• ’Sailors do not need to die,’ warns captain of coronavirus-hit U.S. aircraft carrier - Reuters

    The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a blunt letter, has called on Navy leadership for stronger measures to save the lives of his sailors and stop the spread of the coronavirus aboard the huge ship.

    The four-page letter, the contents of which were confirmed by U.S. officials to Reuters on Tuesday, described a bleak situation onboard the nuclear-powered carrier as more sailors test positive for the virus.

    The Navy puts the ship’s complement at 5,000, the equivalent of a small American town.

    The letter was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Captain Brett Crozier, the ship’s commanding officer, wrote that the carrier lacked enough quarantine and isolation facilities and warned the current strategy would slow but fail to eradicate the highly contagious respiratory virus.

    In the letter dated Monday, he called for “decisive action” and removing over 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them. Along with the ship’s crew, naval aviators and others serve aboard the Roosevelt.

    We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset - our sailors,” Crozier wrote.

    U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that nearly 80 people aboard the ship had tested positive for the coronavirus, a number likely to increase as all personnel on the ship are tested.

    •  » Mais l’#honneur de la marine nationale étant en jeu... »| Euronews

      Mais l’honneur de la marine nationale étant en jeu, le ministre américain de la Défense, Mark Esper, refusant toute évacuation, avait aussitôt rétorqué :

      « Nous avons une mission : notre mission est de protéger les Etats-Unis et notre peuple (...) Nous vivons dans des quartiers étroits, que ce soit à bord d’un porte-avions, d’un sous-marin, d’un char ou d’un bombardier, c’est comme ça ! »


    • Navy relieves captain who raised alarm about coronavirus outbreak on aircraft carrier

      Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, was relieved of his command on Thursday, but he will keep his rank and remain in the Navy.

      On ne tue pas comme en Chine, on laisse les gens se suicider.

    • Le commandant du Roosevelt limogé après avoir alerté sur la COVID-19 à bord

      Le secrétaire à l’US Navy a souligné que ce n’était pas le fait que le commandant du porte-avions ait lancé une alerte qui méritait son limogeage, mais le fait qu’il ait envoyé un courriel aussi alarmiste au commandement régional avec une trentaine de personnes en copie.

      C’est ce qui a apparemment permis que la lettre soit parvenue au San Francisco Chronicle, a-t-il ajouté sans accuser directement le commandant de l’avoir fait fuiter lui-même.

    • Exclusive: Navy probe to decide future of fired U.S. carrier commander - Reuters


      Even as he is hailed as a hero by his crew, the fired commander of a coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier is being reassigned while investigators consider whether he should face disciplinary action, acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Reuters on Friday.

      Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command of the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday after a scathing letter in which he called on the Navy for stronger action to halt the spread of the virus aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was leaked to the media.

      Modly said in an interview that the letter was shared too widely and leaked before even he could see it.

      But the backlash to Modly’s decision to fire Crozier has been intense. In videos posted online, sailors on the Theodore Roosevelt applauded Crozier and hailed him as a hero, out to defend his crew - even at great personal cost to his career.

      And that’s how you send out one of the greatest captains you ever had,” exclaimed one sailor in a video post, amid thunderous applause and cheering for Crozier as he left the carrier and its 5,000 crew members in Guam.

      Modly did not suggest that Crozier’s career was over, saying he thought everyone deserved a chance at “redemption.”

      He’ll get reassigned, he’s not thrown out of the Navy,” Modly said.

      But Modly said he did not know if Crozier would face disciplinary action, telling Reuters it would be up to a probe that will look into issues surrounding “communications” and the chain of command that led to the incident.

      I’m not going to direct them to do anything (other) than to investigate the facts to the best of their ability. I cannot exercise undue command influence over that investigation,” he said. Crozier’s firing has become a lightning-rod political issue at a time when the Trump administration is facing intense criticism over its handling of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 6,000 people across the country, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

      Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden accused the Trump administration of poor judgment and said Modly “shot the messenger.

      A group of prominent Democratic senators formally requested on Friday that the Pentagon’s independent Inspector General investigate the firing.

      The dismissal, two days after the captain’s letter leaked, demonstrated how the coronavirus has challenged all manner of U.S. institutions, even those accustomed to dangerous and complex missions such as the military.

      Crozier’s removal could have a chilling effect on others in the Navy seeking to draw attention to difficulties surrounding coronavirus outbreaks at a time when the Pentagon is withholding some detailed data about infections to avoid undermining the perception of U.S. military readiness for a crisis or conflict.

      Reuters first reported last week that the U.S. armed forces would start keeping from the public some data about infections within its ranks.

    • Le commandant Crozier est positif au covid-19…
      … suivi du détail des tensions internes à la Maison Blanche et avec les forces armées autour de cette affaire.
      (Trump veut la peau de Crozier, Crozier a le soutien de la quasi-totalité de ce qui porte un uniforme…)

      Fired aircraft carrier commander has COVID-19 - World Socialist Web Site

      The aircraft carrier commander who urged the evacuation of his ship because of widespread COVID-19 infection has himself tested positive for coronavirus, it was reported Sunday afternoon.
      Another columnist with close ties to the military, onetime Iraq War cheerleader Max Boot, wrote a scathing denunciation of the firing of Crozier from the standpoint of aggrieved military officers.
      The damage that was done to the military by Trump’s decision to pardon suspected war criminals will be compounded by Thursday’s decision to fire the skipper of the Theodore Roosevelt,” he wrote. “The message that the administration is sending to the armed forces is that committing war crimes is acceptable but telling the truth and protecting the personnel under your command is not.

      war crimes : référence à l’affaire E. Gallagher, peu évoquée sur ST p. ex. https://seenthis.net/messages/820749

      via @dedefensa https://seenthis.net/messages/839605

    • Le 6 avril, le secrétaire à la marine (par intérim) déblatère sur le réseau de communication interne du porte-avions en critiquant et se moquant du commandant Crozier…
      (décidément, ils font tout ce qu’il faut pour se retrouver enduits de goudrons et de plumes #tar_and_feathers)

      Suit une description de l’état de la marine états-unienne rappelant les abordages récents où l’on apprend que sur l’un des bâtiments (non nommé) les canonniers ne sont pas capables de savoir où ils tirent

      Seasickness - Covid-19 takes out a warship. The US Navy shoots the messenger | United States | The Economist

      HUNDREDS OF CHEERING sailors thronged the cavernous belly of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a 100,000-tonne nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier, crowding around neatly parked jets. “Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier!” they chanted, as the commanding officer, Brett Crozier, walked forlornly down the gangway into a warm Guam evening on April 3rd, bidding farewell to his warship. “Now that’s how you send out one of the greatest captains you ever had,” remarked a sailor in the crowd. The result is the latest civil-military calamity of the Trump administration.

      In mid-March the Roosevelt was exercising in the South China Sea, fresh from a visit to Vietnam. Then covid-19 struck. On March 24th three infected sailors were flown off. Three days later the ship docked in Guam, with at least 23 cases. From there, on March 30th, as the virus raged through a crew of over 5,000, Captain Crozier sent an imploring four-page letter to his colleagues. The spread of the disease was “ongoing and accelerating”, he warned. The warship’s confined spaces did not allow for effective quarantine. “We are not at war,” he urged. “Sailors do not need to die.

      At first navy leaders expressed support, insisting that Captain Crozier would not face retaliation for sounding the alarm. A day later he was removed. Thomas Modly, America’s acting secretary of the navy, offered a jumble of reasons. The captain had “undermined the chain of command” and “created...panic on the ship” by copying 20-30 people on his letter. He had created “the perception that the Navy is not on the job, the government’s not on the job.” And he might also have “emboldened our adversaries to seek advantage”.

      Then, in an intemperate and rambling speech aboard the Roosevelt on April 6th, Mr Modly told its crew that Captain Crozier had either deliberately leaked the letter to the media, or was “too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer”. Mr Modly mockingly called the captain—who remains a serving officer—a “martyr” and accused him of “betrayal”. He complained that “it’s now become a big controversy in Washington, DC” and told sailors, who are supposed to remain non-partisan, that “the media has an agenda”.

      Mr Modly’s remarks, which were piped over the ship’s intercom and, ironically, promptly leaked to the media, were met with incredulity on the ship. They came a day after Captain Crozier was reported to have tested positive for covid-19 and reinforced the sense that his offence was to have embarrassed the administration rather than violated protocol or undermined readiness. The decision “smacks of politics rather than military discipline,” says Jim Golby, an expert on civil-military relations and a serving army officer. “It’s notable that the military officers in the chain of command appear to have recommended against his removal.

      Even before this episode, it was clear that America’s globe-girdling navy was not in tip-top shape. In January the Pentagon’s Inspector General scrutinised a dozen destroyers and found deficiencies with training. In one case it concluded that “the ship will not be able to conduct gunnery support”—including trifling matters “such as identifying where the ship is shooting”. That came on top of several troubled years for the navy.

      Shoddy seamanship in the Seventh Fleet, based in Japan, resulted in two warship collisions that killed 17 people in 2017. “The navy selectively punished people,” says a former admiral. “The people at the very top who made the most egregious decisions got promoted or moved to new jobs.” The Seventh Fleet was also rocked by a separate corruption scandal, leading to reprimands for at least ten captains and admirals, and the first-ever conviction of a serving admiral for a federal crime.

      The fleet is also ageing: 57% of ships are more than 20 years old. Crumbling shipyards and the relentless pace of operations have made it harder to maintain them. The navy is also short of more than 6,000 sailors—with recruitment, retention and morale unlikely to be helped by the sacking of officers who stand up for sick sailors. “Without increased and sustained funding...the readiness of the Navy’s fleet will remain compromised,” concluded a report by the Heritage Foundation, a think-tank, last year.

      Then came covid-19. Though the Pentagon has stopped publishing infection numbers for individual ships, the disease has spread on several vessels. Cramped quarters on board make social distancing impractical. “It is a Petri dish of virus,” says a former carrier strike group commander. Sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, a carrier moored in Japan, have also tested positive. That does not mean America’s fleet would be paralysed in a crisis—warships can lose much of their crew and remain viable in wartime—but it may keep many in port.

      Mr Modly himself is only in charge of the navy because of the last mess. In November his predecessor, Richard Spencer, was fired after resisting what he called Donald Trump’s “shocking and unprecedented intervention” in the case of a Navy Seal who had been accused of war crimes. In a parting letter to the president, Mr Spencer said that this meddling had put at risk “good order and discipline”. War crimes, it turns out, can be smoothed over. Causing a stir in Washington is another matter.■

    • Bon, c’est bien ce qu’a dit Thomas Modly, mais il pense (et a toujours pensé) le contraire…

      Navy chief apologizes for slamming carrier captain as ’naive’ and ’stupid’ - SFChronicle.com

      Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images 2019

      Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly denounced the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt Monday as either “too naive or too stupid” to be at the helm, according to a recording of the speech to the ship’s crew obtained by The Chronicle.

      Then, after a daylong torrent of criticism over the recorded remarks that included congressional calls for his resignation, Modly flip-flopped and apologized Monday night.

      Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite,” Modly said in a statement. He apologized to the Navy, Crozier, “his family, and the entire crew of the Theodore Roosevelt for any pain my remarks may have caused.

    • Le secrétaire à la marine (par intérim) Modly est viré…
      … pardon, démissionne.

      ’I own it :’ U.S. Navy secretary resigns over handling of coronavirus-hit carrier - Reuters

      Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday after he faced mounting backlash for firing and ridiculing the commander of a U.S. aircraft carrier who pleaded for help stemming a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

      Modly’s resignation highlighted the U.S. military’s struggle to meet increasingly competing priorities: maintaining readiness for conflict and safeguarding servicemembers as the virus spreads globally.

      The episode deepened upheaval in Navy leadership. The Navy’s last secretary was fired in November over his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL convicted of battlefield misconduct. The Navy SEAL had won the support of President Donald Trump.

      U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Modly’s resignation on Twitter, saying the Navy’s top civilian had “resigned of his own accord.” Trump concurred, saying it was a selfless act and adding he had nothing to do with it.

      The whole thing was … very unfortunate,” Trump said at the White House.

      Modly’s resignation occurred only after mounting pressure from Congress and a backlash from the crew, and followed Trump’s own suggestion on Monday that he might get involved in the crisis — saying the Navy captain whom Modly fired was also a good man.

      I briefed President Trump after my conversation with Secretary Modly,” Esper said, as he named an Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson to replace Modly as acting Navy secretary.

      In a note to sailors, Modly said he took responsibility for events over the past few days.

      It is not just missiles that can take us down, words can do it too, if we aren’t careful with how and when we use them,” Modly said.

      It’s my fault. I own it.

      Captain Brett Crozier, whom Modly relieved of command last week, favored more dramatic steps to safeguard his sailors aboard the Theodore Roosevelt in a four-page letter that leaked to the public last week.

      When Modly fired him over the leak, his crew hailed Crozier as a hero and gave him a rousing sendoff captured on video, apparently upsetting Modly and leading the Navy’s top civilian to fly to Guam to castigate the captain in a speech to the crew on Monday.

      Modly questioned Crozier’s character, saying at one point he was either “stupid” or “naive.” After audio of his speech leaked, including expletives, Modly initially stood by his remarks. But later, at Esper’s request, he issued an apology.

      Trump appeared to take Modly’s side, saying Crozier had erred with the letter.

      The captain should not have written a letter. He didn’t have to be Ernest Hemingway. He made a mistake, but he had a bad day,” Trump told a news briefing.

      But the apology was not enough to satisfy critics, who were calling for his resignation.

      U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi added her voice to calls for Modly’s removal.

      Sadly, Acting Secretary Modly’s actions and words demonstrate his failure to prioritize the force protection of our troops,” Pelosi said in a statement.

      A fellow Democrat, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, had already called for Modly’s removal.

      Modly’s apology also did little to mollify the crew on the carrier.

      He said what he said and nobody is going to forget it,” a sailor on the carrier told Reuters.

      Modly made the trip to Guam against the advice of his aides, doubling down on his decision to fire Crozier despite warnings that his trip might make the situation worse.

      As of Tuesday, 230 of about 5,000 personnel on the Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus. Navy officials say that sailors on a number of other ships have tested positive too.

      The crisis is the biggest facing Navy leadership since two crashes in the Asia Pacific region in 2017 that killed 17 sailors. Those incidents raised questions about Navy training and the pace of operations, prompting a congressional hearing and the removal of a number of officers.

      The Republican who leads the Senate Armed Service Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe, said he was concerned about the turmoil in the Navy.

      In this difficult time, the Navy needs leaders now more than ever who can provide continuity and steady, insightful leadership,” he said.

    • Premier mort du Theodore Roosevelt

      U.S. sailor from coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier dies after contracting virus - Reuters

      A U.S. Navy sailor died on Monday after contracting the coronavirus, marking the first death of a sailor assigned to the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.
      So far, about 585 sailors aboard the nuclear-powered carrier have tested positive for the coronavirus. About 4,000 sailors have been moved from the carrier to facilities in Guam, where the ship has been docked after the number of cases started increasing.
      This marks the first death of a sailor in the Navy, which so far has had almost 900 sailors test positive for the virus. The sailor is also the first active-duty U.S. service member to die from the virus.

      A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that four additional sailors from the carrier had been taken to the hospital to be monitored. The officials said the sailors were in stable condition.