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Assault ship never had smooth sailing
San Antonio Express News ^ | July 31,2005 | Sig Christenson

Posted on 07/31/2005 6:10:17 AM PDT by shadeaud

The USS San Antonio's grand ambitions were dashed from Day One. Experts and the Navy's top civilian leader say the San Antonio, blasted by inspectors as unsafe for a crew to put to sea, was built in the wrong shipyard.

They say it was hamstrung by a computer design system that didn't work, shoddy craftsmanship, and leaky pipes and cables installed in so many wrong places that they may never be fixed.

Millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted. Precious time lost.

The Navy's top civilian leader lays the blame for many of San Antonio's problems on Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, the builder. The Navy and Americans, he said, deserve better.

(Excerpt) Read more at mysanantonio.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: abuanasallibi; alibi; floatingprisons; northropgrumman; usn; usssanantonio

1 posted on 07/31/2005 6:10:17 AM PDT by shadeaud
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To: shadeaud

When I noticed the portion of the article that explained how most of the design and work distribution was carried out during the "Dot-com Boom" , that immedietely spoke volumes to me.


2 posted on 07/31/2005 6:18:24 AM PDT by ExcursionGuy84 ("I will Declare the Beauty of The LORD.")
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To: shadeaud
I remember trying to hire cad operators from 97 through 2000. Those weenies could interview me and then shop the offer. In the end, I had to buy my way out of all the mistakes and fire the losers. This ship sounds like a cad disaster from the dot-com bubble.
3 posted on 07/31/2005 6:19:17 AM PDT by Thebaddog (Dogs rule)
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To: ExcursionGuy84
When I noticed the portion of the article that explained how most of the design and work distribution was carried out during the "Dot-com Boom" , that immedietely spoke volumes to me.

That wouldn't happen to be during the...Clinton years???

4 posted on 07/31/2005 6:50:26 AM PDT by JRios1968 (The C-5 Galaxy (http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=84)...sometimes, size DOES matter!)
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To: shadeaud

5 posted on 07/31/2005 6:53:01 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: shadeaud
IMHO, the problems with this ship are primarily the fault of the Navy.

From awarding the contract to a shipyard that had not built a large ship in decades (for political reasons) to an overly complex and costly design (titanium plumbing....a real pipe dream), to ignoring the building inspectors who were flagging the problems as they occurred.
6 posted on 07/31/2005 6:53:53 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: ExcursionGuy84
When I noticed the portion of the article that explained how most of the design and work distribution was carried out during the "Dot-com Boom" , that immedietely spoke volumes to me.

....shoddy craftsmanship, and leaky pipes and cables installed in so many wrong places that they may never be fixed.

Sounds more like a typical Goonion problem to me.....

7 posted on 07/31/2005 7:01:12 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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To: Thermalseeker
Sounds more like a typical Goonion problem to me.....

That was my thought from the gitgo. Most of the problems were occurring under Clinton and gang who were anti-military and busy cutting our forces in half. The unions are part of the lefty surge, charter members from the beginning, and are a continuing pain in the butt everywhere they work. These kinds of problems are typical of union caused problems.

8 posted on 07/31/2005 7:21:05 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
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To: shadeaud

Even though Northrop Grumman now owns Newport News Shipbuilding, this would never have happened here.


9 posted on 07/31/2005 7:42:26 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: shadeaud
One of the biggest problems is that the US Government will pay twice for the construction of the ship.

The contractor will charge the government twice for building the ship, and make a killing off construction.

The Navy should give it back to the contractor, and not pay a cent, or ask the contractor to pay back in full any money that the government has paid the contractor on this.

There should be penalties, not rewards, for doing the job wrong.

Welding titanium has long been known to require a special process of removing oxygen from the environment. The contractor cannot plead ignorance on this...

10 posted on 07/31/2005 7:42:36 AM PDT by topher (God bless our troops and protect them)
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To: topher

And while all this is happening, the Navy/Marine Corps team will do the job with the Austin Class LPD-4 ships, built in the early 1960's.

So much for planning ahead.


11 posted on 07/31/2005 7:55:46 AM PDT by jdtucker0193
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To: shadeaud
This, in a sense, is a replay of the SUBACS/Databus disaster.

When that failed, it cost the US Navy $1 billion, but the Navy was smart when they restarted the program. The failed contractors had to compete against a new player, and the new player could get a piece of the pie. As it turned out, the failed contractor left the defense business when they failed a second time (IBM Federal Systems).

One way to fix this problem is to allow a competing contractor, say Lockhood Martin Marietta, to come in.

If they find significant problems, but are only paid very small sums to inspection, then there are rewards for the competitor, and penalties for the contractor that is screwing up.

Politics and pork are part of this, but there is no reason that a contractor cannot hire someone capable in management to make sure significant mistakes do not happen.

As for SUBACS/Databus, I was involved in the successful program. But there is more than one version of the successful program, and some of what resulted became COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf hardware).

Whoever, in my opinion, was in charge of welding the titanium should be thrown in jail after a grueling tax audit, and perhaps a grueling tax audit of the contractor.

In other words, impose stiff penalties for what I consider fraud.

In the case my work back in the 1980's, the contractor I worked for used overloaded computers such that programmers had to wait seconds before inputting the next character.

I actually solved that problem, but in a way that proved that some folks were not blowing hot air about the importance of the project we were working (it was a dual purpose system -- both a prototype and lab model).

12 posted on 07/31/2005 8:14:51 AM PDT by topher (God bless our troops and protect them)
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To: shadeaud
Hmmm... let me guess -

Most of the 'work outsourced to subcontractors with a majority H1-B visa tech staff?
Outsourced project managers $hit-canned when they told the truth?

Nah - never happened.

13 posted on 07/31/2005 8:23:05 AM PDT by MrBambaLaMamba (Buy 'Allah' brand urinal cakes - If you can't kill the enemy at least you can piss on their god)
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To: shadeaud

How does an "Amphibious Transport Dock Ship" translate into the headline "Assault Ship"? Shouldn't the article be headlined "troop carrier", "transport" or the like?


14 posted on 07/31/2005 10:04:59 AM PDT by CivilWarguy
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To: andyk
Though it's a rotting apple (through NO FAULT of it's own)...

...the USS San Antonio in nontheless a Beautiful-to-Behold vessel.

Couldn't the US Naval Command just gut her of all the bad & rebuild better, with quality & dedicated workers/workmanship [no pun intended].

15 posted on 07/31/2005 2:29:25 PM PDT by ExcursionGuy84 ("I will Declare the Beauty of The LORD.")
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To: Poohbah

Anchors a' weigh! :)


16 posted on 07/31/2005 3:24:28 PM PDT by anymouse
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To: CivilWarguy
How does an "Amphibious Transport Dock Ship" translate into the headline "Assault Ship"? Shouldn't the article be headlined "troop carrier", "transport" or the like?

"troop carriers", "transports" carry troops

"Assault Ships" do that and also unload them where unfriendlies are shooting to stop that happening. "Amphibious Assault"

17 posted on 07/31/2005 5:36:22 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (I blame entropy)
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To: shadeaud
I'm not Navy, so some of the terms and acronyms "went right over my head", but this official Navy inspection report is obviously horrendous to even this untutored reader.

All you have to do is read of main ladders that don't work, the majority of watertight spaces that aren't watertight, and engine controls that lock up while underway to get the picture of a total screwup...

18 posted on 07/31/2005 8:14:49 PM PDT by TXnMA (Iraq & Afghanistan: Bush's "Bug-Zappers"...)
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To: shadeaud; TXnMA; jimtorr; topher; jdtucker0193

this is an email i just got from my bro after i sent him this thread and the Navy FitRep

"Hey, look on the bright side. At least somebody is paying attention to what's wrong with this thing! Not everyone has been bought off yet. Those people could have easily been bought along with all the other crap going on here. Another $Billion ought to pay off a few more people and fix a few things. Hey, it's only money...I'll bet too that not one contractor or other person who didn't do their job (or did such a shit job and maybe should be in jail for SOMETHING) went unpaid...

I repeat...I wouldn't leave the dock on this thing...I saw too many things that just weren't right there. I am not really experienced on ship things but I just knew that things weren't being done right. I was told to build things that I KNEW wouldn't work (so did management). Double dip...pay to build it and then paid again to rebuild it. Those words were said to me when I questioned inconsistencies and errors. They probably get paid more than twice too.

High tech components missing (stolen, black market)...Illegal aliens working on the next generation assault vessel for the US Navy (really something wrong here)...Systems compromised daily. I've seen cables routed to "make them fit" with no regard to ship survivability (redundant cabling on both sides of the ship, running through certain parts of the ship and secured cables that were supposed to be routed in their own "secure" conduits and wire ways via specific routes in the ship, AC power, CAT5, and other data cables all running together in wire ways, wires literally tied in knots, wire ways so overloaded that a flashlight beam could not be seen through bulkheads and wire ways...) just to make the pre-cut cable lengths work and get it in. So, even some of the systems that do work may not be just the way they are supposed to be. Nothing would surprise me there.

I suppose too that the lack of security around this boat (sat in full view of the world in the Mississippi river when I worked on it) would allow a terrorist attack on this ship (and the damned thing probably can't even defend itself) pretty much anytime. Nah, they won't blow it up until we waste a couple of more billion dollars on it.

It's really too bad because the Navy can't very well say that they don't want the ship (at this point). NGSS has made A LOT of money on this project (BTW, I just talked with a friend that still works in Avondale...he's working on the LPD 20. Can you say butt fuc times 4 or more?) and stands to make even more to correct problems. And we pay for this shit. I want to be a government contractor. I could just sit in my kitchen and send bills for doing nothing and not be as big of a liability as NGSS is to the American taxpayer.

I share your disgust my friend...you should have seen it first hand...Really helps put an exclamation point at the end of the sentence... now you know why i quit.

Talk soon."


and there it is...


19 posted on 08/01/2005 11:14:42 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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