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  1. #1
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    U.S. Navy fires commander of sailors held by Iran

    The U.S. Navy officer who oversaw the 10 sailors captured and briefly detained by Iran earlier this year has been relieved of his duties due to "loss of confidence" in his ability, the Navy announced Thursday.

    Cmdr. Eric Rasch was fired from his job as the commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 and temporarily reassigned. These type of personnel actions typically result in the officer then retiring from active duty.

    Rasch had recently taken command of the unit after serving as the No. 2 during January when the incident occurred.

    Capt. Gary Leigh, the commander of the overall group, made the determination after a preliminary Navy investigation into the incident near Iran's Farsi Island in the Arabian Gulf over January 12 and 13.

    CNN has not yet reached out to Rasch for comment.

    Far from its home port in San Diego, the squadron's job in the Gulf was to provide maritime security and escort duty for other ships. The boat the 10 sailors were on was in routine transit at the time.

    The results of the wider investigation into the incident have not been released by the Navy, but CNN previously reported that the crew of 10 sailors on two riverine boats made repeated mistakes that led them into Iranian territorial waters and to ultimately being captured.

    Navy officials emphasized that other personnel, including the sailors involved, could still face discipline. Some other naval personnel have already received administrative discipline, essentially reprimands, but those types of actions are not made public. The full investigation is expected to be completed at the end of May.

    Rasch has served as commanding officer since April 4 and the second in command from August 1, 2014 to April 3. In the latter capacity, he was responsible for the training and readiness of more than 400 sailors. He was promoted recently to the higher-ranking job before the results of the preliminary investigation were available.

    Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps naval units captured the sailors on January 12 when six of their armed vessels surrounded two U.S. Navy riverine boats.

    The sailors were blindfolded and repeatedly separated and interrogated, Navy officials have told CNN.

    According to the preliminary report, the sailors originally set out from Kuwait for Bahrain but quickly -- and unknowingly -- went off course and headed almost directly for Iran's Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf.

    The report found that several factors may have contributed to the failure:

    The sailors had never made the trip before.

    They had been up most of the night before conducting maintenance on one of the boats that had broken down.

    They had to "cannibalize" parts from a third boat in order to have two working vessels.

    They then experienced problems with their satellite communications gear.

    All of this led them to leaving port later than planned.

    In addition, they did not conduct a standard operational briefing for themselves prior to setting sail, during which they would have fully reviewed their route and navigation plan.

    The approved navigation path would have had them sail in international waters between the Iranian coastline and the eastern side of Farsi Island as they moved south toward Bahrain. Instead, they were significantly off course, sailing on the western side of the island.

    The report also indicated that the sailors were not aware of Farsi Island's location. They instead believed a small Saudi island was the navigation feature they were supposed to be sailing around.

    As the sailors unknowingly approached the Iranian island, they had already missed one scheduled check-in phone call with their command center, and the command center for some reason did not notice that the tracking equipment on board had them headed for Iranian waters.

    Once inside Iranian waters, the boat with the navigation problem broke down again and was then fixed.

    But the sailors were quickly surrounded by two initial IRGC boats and didn't immediately understand they were Iranian forces, according to the report. Four more IRGC boats quickly approached and encircled the Americans, blocking their escape path.

    At this point, the U.S. personnel decided not to resist, seeing no way out of their situation.

    The sailors were all put on one boat and ordered to their knees with their hands behind their heads. Video of that was seen around the world.



    Navy fires officer in charge of sailors detained in Iran - CNNPolitics.com

  2. #2
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    Sorry but this is the reality of current day America; he gets fired while the Black females (see separate thread) with the clenched fists keep their commissions.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    You're comparing apples with oranges.

    The two situations aren't at all analogous.

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    So he should have retained his job because the captured sailors did not give black power salutes?


  5. #5
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Mann
    The U.S. Navy officer who oversaw the 10 sailors captured and briefly detained by Iran earlier this year has been relieved of his duties due to "loss of confidence" in his ability, the Navy announced Thursday.
    Clearly deserved. Ignorance and bad judgement displayed here do not make for a person with command responsibility. He should not be the only one to get fired. Those responsible for logistic support (maintenance/spares) of the boats need a thorough ass kicking as well. All a major goat rope operation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    Sorry but this is the reality of current day America; he gets fired while the Black females (see separate thread) with the clenched fists keep their commissions.
    You fucking idiot Bob.

    He got fired for sailing a US ship into Iranian waters.

    WTF does that have to do with a bunch of students doing a graduation photo you mong?

  7. #7
    euston has flown

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    He got fired for sailing a US ship into Iranian waters.
    Given that William C. Rogers III, captain of the USS Vincennes, also entered iranian waters and also shot down Iran Air Flight 655 (making 10 or more attemts to firee the missle before getting it off) killing some 290 men, women and children... without getting fired.... I would suggest that this firing was about the 10 chaps getting captured by the iranians rather than anything else
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    So this is how the secret U.S invasion of Iran went, can't wait for the Hollywood movie.

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    There's no crying in the Navy.



    Harden the fuck up.

  10. #10
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    It seems to me he was fired for committing a series of errors.

    * did not conduct a standard operational briefing for themselves prior to setting sail

    * went significantly off course

    * was not aware of Farsi Island's location. Instead believed a small Saudi island was the navigation feature they were supposed to be sailing around.

    * unknowingly approached the Iranian island

    * missed one scheduled check-in phone call with their command center,

    * When the sailors were surrounded by two initial IRGC boats, they didn't immediately understand they were Iranian forces

    In other words, they were fucking useless, or more diplomatically, simply aren't good enough.
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  11. #11
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    Sacked because he was about to be in a TV program where he described the Iranians as decent people, not aggressive, just going through a standard procedure before releasing them, and in fact he liked it very much and is planning on going on holiday there some day. He can not understand what all the bogeyman stories are about Iran are for.

    Couldn't allow this, so they sacked him, and he is only getting his pension if he keeps his trap shut

  12. #12
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    Yeah.. terrible people the Iranians




  13. #13
    euston has flown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    It seems to me he was fired for committing a series of errors.

    In other words, they were fucking useless, or more diplomatically, simply aren't good enough.
    And the same was true for William C. Rogers III and his crew. the only differences being William C. Rogers III shot down a civilian airliner and the other chap got captured by the Iranians and paraded on tv.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    He got fired for sailing a US ship into Iranian waters.
    Given that William C. Rogers III, captain of the USS Vincennes, also entered iranian waters and also shot down Iran Air Flight 655 (making 10 or more attemts to firee the missle before getting it off) killing some 290 men, women and children... without getting fired.... I would suggest that this firing was about the 10 chaps getting captured by the iranians rather than anything else
    I wouldn't dispute that at all, but in the case of the Vincennes it was pursuing Iranian gunboats that had fired on its helicopters and mistook the Airbus for an Iranian Tomcat after it failed to respond to ten different radio calls, including civilian frequencies.

    However I think they went a bit far giving the fucker a medal.

  15. #15
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    it wasn't so much attacked by iranian gunboats as much as it went out looking for a fight.... just the thing to do with an air defence ship thats supposed to be providing air defence for the whole fleet and being the only ship of its type in the region irreplaceable.

    It did not radio the aircraft it shot down on civil aviation frequencies and they did not question why a tomcat would attack them by flying 14,000 ft and climbing.... and the only confusion that seems to take place on the boat was how to fire a missile or two.

    on the whole they behaved in a way that made those russian monkeys who shot down the malaysian plane look like real professionals.

  16. #16
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    The shooting down of an Iranian plane resulted in the bombing of Pan Am flight over Lockerbie

  17. #17
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    I'll shed no tears for the CDR. He's incompetent.

    LCDR Eric W. Rasch

    "Lieutenant Commander Eric W. Rasch, a native of Buffalo, NY, enlisted in the Navy in 1989. Upon completion of recruit training in Orlando, FL he attended Intelligence Specialist Class “A” School in Virginia Beach, VA.

    He reported for his first tour of duty in 1990 to the Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Facility Western Pacific, Detachment Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines where he served until 1992 as an Intelligence Analyst. Following his initial overseas assignment, he reported to USS RANGER (CV 61) for duty as a TARPS Imagery Interpreter, and upon RANGER’s decommissioning in 1993, was reassigned to USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63). During this timeframe made one deployment in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH and OPERATION RESTORE HOPE, and made one deployment to the Western Pacific.

    His next assignment was as an instructor at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center located at Dam Neck, Va. While instructing IS “A” School, Lieutenant Commander Rasch was selected for the Seaman to Admiral program and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School in June of 1996.

    Following initial Surface Warfare training in Newport, RI, he reported in USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) as Damage Control Assistant and in May 1999, he transferred to the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron Thirty-One as the Training and Readiness Officer and Maritime Interception Operations Officer. During this tour he deployed to the Arabian Gulf with the ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) Battle Group. Lieutenant Commander Rasch then attended the University of San Diego from May 2001 to December 2003. He returned to Newport, RI for Department Head training, and in October 2004 reported in USS HOPPER (DDG 70) as Weapons Officer and assumed the duties as Combat Systems Officer in January 2006.

    Upon completion of his department head tours in July 2007, Lieutenant Commander Rasch reported to the College of Naval Command and Staff in Newport, RI where he Joint Professional Military Education Phase I credit, a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies, and designation as a Naval Operational Planner. Lieutenant Commander Rasch then reported to the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command and in November of 2008 forward deployed to Iraq as an Electronic Warfare Officer in direct support of the U.S. Army’s 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade in Tal Afar, Iraq.

    He reported as Executive Officer in USS SAMPSON in March 2010.

    Lieutenant Commander Rasch’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various campaign and unit awards".

    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    Sorry but this is the reality of current day America; he gets fired while the Black females (see separate thread) with the clenched fists keep their commissions.
    Comparing the actions of a 48 year old Commander, with undergraduate and graduate degrees, a SWO pin plus over 22 years of active duty service, with 21/22 year old cadets makes no sense to me whatsoever.

  18. #18
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    Navy report: Failure at every level for US ships captured by Iran

    Washington (CNN) - A devastating new report by military investigators released Thursday found that the 10 sailors captured by Iranians in January suffered from "failed leadership" at all levels on a mission that was plagued by mistakes from beginning to end.

    "This incident was the result of failed leadership at multiple levels from the tactical to the operational," investigators wrote in the detailed, partially redacted, report.

    The report found the crews were poorly prepared, their boats not properly maintained, communication almost entirely lacking, and their conduct after being captured by the Iranians wasn't up to military standards.

    In a stunning finding, the report said the sailors veered off course almost immediately after heading out to sea and had no idea where they were when a mechanical failure struck one of the boats.

    "The boat crews could visually see Farsi Island, but were not concerned as they were unaware that it was Iranian or that they were in Iranian waters," the report said.

    The report details a lax culture for U.S. Navy sailors who routinely patrol the Persian Gulf which ultimately led to a highly embarrassing incident for the U.S. military just as crippling economic sanctions were set to be lifted as part of the Iranian nuclear deal.

    "The culture ... (was) characterized by informality. They conducted no patrol briefings, and missions were supported by no formal mission analysis, standard planning factors, risk assessment, or overwatch," investigators wrote.

    At a news conference to release the report, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, said, "This will be a case study going forward. There are lessons that apply across our entire Navy."

    One of the only bright spots noted in the report was a sailor who "showed presence of mind and fighting spirit when she attempted to activate" at tracking beacon at some point during the incident.

    And after the U.S. crew members were captured, more mistakes were made. The report found that during the 24 hours they were held some crew provided more information to their Iranian captors than they should have, and that they ate food while being filmed -- something they should not have done because it can be and was used as propaganda. One crew member disobeyed a direct order, the report said.

    Asked by their captors how it was possible a boat like theirs could have traveled such a distance, one sailor replied, "Yeah, I wish you could tell my people that because we told them these boats don't do that" -- a statement investigators said was inappropriate.

    The report concluded, however, that the Americans didn't violate international law, while the Iranians did.

    "The investigation concluded that Iran violated international law by impeding the boats' innocent passage transit, and they violated our sovereign immunity by boarding, searching, and seizing the boats, and by photographing and video recording the crew," Richardson said at the news conference.

    In their report, investigators called the mission a "complex transit" of 259 nautical miles from Kuwait to Bahrain that required more than the 24-hours advance notice the crews were given.

    "Essentially, there was no time given for the team to think through the task before executing. The collective team felt a sense of urgency for a mission that had previously been rescheduled and had no required accomplishment date," the report said.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured the sailors January 12 after an engine died on one of their two boats. As the sailors waited for repairs, the Revolutionary Guard approached in several boats and took them captive with guns drawn.
    "The engine casualty in Iran's territorial seas is the culmination of failures in multiple areas, including maintenance, personnel qualification, sustainment training and crew rest," they wrote.

    After the sailors had breached both Iranian and Saudi Arabian territorial waters and been forced to stop, the sailors did not have a plan for communicating their location or progress with officers.

    "There was no coherent plan to communicate with the craft of plot their progress in relation to the approved navigation plan," investigators found.

    The capture was elevated to stunning prominence as Iranian television broadcast footage of the sailors being held at gunpoint on the same night as President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. The sight of U.S. sailors with their hands behind their heads being held by Iranian military raised sharp criticism from Republicans who were already firing away at Obama for his handling of ISIS in the Middle East.

    The report also found that the crew was never familiarized with the region, and didn't know about weather, geography or potentially hostile threats.

    In addition, before going out to sea, there's supposed to be a written patrol briefing. But personnel couldn't recall seeing that, the report said, and the investigation couldn't find it and questioned if it had existed.

    The U.S. craft were also undermanned, and couldn't be operated at the same time the weapons were being manned.

    "The investigation found a lack of leadership, a disregard for risk management processes and proper mission planning standards," Navy Vice Adm. John Aquilino, deputy chief of operations, said at the news conference.

    The report said that mission leaders showed "blatant disregard for the genuine concern of sailors," not listening to their concerns or empowering them.

    Two officers have already been fired after the fiasco -- Capt. Kyle S. Moses and Cmdr. Eric Rasch -- and the report indicated that six more crew members of the Coastal Riverine squadron could be punished.

    Navy report: Failure at every level for US ships captured by Iran - CNNPolitics.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazz View Post
    It did not radio the aircraft it shot down on civil aviation frequencies
    Sorry, I just noticed this. Did you make it up?


    The official ICAO report stated that ten attempts were made to contact Iran Air flight 655: seven on military frequencies and three on commercial frequencies, addressed to an "unidentified Iranian aircraft" and giving its speed as 350 knots (650 km/h), which was the ground speed of the aircraft their radar reported. The crew of the Iran Air 655, however, would have seen a speed of 300 knots (560 km/h) on their cockpit instruments, which was their indicated airspeed, possibly leading them to conclude that the Vincennes was talking to another aircraft.

    Both Sides and Vincennes tried contacting flight 655 on several civilian and military frequencies. International investigations concluded that the crew of IR655 assumed that the three calls that they received before the missiles struck must have been directed at an Iranian P-3 Orion.
    Link

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    The shooting down of an Iranian plane resulted in the bombing of Pan Am flight over Lockerbie
    Actually it's universally acknowledged that it was Libya's revenge for the 1986 bombings of Tripoli by the US, which was rumoured to have killed one of Qadafi's daughters.

    So many Libyan fingerprints did it have that Qadafi eventually took responsibility, although denying that he ordered it personally, obviously.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus View Post
    Sacked because he was about to be in a TV program where he described the Iranians as decent people, not aggressive, just going through a standard procedure before releasing them, and in fact he liked it very much and is planning on going on holiday there some day. He can not understand what all the bogeyman stories are about Iran are for.

    Couldn't allow this, so they sacked him, and he is only getting his pension if he keeps his trap shut
    I don't know about the TV program, I suppose you're not making it up, and it makes sense too.
    But from what I recall of my impressions at the time of the incident, I do suspect he's a scapegoat for intentional provocation ordered from on high.
    It's just too unbelievable the series of reported mistakes and equipment failure that led to the capture and to him being fired.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus View Post
    Sacked because he was about to be in a TV program where he described the Iranians as decent people, not aggressive, just going through a standard procedure before releasing them, and in fact he liked it very much and is planning on going on holiday there some day. He can not understand what all the bogeyman stories are about Iran are for.

    Couldn't allow this, so they sacked him, and he is only getting his pension if he keeps his trap shut
    I don't know about the TV program, I suppose you're not making it up, and it makes sense too.
    But from what I recall of my impressions at the time of the incident, I do suspect he's a scapegoat for intentional provocation ordered from on high.
    It's just too unbelievable the series of reported mistakes and equipment failure that led to the capture and to him being fired.

    I'm not so sure.

    What TV program is this?

    And since he's been fired, I doubt there's fuck all they can do about his pension anyway.

    I call BS.

    He got fired because he fucked up and embarrassed his country.

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    I was going to work in Iran in about '99 but couldn't go so my mate went instead. Sari on the Caspian Sea

    My mate lived there for 9 months also said they were nice people, made nice cakes etc.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    I was going to work in Iran in about '99 but couldn't go so my mate went instead. Sari on the Caspian Sea

    My mate lived there for 9 months also said they were nice people, made nice cakes etc.
    They're OK if you don't go during Ashura.

    Kish Island is nice according to my mate but he was paid to go there and write about it.

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