Monday, January 31, 2005

USS San Francisco Update

The USS San Francisco at the Guam Shipyard's floating dry-dock, known as "Big Blue". The Navy released a video of the submarine in dry-dock, showing the damage done to the front of the vessel. According to the Navy it appears the San Francisco hit an undersea mountain 350 miles south of Guam on January 8.
USS San Francisco showing the damage

The Guam Shipyard's dry dock does not hold a certification to handle nuclear powered submarines, but the Navy has certified Big Blue for the single dry-docking of the USS San Francisco for damage assessment purposes. Navy officials said they won't know what further steps will be taken until the assessment is finished.

The commander of the 7th Fleet has directed the commanding officer of the USS San Francisco be reassigned pending the results of an investigation into the submarine's grounding on January 8. 7th Fleet spokesperson Commander Ike Skelton says Vice-Admiral Jonathon Greenert's reassignment of Commander Kevin Mooney should not be considered punishment.
Commander Skelton says the move was purely administrative in nature and no findings or disciplinary actions have been handed down in the on-going investigation being conducted by the 7th Fleet. Commander Mooney has been reassigned to Submarine Squadron 15, and the Squadron's deputy commander, Andrew Hale, will assume the duties as Commanding Officer of the USS San Francisco.

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