Tag Archives: failed leadership

Zipper failure

Posted by lex, on November 28, 2006

From Strategy Page (courtesy of occasional reader Kevin):

In the last few years, there has been a sharp increase in navy commanders being relieved. It’s been running at over ten a year, up from 6-8 in the late 1990s, and a bit less than that in the 1980s. Only a small percentage of reliefs have to do with professional failings (a collision or serious accident, failing a major inspection or just continued poor performance.) Most reliefs were, and still are, for adultery, drunkenness or theft. With more women aboard warships, there have been more reliefs for, as sailors like to put it, “zipper failure.” There may have been more than are indicated, as sexual misconduct is often difficult to prove, and a commander who is having zipper control problems often has other shortcomings as well. Senior commanders traditionally act prudently and relieve a commander who demonstrates a pattern of minor problems and who they now “lack confidence in.”

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Military

Lex Describing the Nature of a Navy Command

Lex wrote so many things that I consider to be timeless. I’ve told people from time to time that many of his blog posts were not so much posts as essays.

And here he describes in a succinct and complete manner, the nature of a Navy command.

He wrote this 15 years ago, but it could have been written yesterday.

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Filed under by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Leadership, Lex, Navy, Neptunus Lex

Two Little, Too Late

Two Navy guided missile destroyers are being deployed off the coast of Libya, after attacks Tuesday on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador, military officials told Fox News.

Seems a Marine FAST team is in the area now, as well. For to do what, one has to wonder. While it seems unlikely anyone would send over a B-2 to leave behind a pair, or two, of special weapons over this, back in a day not so long departed retribution for a bombed night club showed itself in the form of Operation El Dorado Canyon. As far as military operations go, it weren’t that much of a deal, except for that ginormously long ride for the Zoomie Crew in their uber fabulous Aardvarks. Forth and back AROUND France and Spain (the latter as a matter of forced coincidence) with no place to stop and defuel one’s bladder; yer Humble Scribe woulda been grateful for a relief tube or a piddle pack or two. Ah, but I digress.

The forces called into play:

Target Planned Actual
Aircraft Bombing Aircraft Hit Miss
Bab al-Azizia barracks 9× F-111F 36× GBU-10 2,000 lb (910 kg) LGB 3× bombed
1× missed
4× aborts
1× lost
13 3
Murat Sidi Bilal camp 3× F-111F 12× GBU-10 2,000 lb LGB all bombed 12
Tripoli airfield
(fmr. Wheelus Air Base)
6× F-111F 72× Mk 82 500 lb (230 kg) RDB 5× bombed
1× abort
Jamahiriyah (Benghazi) barracks 7× A-6E 84× Mk 82 500 lb RDB 6× bombed
1× abort on deck
70 2
Benina airfield 8× A-6E 72× Mk 20 500 lb CBU
24× Mk 82 500 lb RDB
6× bombed
2× aborts
60× Mk 20
12× Mk 82
Air defense
Tripoli 6× A-7E Shrike
16× HARM
all aircraft fired 8× Shrike
16× HARM
Benghazi 6× F/A-18 4× Shrike
20× HARM
all aircraft fired 4× Shrike
20× HARM
Totals 45 aircraft 300 bombs
48 missiles
35 bombed
1 missed
1 lost
8 aborts
227 hits
5 misses
48 homing missiles

All that and more for a night club we didn’t even own, the cause being there were American Service men and women in the night club. America took offense at the attack on our kin, and none more so than our then-President, Ronald Reagan. Three Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and 18 of the aforementioned uber fabulous Aardvarks later, all was not well in Libya. “Take a poke at us, and we’ll bust yer beak” was the message, and Libya got it. Muammar Gaddafi went dark, and the world was seldom troubled by hearing his voice again for more than two decades.

That was then, in a day of REAL national leadership.

Today, we mourn the loss of an American Ambassador and three of his team. We ponder, querulously, the attack on not just one, but now three Embassies. For those who missed this morning’s America’s Newsroom, sorry to be the bearer of more bad news. We now have a third Embassy under attack in Yemen. Clearly not a coincidence. Clearly not a matter of happenstance. Clearly, a matter of blown intelligence. Or was it? Clearly, coordinated events not being responded to in adequate fashion…as yet. Clearly, Americans have no hope of there being an adequate response.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of bashing the current National Command Authority. Frankly, it needs to be changed out for leadership focused on protecting American interests. Frankly, that the current National Command Authority has not responded in a more forceful manner is, in the opinion of yer humble scribe, outright treason. Traveling to New York to commiserate with certain of our enemies, as well as some limpity DJ, is not the response we seek. As a nation, we seem to find ourselves in the days of Neville Chamberlain, wherein we hear proclamations of “All is well. Fret not”. As a nation, I pray we respond “Not so!” and give the author of such utterances his comeuppance.

The morning wears on, and I’ve not yet had my cup of tea. With apologies to Hogday, such is a travesty in and of itself. One does not start one’s day without a cup of tea, but these attacks gave me cause for exception.

I’m infuriated by what is transpiring, and feel near helpless to give more response than I have here.

Now on to that cup of tea…


Filed under GWOT