Sunday, March 4, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, March 4, 2001

Canceled training exercise allowed civilian tour of sub

Pressure, politics play out in sub inquiry
A Tribute to the Missing
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Associated Press

The USS Greeneville might not have been off Diamond Head at all the day it collided with a Japanese fishing vessel had the Navy not scheduled a private tour for 16 civilians, officials said.

When the Greeneville was selected for the civilian tour in January, the fast-attack submarine was set to be at sea for several days of training for an upcoming propulsion examination.

The training exercise was canceled just days before the Feb. 9 civilian cruise, but Navy officials decided to go forward with the guest embarkation because the visitors already were in town.

"At this point, the guests were on the island. We were already moving forward with doing the embark," said Navy officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"It’s not a wasted day at sea," the source added. "Anytime you can take a boat to sea, it’s the best training you can have."

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