, April 4, 2013

Navy announces firing of USS GUARDIAN CO


The Navy announced yesterday that the commanding officer of the former minesweeper USS GUARDIAN (MCM-5) and three others have been relieved of duty following the initial investigation into the grounding of the Sasebo-based ship on a reef in the Philippines.

Former CO, Lieutenant Commander Mark Rice, XO Lieutenant Daniel Tyler, the ship’s enlisted assistant navigator and the officer of the deck at the time of the ship’s grounding were all relieved because they “did not adhere to the standard navy navigation procedures.”

LCDR Mark Rice and the others were relieved by Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley, commander of the Sasebo, Japan-based Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. Harley cited a “loss of confidence” in Rice’s ability to command.

LCDR Rice had screened for early command and was assigned to USS GUARDIAN (MCM 5) serving as the Executive Officer in October 2011 and fleeted up to CO in December 2012. The USS GUARDIAN was run aground in January 2013.

20 comments:

Navy NEWS said...

The initial investigation findings clearly indicate that the CO, Lt. Cmdr. Mark A. Rice; the executive officer (XO)/navigator, Lt. Daniel Tyler; the assistant navigator; and the officer of the deck at the time of the grounding did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures. The U.S. Navy has the highest accountability standards, and all four Sailors were relieved by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley due to their role in the grounding and a loss of confidence.

Anonymous said...

XO LT Tyler was on fast track. Superb naval officer.

Shore Duty Assignments include: the Naval Postgraduate School where he graduated with a Master's of Science in Systems Engineering Analysis and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I, the CNO's Strategic Studies Group at the Naval War College, and the Surface Warfare Officers School Command as a Shiphandling and Tactics instructor.

Lieutenant Tyler's personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Gold Star), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with 4 Gold Stars), the Arleigh Burke Leadership Award, and the John D. Bulkeley Leadership Award as well as multiple unit and service awards.

Anonymous said...

Served with both of these officers. Just a case of bad things happening to good people.

Anonymous said...

Are we on track to set a new record? Eight COs in 100 days....

Anonymous said...

S-E-A will get you every time, and I suspect this was the case with the XO/ NAV.

Anonymous said...

Wait a second. I read that the charts that the ship had indicated that there was a 9 mile error. If that is correct, why were members of the ships company punished? I do not understand.

Anonymous said...

What is S-E-A, and how is it the case with the XO/NAV?

Anonymous said...

Re: ex-GUARDIAN

All hands saved, using US Navy supplied "flawed" charts, NGA (National Geo-spacial Intelligence Agency) admits they failed to update charts to the US Navy, call "heroes, courageous, etc.," . So, they get "fired" as the last piece of their ship is hauled away for "Loss of confidence"... What did I miss? Is this just another example to appease a country (the Philippines in this case - prior to a large US Navy/Philippine exercise). What a cowardly action by politicos. What a fine way to treat or servicemen. Clearly scapgoating at its best.

Anonymous said...

Navy NEWS "...clearly did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures". Knowing these two men, I'd have to say the Navy DID NOT teach them complete "standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures".

Anonymous said...

I think the Navy's approach is - the ship is gone, the Captain and XO are responsible. This is not unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Makes things simple, convenient, and lets the Navy off the hook. Just a couple of insignificant folks and their families get trashed - no big deal. Solves the Navy's problem but never gets to the real cause.

Anonymous said...

Likewise the CO, LCDR Mark Rice, also a surpurb naval officer, following selection to a three year NROTC scholarship program, he graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2000.

Upon graduating from the Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island, LCDR Rice received orders to USS O’BRIEN (DD-975), where he served as the STRIKE Warfare Officer and Gunnery Liaison Officer from December 2000 to July 2002. During his tour, O’BRIEN made a deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch and was involved in the first Tomahawk Strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom into Afghanistan.

Following a successful tour, LCDR Rice received orders to USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55) as the Combat Information Center Officer. Onboard the Air Defense Commander for ESG 2, he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.

While on shore duty LCDR Rice served as the Training and Readiness Officer for Mobile Security Squadron Seven forward deployed to Guam. As a Plank owner at MSS-7 he was a part of the certification of Mobile Security Detachment 73 and the mid cycle certification for Mobile Security Detachment 71. Following this assignment he received orders to be an Instructor at the Surface Warfare Officer School where he taught Division Officer Students ship handling in the COVE Simulators. LCDR Rice then attended the Naval War College where he received his Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies while also completing his JPME Phase I.

In 2008, LCDR Rice received orders to USS MUSTIN (DDG 89) as the Operations Officer. During his tour he conducted Forward Deployed operations including two Counter Special Operations Forces exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy, Exercise Talisman Saber ’09, and multiple high visibility Theater Security Cooperation Port visits including Da Nang, Vietnam and Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

In 2009 LCDR Rice received orders to DESTROYER SQUADRON NINE as the Operations Officer. He deployed with the Sea Combat Commander for Carrier Strike Group Nine embarked aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN for a Western Pacific deployment in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. He screened for early command and was assigned to USS GUARDIAN (MCM 5) serving as the Executive Officer in October 2011. Name CO in October 2012.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! I think the Navy's missed something here. These surely don't fit the profile of officers who have "loss of confidence", "did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures." This looks like politic from Washington, DC.!

Anonymous said...

Has the appearance of someone tossing bilge water on them to make the Philippines happy!

Saw something like this about 1998(I think 1998) involving a USMC EA6B jet to make the Italians happy by the Clinton administration. Found innocent of the main charge by ruined his career.

Anonymous said...

I like Wikipedia's definition of Plasible Deniability:"The term most often refers to the denial of blame in (formal or informal) chains of command, where senior figures assign responsibility to the lower ranks, and records of instructions given do not exist or are inaccessible, meaning independent confirmation of responsibility for the action is nearly impossible."

Anonymous said...

Except for the grace of God go I...

Anonymous said...

LCDR Rice & LT Tyler FAILED MISERABLY to do their jobs. They were selected above their peers to command a ship & crew. The Navy, the US Gov't & the tax payers trusted these officers to keep their vessel & crew safe from harm & to do a job. Their lack of appreciation for the positions they held & presence of mind resulted in millions of dollars in damage, irreparable damage to nature & international embarrassment to the service and country in which they served. The vessel these officers were responsible for had to be cut up in pieces & hauled away as scrap because of their mistakes. Any previous achievements or successes these men worked for & enjoyed have now been permanently marred by this horrible event. They've completely destroyed their professional credibility & their names will always be associated with the preventable demise of the USS GUARDIAN & rightfully so!

Klaas Komvaak said...

I see folks putting the blame on charts. Really? Standard due dilligence is to double check visual (stars, light marks at sea) with gps, loran C at a constant order and track log each 10 minutes. Keeps you bizzy and time flies, before you know it your watch is over instead of low morale sleepy state of minds. What a blamage for the Navy. Saying as an ex sailer of the Dutch Navy.

Anonymous said...

I served with LCDR Rice after the accident. Little known fact: LCDR Rice was assigned to the USS Bonhomme Richard LHD-6 shortly after the accident to await the final outcome of the investigation. He was quickly made the ship's Damage Control Officer. Following quick qualification in all officer watch stations, including the position in charge of the ship's Combat information Center, he served unselfishly aboart the BHR through two deployments....all along knowing that his time in the Navy was drawing to a close. He was a great person and a sharp officer. All the people serving along side him know that he was railroaded by the Navy. I hope he is doing well.

Anonymous said...

Mine Sweepers often operate in shallow water. If at the time of the grounding they had an operational reason for being right where they were, the board might have been more forgiving. If they were just transiting to a port, the expectation would be that they would have stayed in normal maritime transit routes, without taking shortcuts through shallow waters.

The "Loss of Confidence" was not internal to the officers of the ship, but rather on the part of the senior officers in charge of the squadron and fleet this ship was a part of. It was they who lost confidence that these officers would not make the same mistakes again.

Running your ship aground is an unforgivable career ending sin. Always has been, always will be. Reefs grow, sandbars shift, charts have errors. None of these excuse non-operational groundings.

Loran C was shut down in the Pacific on 8 Feb 2010, surplaced by GPS, well before the time of the grounding. Even so, knowing where you are within 20 feet does not help you if it's where you should not be.