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The Honolulu Advertiser

 1      MARCH 20, 2001 --- SESSION 4      10:02 a.m.       DAY 12

 2                 VADM. NATHMAN:  This Court is now in session.  

 3   Counsel.  

 4                 CAPT. MACDONALD:  Let the record reflect that 

 5   all members, parties and counsel are again present.  The Court 

 6   has no procedural matters, sir.  

 7                 VADM. NATHMAN:  Procedural matters from the 

 8   parties.  

 9                 CDR WOOLSTON:  No, sir.  

10                 MR. GITTINS:  No, sir.  

11                 VADM. NATHMAN:  Commander Waddle, I remind you 

12   you're still under oath.  

13                 THE WITNESS:  Yes, sir.  


15   Q     We've wrapped up for now the questions on the Chief of 

16   Staff.  I wanted to go back to the subject matter that Admiral 

17   Nathman was discussing with you concerning going down to test 

18   depth with the DVs on board, as well as the decision to 

19   conduct the emergency blow, emergency surface evolution with 

20   the DVs embarked.   

21         On 9 February your mission that day was a DVs 

22   embarkation, is that correct?  

23   A     Yes, sir.  On 9 February our mission and sole purpose 

24   for getting the submarine underway was the DV embark.  

25   Q     And higher authority, SUBPAC, those that have 


 1   operational command of you, do you think they made it clear to 

 2   you that safety is your number one priority?  

 3   A     Sir, I had no discussion with COMSUBPAC regarding the DV 

 4   embark, other than the conversation I had with CDR Werner on 

 5   February --  

 6   Q     When you take your submarine to sea in peace time 

 7   operations, on an operation such as this ten miles south of 

 8   Diamond Head, is safety your number one priority?  

 9   A     Sir, safety is my first tenet that I instill in my crew.  

10   Yes, safety is one of the important objectives.  

11   Q     So that it would be accurate to say that, as Admiral 

12   Konetzni talked to us about, prioritization and how important 

13   that is for a Commanding Officer of a submarine that safety is 

14   number one and then DV embarkation, training, other objectives 

15   would fall somewhere underneath that.  Would you agree with 

16   that statement?  

17   A     Yes, I would agree that safety is important.  

18   Q     The number one priority in this particular mission?  

19   A     Sir, I consider safety to be important on all 

20   undertakings on my ship.  

21   Q     But on the 9th of February was safety your number one 

22   priority?  

23   A     Yes, safety was my priority.  

24   Q     Okay.   

25         As I look through, then, what you were doing with the 


 1   DVs embarked, and safety being your number one priority, it 

 2   doesn't seem right to me that one would be taking his 

 3   Commanding Officer of a submarine the inherent additional risk 

 4   to go down to testing depth, for instance if you had a 

 5   casualty down at test depth people would be coming to you 

 6   today, probably much earlier and saying why would you take the 

 7   submarine down to test depth with civilians on board and 

 8   accept that increased inherent risk in that.  Or if you did an 

 9   emergency surface, and hit a vessel, people would be coming to 

10   you and saying why are you taking that additional inherent 

11   risk in doing an emergency surface with DVs embarked when your 

12   mission for that day has safety as the number one priority?   

13         In view of that, I'd like to hear what kind of judgment 

14   is it in going out and accepting this increased risk, in going 

15   down to test depth and doing emergency surfacing evolutions 

16   with civilians on board, when that has that element of 

17   increased risk and seems counter to the number one priority of 

18   safety?  

19   A     Admiral, again you've addressed numerous areas and I'm 

20   not sure what your specific question is.   

21         But in your question you addressed safety as my first 

22   priority, am I not increasing the risk by taking distinguished 

23   visitors to test depth, performing an emergency surfacing 

24   procedure, the emergency blow, and if I understand your 

25   question correctly, you're asking me to justify those actions, 


 1   is that correct, sir?  

 2   Q     And this might help clarify for you.  I'm questioning 

 3   your judgment as Commanding Officer in conducting two 

 4   evolutions that have increased risk inherent in them with 

 5   civilians on board, when the Navy has very clearly made it 

 6   very specific with regard to safety as your number one 

 7   priority.  All our Commanding Officers, all of us in command 

 8   know that.  In peace time, we're not at war, you're doing an 

 9   op..  So I'm questioning your judgment, why would you be 

10   taking that increased risk with civilians on board when safety 

11   is your number one -- explain your judgment to me.  

12   A     I understand your question, Admiral.   

13         Safety is my number one priority.  Whether I took the 

14   ship to eight hundred feet or to test depth, the evolution of 

15   rigging the ship for deep submergence was a precursor to that 

16   event.   

17         Raising the watertight condition of the ship to an 

18   elevated level and taking precautionary measures to safeguard 

19   not just the DVs, Admiral, but my crew.   

20         As I gave in earlier testimony to Admiral Nathman, I 

21   took my submarine to test depth as a demonstration to my crew.  

22   I agreed in hindsight with the fact of classified issues of 

23   concern being brought to light, that was wrong.  Admiral, that 

24   was wrong and I understand that.  And I can't give you an 

25   excuse, and I won't give you an excuse for that.  It shouldn't 


 1   have happened.   

 2         But, as far as conducting the emergency blow, that's a 

 3   very important procedure in light of the tragic implications 

 4   of the loss of the submarine Kursk.  I believe it's very clear 

 5   to the Court and to the audience sitting in this court, as 

 6   well as to the world that submarining is a dangerous business.  

 7   And in performing that emergency surfacing evolution, I used 

 8   it as a demonstration, not only for the distinguished 

 9   visitors, but for my crew to demonstrate how the submarine 

10   could recover and get to the surface.   

11         You asked how do I incorporate that?  I considered that 

12   evolution to be safe with a precautionary measures taken to 

13   support it.   

14         At the time on 9 February I considered my judgment and 

15   my decisions to be appropriate to provide for the safety of 

16   the ship, the crew, my distinguished visitors.  And you 

17   mentioned earlier, sir, that if a collision were to occur as a 

18   result of an emergency surfacing situation, that there would 

19   be an investigation and an inquiry into the cause.  And that's 

20   why we're here today, because of that tragic accident of which 

21   I deeply regret the loss of life and the pain and suffering 

22   that it's caused, to not just the Japanese families, but to my 

23   crew members and my former family the Greeneville.  


25   Q     Commander, I'm a little troubled with this Kursk 


 1   accident and the emergency deep.  

 2         The Kursk accident, to my understanding in the press is 

 3   a result of what looks like a torpedo malfunction in the tube 

 4   or high ordnance explosions that have been reported.  That 

 5   seems to be a training issue with handling ordnance and 

 6   torpedos.  How does that -- if you want to increase the safety 

 7   of your submarine based on the Kursk accident, wouldn't you be 

 8   spending more time in your ordnance handling procedures or 

 9   your torpedo room procedures?  Did you do that as a result of 

10   the Kursk accident?  

11   A     It was not my intent to detract the Court's interest 

12   from the focus of this event which is why I chose to perform 

13   the emergency blow.  I merely used the Kursk submarine tragedy 

14   not knowing the details.  You have greater access to 

15   information than I do, I only have access to what I gleaned 

16   from the press.   

17         If I may continue, the Kursk tragedy is as much a tragic 

18   accident what it was, regardless of the cause, can be used in 

19   this particular case as an example, I didn't discuss this with 

20   the DVs and I didn't discuss this with my crew and say the 

21   reason we're having this emergency blow procedure is to 

22   demonstrate I can recover, unlike the unfortunate crew of the 

23   Kursk, but I wanted to highlight the fact that the young men 

24   that I sake to sea, and the not so young men, are afforded the 

25   opportunity to get the ship back to the surface in an 


 1   emergency when need to.  And that was the reason why I used 

 2   that as a demonstration, sir.  

 3   Q     Well, it seems to me you were troubled by the fact that 

 4   it's dangerous, and that if you're -- as a professional 

 5   submariner if it's dangerous the reason why it's dangerous is 

 6   because of apparently issues with ordnance handling, 

 7   specifically torpedoes in the torpedo room.  Now, if you were 

 8   so troubled by that did you conduct additional training for 

 9   your crew on torpedo handling?  

10   A     Sir, we always conduct training.  

11   Q     Additional training?  

12   A     Sir, I can't tell you what additional training was 

13   performed.  

14   Q     Did you ever talk to your wardroom about this accident 

15   and say because of this I think we ought to go out and conduct 

16   additional training on our torpedo men?  

17   A     We did do additional training, officer training and I 

18   know that my weapons department is considered the best weapons 

19   department on the waterfront.  And yes, we did do training and 

20   we always do training.  

21   Q     I know.  But additional training as a result of the 

22   Kursk accident since you raised it as such an issue, had such 

23   an impact on you in terms of safety?  

24   A     Sir, I don't recall if we did additional training in 

25   response to the Kursk accident.  


 1   Q     Okay.   

 2   A     I can't tell you that, sir.  

 3   Q     Okay.   


 5   Q     Commander, last couple hours we've focused on some of 

 6   the responsibilities of Commanding Officers.  What I'd like to 

 7   do is focus you on the events of 9 February in the afternoon.

 8         I fully recognize that command is all about priorities, 

 9   and for me to -- to be able to understand thoroughly what 

10   happened on the afternoon of the 9th, I would like to go 

11   through the events from about lunch time on, and get from you 

12   through our cross-examination what your thoughts were, what 

13   direction you gave your crew and other subordinates, and what 

14   your orders were.   

15         When I look at the events and you know the procedures, 

16   standard procedures used on a submarine to do this event as 

17   well as I do, if not better.  I keep coming up against issues 

18   that were not done in accordance with guidance, events not 

19   done in accordance with your standing orders.  And I need to 

20   understand the best I can, now that you are openly testifying 

21   here how that all occurred.   

22         Using Exhibit 4 which is of course the reconstruction of 

23   the afternoon events of the 9th, I'd like to start at about 

24   the lunch time period.  And even before I get to there I'd 

25   like to talk about what situational awareness you had, what 


 1   was your thoughts on the way out to the dive point, to the 

 2   operational area.  What was the weather?  What was the 

 3   visibility that you observed from the bridge?   

 4   A     Sir, the submarine got underway at approximately 8:00 

 5   a.m..  I don't have the exact time.   

 6         It was overcast and I don't recall what the wind 

 7   direction was, but I remember in the harbor area it was pretty 

 8   calm.   

 9   Q     How about -- I'm talking more once you got to open 

10   waters, transiting, down south of Diamond Head, did you -- did 

11   you look through the periscope while on the surface?  

12   A     Sir, I was on the bridge.  

13   Q     The entire time?  

14   A     No, sir, not during the entire time, but I was on the 

15   bridge.  Could we have the exhibit, please, for the navigation 

16   chart that shows the Hawaiian Island chain, please?  I'm not 

17   sure if the Pearl Harbor channel entrance buoys are shown in 

18   adequate detail, but I'll attempt to explain.   

19         As the Greeneville God underway, I was on the bridge.  

20   Half of the distinguished visitors were moving top side after 

21   we cast off lines, and I told the Chief of the Watch, I may 

22   have mentioned it to the Chief of the Boat, I don't recall 

23   discussing this with the XO, but I would take the other half 

24   in groups of about four, put 'em in harnesses and get 'em up 

25   on the bridge for the outgoing transit.   


 1         As we left the Pearl Harbor channel entrance area, and 

 2   we were doing about a standard bell, as I recall I waited for 

 3   the outboard to get rigged and secured, look ahead and see the 

 4   waves and see what type of wave we might encounter once we 

 5   cleared buoys one and two.   

 6         In the channel we're protected, because the channel is 

 7   cut out from the reef area and so we don't have a lot of wash 

 8   over the forward part of the submarine.  

 9   Q     Commander --  

10   A     As we cleared channel.  

11   Q     -- can I ask you to get to the point?  

12   A     I will, sir.  

13   Q     I've operated for a number of years, I understand the 

14   channel Pearl Harbor.  

15   A     I don't know if Admiral Stone or Nathman or other 

16   members of the Court are familiar with that, that's why I'm 

17   going into that detail, Admiral, not knowing the benefit of 

18   their expertise, whether they're a ship driver or aviator.   

19         So as we cleared buoys one and two, I noted that the 

20   wash and the splash forward of the bridge had increased.  I 

21   called (indiscernible), but then I backed down off the bell 

22   because we took a little bit of spray over the top of the 

23   bridge and with the distinguished visitors there I didn't want 

24   'em to get wet.  They didn't have the luxury of a change of 

25   clothing.  


 1         Your question was what was the weather.  It was 

 2   overcast, gray, I could see the land mass clearly.  Why?  

 3   Because I was in close proximity.  I don't recall looking over 

 4   and seeing Moloka'i, I didn't look in that direction, but I 

 5   could see Diamond Head and visibility was good.   

 6         Seas were approximately three to four feet, and wind 

 7   speed my guess Admiral is about 10 to 15 knots.  I couldn't 

 8   tell you the direction.  

 9   Q     Well, the ship was on the surface and you obviously came 

10   down from the bridge at some point.  Did you have the occasion 

11   to look through the periscope?  

12   A     I don't remember, Admiral, if I looked through the 

13   periscope at that point or not.  It's customary that I do, but 

14   I can't tell you at that point whether I did or I didn't.   

15         I know that when I come down from the bridge as a 

16   Captain, I call it Captain down, Officer of the Deck up and 

17   look out by name, we rotated all the distinguished visitors 

18   through and I was concerned then about getting ready for the 

19   meal.  It's customary that I take the periscope, I'd take a 

20   look around, I'd take a look at the contact picture that my 

21   control room party has.  At that point we would still be using 

22   the full piloting party, so there are a large number of men in 

23   the control room.

24         Did I look out the scope?  I can't confirm that I did, 

25   but it would be unlikely for me not to, Admiral.  


 1   Q     Your navigator is Lieutenant Stone testified -- 

 2   A     Lt. Sloan.

 3   Q     Excuse me, Sloan, testified that what he looked through 

 4   the scope, either acting as navigator or contact coordinator, 

 5   I don't recall, but he certainly noticed the difference in 

 6   visibility to the north when it came to looking at a given 

 7   contact under (indiscernible) was any of that information 

 8   relayed to you?  

 9   A     No, sir, none of that information was relayed to me.   


11   Q     Did you get a sense when you were on the bridge of 

12   visibility conditions looking to the north?  

13   A     I did, Admiral, and I -- again, by the time that I left 

14   the bridge, which was about an hour and a half or so after the 

15   ship got underway, we were maybe a mile or two south of the 

16   Pearl Harbor channel entrance buoys, so I could see the land 

17   mass.  I could see land clearly, and I didn't see any evidence 

18   of obscured vision or rain squalls or things like that where 

19   I'd be concerned about a reduced visibility condition.  

20   Q     How would you characterize the sea state conditions?  

21   A     It was about a sea state two, sir.  As I mentioned, 

22   three to four foot seas, winds about 10 to 15 knots, to the 

23   best of my recollection.  It wasn't bad, but I just knew I 

24   couldn't ordered a full bell because I would have soaked the 

25   watchstanders on the bill.  


 1   Q     Did that go into your internal calculations in terms of 

 2   what kind of PD height you'd want to look for contacts?  

 3   A     I do, yes, sir.  When -- when I'm going to periscope 

 4   depth I do indeed.  


 6   Q     And the testimony as pointed out a number of times, the 

 7   AVSDU, your remote sonar display in the CONN was out of 

 8   commission, and was out of commission or went out of 

 9   commission shortly or roughly when you got underway.   

10         You knew the AVSDU was out of commission, correct?  

11   A     It was reported to me the AVSDU was out of commission, 

12   but I don't remember being told that that morning.  I do 

13   recall, though, when I got down from the bridge and I walked 

14   to the CONN I looked up and I was surprised that the screen 

15   was blank.   

16   Q     Did --


18   Q     Excuse me, I -- what I've heard in the last two weeks is 

19   how important the AVSDU is to the CONN.  It's the way you can 

20   see your sonar contacts directly on the CONN, so it's an 

21   important instrument.  Agree?  

22   A     Yes, sir.  It's an important backup for the Officer of 

23   the Deck so he can see what sonar is looking at.  

24   Q     But we've heard a number of witnesses, watchstanders in 

25   control, watchstanders in sonar refer to it as a way that the 


 1   CONN could get their situational awareness rapidly and backup 

 2   what they were hearing from either -- either from Fire Control 

 3   or from sonar, because it's an important instrument for 'em?  

 4   A     Yes, that is true.  

 5   Q     Specifically put in control for a reason?  

 6   A     Yes, that is true.  

 7   Q     So it contains very valuable information?  

 8   A     It contains valuable sonar information, yes, sir.  

 9   Q     Wouldn't you as Captain of Greeneville be expected to 

10   take a report from an XO, from an Officer of the Deck, from 

11   the weapons officer or from his representative about the 

12   status of that instrument or that display in control?  

13   A     Yes, I would.  

14   Q     And you didn't get it?  

15   A     Sir, I don't remember the report that morning.  

16   Q     Wait a minute, Captain.  That's an important tool, and 

17   you don't remember whether or not the AVSDU was out of 

18   commission or in commission when you got underway?  

19   A     Admiral, I'm telling you that I don't recall.   

20   Q     Well then, I have to assume you didn't get the report.  

21   Okay?  If you didn't get the report, why didn't your team back 

22   you up?   

23   A     I can't offer you an explanation for that, Admiral.  The 

24   navigator under testimony said that he came into my stateroom 

25   and reported the AVSDU out of commission, or not operable.  I 


 1   don't remember that report.  I just don't remember it, sir.  

 2   But I do remember as I said when I came down from the bridge 

 3   going into the control room and looking up and seeing that the 

 4   AVSDU was not functional, and asking what we were going to do 

 5   to repair it.  

 6   Q     Then you wouldn't recall any type of compensation that 

 7   the boat would put into place, or you would put into place for 

 8   loss of the AVSDU?  

 9   A     I did not give specific direction to my officers on the 

10   deck, Admiral.   

11         When I qualify my Officers of the Deck, I instill in 

12   them, as does my Executive Officer, the Senior Watch Officer 

13   and other qualified officers of the decks, and subordinates, 

14   standards with which we operate.  

15         My expectation from my Officer of the Deck, Lieutenant 

16   Coen, even if he had been qualified six months or three 

17   months, knowing that that equipment was out of commission 

18   would have been to increase the number of visits to sonar 

19   because he no longer had that remote display.   

20         He would have made more frequent trips to gain this 

21   assay, to gain the tactical picture and understand his 

22   situational awareness.  

23   Q     Mr. Coen wasn't the Officer of the Deck when you got 

24   underway?  

25   A     No, sir, the navigator relieved -- after he was relieved 


 1   as contact coordinate.  

 2   Q     So what are the standards if no one is reporting to the 

 3   Commanding Officer about a very important instrument like the 

 4   AVSDU display?  I'm confused.  We took lots of testimony from 

 5   individuals who have experience on submarines, Captain and 

 6   Admiral Konetzni that have said to this Court very clearly 

 7   that they would expect some compensation if the AVSDU would be 

 8   out of commission for a period of time, i.e. a temporary 

 9   standing order, a modification to be made.  It makes me wonder 

10   about the standards in Greeneville in total, not just the 

11   standards on 9 February, if you're not appraised of the issue, 

12   you're not aware of any compensation for the AVSDU, you get to 

13   the CONN and the first time you understand it's out of 

14   commission it apparently goes down to your threshold of what's 

15   important that the first time you're really aware of the AVSDU 

16   being out of commission is when you walk on the CONN after 

17   lunch time.  Is that right?  

18   A     Sir, you said a lot there and I need to know the 

19   question and parts that I need to take care of you, address 

20   the issue of standards, me not being appraised, not aware that 

21   the AVSDU was out of commission until I got back into 

22   periscope depth.  

23   Q     Compensation.   

24   A     Compensation.  

25   Q     Yes.   


 1   A     And could I get the last part of your question, sir?   

 2   Q     I think you've covered it.   

 3   A     Well, Admiral, I'm not refuting or stating that I was 

 4   not notified.  If I had been notified by the navigator that 

 5   the AVSDU was out of commission, a lot of things on the BSY-1 

 6   Fire Control system and sonar system break (phonetic), it 

 7   happens.  If that was the case, that specific piece of 

 8   equipment was not one that would have precluded me from taking 

 9   the submarine to sea that day.

10         There are other avenues that the crew can take to 

11   continue to operate.  I've had the AVSDU fail, I can't tell 

12   you how many times on my submarine or past submarines, and it 

13   was given in testimony I believe that this particular 

14   amplifier was something that was common to failure.   

15         The issue was, could it be repaired?  Could it be 

16   repaired while at sea, or was it something that we could wait 

17   and repair when we were back in port.  I chose to wait and 

18   repair it once the ship returned to port.   

19         Did I feel that adequate compensation was being 

20   provided?  Yes, sir.  I expect my Officers of the Deck to know 

21   that if the AVSDU is out of commission that they then default 

22   and make entries into sonar to establish that assay and that 

23   contact awareness.

24         I'm not here to say that the navigator didn't make that 

25   report, I'm here to say that if he reported the AVSDU out of 


 1   commission, which I don't remember that morning, that I 

 2   wouldn't have considered it to be an underway limiting item.  

 3   Q     That wasn't the question.  I don't think it's underway 

 4   limiting either from the testimony we took.  But it's clear 

 5   that there would be compensation for the loss of it.

 6         We've taken no testimony, we've taken no testimony that 

 7   there was a positive adequate compensation for the AVSDU.  

 8   A     You haven't taken testimony, and that's correct, not 

 9   verbal testimony, Admiral.  But yesterday in the statements 

10   provided by the Executive Officer, if I could have that, 

11   please, to review?  I might be able -- 

12   Q     I recall the statement that he went into sonar.  

13   A     Yes, sir.  

14   Q     On his own.   

15   A     On his own, yes, sir.  

16   Q     There was no compensation by the watch team, control for 

17   the loss of AVSDU?  

18   A     Sir, I can't tell you what the Officer of the Deck did 

19   or did not do.  I know that I entered the sonar room on two 

20   separate occasions after that lunch period to determine my as 

21   say and contact awareness.  But I can't tell you what Lt. Coen 

22   did or did not do, sir.  I wasn't there to observe his 

23   actions.  

24   Q     But you had two previous Officers of the Deck before Mr. 

25   Coen, you had the underway, the maneuvering, then you had the 


 1   OOD that as I recall he was the engineer, and he was relieved 

 2   by Mr. Coen.  And he didn't talk about any compensation.

 3         We have no evidence of compensation for -- positive, in 

 4   other words not necessarily a standing order, and I understand 

 5   that based on testimony, you're underway for six hours, you 

 6   wouldn't make modifications to your standing orders.  I don't 

 7   recall entering into the log in terms of here's the 

 8   compensation for it.  I don't recall conversations between the 

 9   Officers of the Deck or the control team about the loss of 

10   this specifically the Officer of the Deck mentioning it to you 

11   or the XO mentioning it to you in a way that it would be 

12   compensated for in a positive sort of way, i.e. this is what 

13   we'll do.  We will put -- we'll be more observant in sonar 

14   like you said.  

15         So, there was no reaction by your team again, Commander, 

16   in a positive way to make up for the loss of a significant 

17   display and information to the control team in Greeneville on 

18   the 9th of February.  And you don't seem to be able to explain 

19   that very well except to say that you walked through sonar a 

20   couple of times.   

21   A     Admiral, I can't tell you what my Officers of the Deck 

22   did or did not do.   

23         My efforts and focus were elsewhere that morning, after 

24   I left the control room when the submarine submerged.  I can't 

25   tell you how many times my Officers of the Deck went into 


 1   sonar.  I wish I could give you that information, but I can't.   

 2         But I can tell you that my standard that I established 

 3   within my underway qualified Officers of the Deck were such 

 4   that if a piece of equipment that they needed to execute their 

 5   duties failed, I know, I'm confident that they took adequate 

 6   compensation, compensation in this case would have been to 

 7   visit sonar more frequently.  

 8         (See Next Reporter's Transcript.)