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The Honolulu Advertiser
1 MARCH 20, 2001 --- SESSION 8 1:30 p.m. DAY 12
2 Q Does the Officer of the Deck typically give you a kind
3 of a contact summation that they're prepared -- does he give
4 you kind of "I'm prepared now to go to periscope depth, let me
5 give you my contact summation"?
6 A In standing order six it addresses the periscope
7 briefing where the Officer of the Deck talks to all of his
8 principals.
9 Not in the standing order, though, is the -- is the
10 litany -- there is guidance in my standing order that says
11 when you're ready to proceed to periscope depth the Officer of
12 the Deck will make the following report: Captain, I'm on this
13 course, this speed this depth, I hold the following contacts,
14 Sierra so on, bearing, range, CPA and such.
15 Because they've been in the control room, since the
16 period preceding the angles and dangles here at 1316 on
17 Exhibit 4, I thought I had SA. And, therefore, in my mind I
18 justified the Officer of the Deck not making that report. And
19 you know what, that was wrong, because if the Officer of the
20 Deck had made that report it would have been clear to me that
21 we didn't have a solution on Sierra 14, I would have
22 recognized the new Sierra 14 and done a TMA maneuver to
23 resolve that.
24 Q In your assessment is he didn't make the report because
25 of your guidance to the PD at --
1 A Yes, I would speculate that that contributed to that.
2 But, the fact is is that when the ship was steady on course
3 120, and Mr. Coen made the report to sonar, sonar CONN, steady
4 on 120, report all contacts, and sonar reports Sierra 14,
5 Sierra 13, my next response to him was, Mr. Coen, proceed to
6 periscope depth. Proceed to periscope depth, aye, sir, and
7 that's what happened.
9 Q Petty Officer Seacrest testified yesterday that you --
10 he overheard you say something to the effect I feel
11 comfortable with the contact situation. Is that what you
12 said, or --
13 A I don't remember saying that, Admiral, but I did feel
14 that I was comfortable with the contact situation and
15 understood where the contacts were.
16 Q But you see where we're -- you gave up your backup by
17 not forcing to make sure your team had the same opinion you
18 had?
19 A Admiral, I did.
21 Q Before your testimony over these past 11 days we've
22 heard comments regarding the role of the Officer of the Deck,
23 and I have to admit that prior to your testimony I was saying
24 to myself, well, the OOD basically didn't play much of a role
25 here as far as backup, sort of viewed in a parity role and
1 really called into mind the question whether he's much more of
2 a potted plant in the control room.
3 Now you've come in and testified today in answer to the
4 question of did you ask the Officer of the Deck about
5 situational awareness after lunch, you told us no discussions
6 with him on that. And now this afternoon when we said before
7 you've commenced the maneuvering drift did you have a dialogue
8 with the CONN'ing officer, Officer of the Deck, no, I had no
9 dialogue with the Officer of the Deck regarding upcoming
10 maneuvers. And then asked about the periscope brief, no, I've
11 had no briefing from him.
12 You've done nothing but confirm this whole issue of the
13 OOD is being used for much here other than he's just reacting
14 to what you're telling him to do, and you're losing all the
15 backup of what we've designed for the OOD to be for safety of
16 our ships.
17 So, I'm a little bit confused here about what role you
18 see your OOD playing if you're not asking him questions that
19 are incumbent with having the deck and the CONN, and why would
20 you be surprised if we didn't think although maybe he has the
21 deck and the CONN that you're driving the whole show here?
22 A Admiral, there's a few times in my command that I have
23 been directive to my OODs. One of those times happens to be
24 during angles and dangles, where the ship is changing depth,
25 and large rudder turns.
1 At all other times I expect and I trust the Officer of
2 the Deck to carry out my night orders, whatever standing
3 orders that I have in place, and to follow the navigator's
4 plan. In addition to the Executive Officer's plan of the day.
5 On this day, for this period of time from shortly before
6 1316 until the collision occurred at 1343, I was directive
7 with the Officer of the Deck, making it clear to him what I
8 wanted him to do as far as maneuvering the ship, changing its
9 course speed and depth.
11 Q You created an impression in your NAV's mind, NAV
12 officer's mind about how directive you were with Officers of
13 the Deck. He was concerned enough to make it part of one of
14 his statements, that he felt that you had become directive
15 enough to the point that we were lose -- the ship was losing
16 training opportunities, i.e. the Officers of the Deck should
17 be allowed to do things more on their own, therefore make
18 their own mistakes, and that because you've been directive or
19 because your style had become directive in that nature, to me
20 it wasn't just this event, that it was -- enough that your
21 Navigation Officer who watches all the Officers of the Deck
22 thought that your style had become at that time to actually
23 be degrading their capability to be more complete as a
24 watchstander as Officer of the Deck. Do you disagree with
25 that?
1 A I disagree that that was the way that I handled my
2 Officer of the Deck, Officers of the Deck through my tenure in
3 command. The reason the navigator brought that to light was
4 because of the previous week's event when we did a sound
5 monitoring exercise with another submarine.
6 I dismissed his recommendation at the time because I was
7 more concerned about the ship's positioning, making sure that
8 our recordings were of the best possible quality, because it
9 was important that we collect this data to help our sister
10 submarine.
11 That being said, I was very directive with the Officers
12 of the Deck for about the first -- or the Officer of the Deck
13 that day, which I think may have been Mr. Coen, I don't
14 remember. It may have been Mr. Duquet (phonetic), one of my
15 junior officers, but I was directive for about the first half
16 an hour. And I took the navigator's advice and I said okay,
17 all right, and walked in my stateroom, sat down, made sure the
18 open mike was turned off and I watched from my flat panel
19 display. And you know what, the guys did fine and they
20 carried out the rest of that evolution without any direction
21 from me.
22 Q You gave an example of -- to this Officer of the Deck
23 that you gave him a goal to be at PD in five minutes.
24 Did you -- in your description you said you had very
25 little collaboration exchange with the Officer of the Deck and
1 when you started doing angles and dangles did you give him a
2 pre brief of things that you wanted him to accomplish?
3 In other words, in -- from a training evolution, if you
4 -- angles and dangles are difficult, it's difficult for your
5 Helmsman, lee Helmsman, throttleman, there's a lot to be
6 coordinated there, did you think in terms of developing them
7 your Officer of the Deck, that I should give him a brief or a
8 goal of what I want him to do for angles and dangles so he
9 could perform those for you, and he would have a better
10 situational awareness because he knows where you're going to
11 go, otherwise he -- I think like Admiral Stone, becomes kind
12 of your parrot where he's waiting for you to tell him the next
13 angle, depression, the next turn, the next ordered course, the
14 next rudder angle. And this takes us to kind of -- this sense
15 now that you're taking charge, you're -- you're in control,
16 although he's the Officer of the Deck the whole practical
17 purposes, you have the CONN without saying you have the CONN
18 and you certainly have taken the deck because you've taken
19 responsibility for all situational awareness and control at
20 that time.
21 And so, do you disagree with that kind of summation?
22 A Admiral, again, I didn't formally take the CONN. I
23 didn't formally take the deck. I gave Mr. Coen clear
24 direction, knowing that we were going to do angles and dangles
25 with the ship starting out at a deeper depth, 650 feet or
1 whatever it was, I made it clear to him that I wanted him to
2 come shallow with a 20 degree up and go deep with a 20 degree
3 down, followed by a 30 degree up and a 30 degree down. I
4 didn't spell that out for him, but that had been common
5 practice when the ship had performed angles and dangles.
6 We didn't immediately jump into a 30 degree up and a 30
7 degree down, we worked our way into it, very much in the
8 manner that I asked the ship control party when we did the
9 large rudder turns; fellas, how long has it been since you've
10 done this? Been a while. Okay. We'll start into this easy,
11 starting into it easy without right full rudder, left full
12 rudder; it was left 20, right 20, then left 30, right 30 and
13 so on.
14 So, in that case I could have communicated better with
15 the Officer of the Deck. I obviously didn't communicate my
16 desires up front. I should have done that.
18 Q This baffle clear on Exhibit 4, 340 to 120, the
19 testimony I've heard and reports I've read, I see a baffle
20 clear that was short, the ship hadn't steadied really much
21 more than a few seconds, 20, 30 seconds, something like that
22 on the first leg. You maneuver, you acquire 120 degrees to
23 uncover your previously baffled area, we pick up a new contact
24 somewhere through there, we steady on the second leg and
25 proceed to periscope depth shortly thereafter.
1 On the course of 120, that -- with projection you --
2 through the testimony it's a collision course on one of your
3 contacts, six and a half minutes. Does that sound like a
4 well-executed efficient baffle clear?
5 A Admiral, the baffle clear accomplished its objective.
6 It determined that no contacts were behind the submarine.
7 Referring to Exhibit 4 with the ship on course 340 and
8 maneuvered to the right, we confirmed that there was no one to
9 the south and the logs reflect that fact. That's the purpose
10 of the baffle clear maneuver.
11 In addition, the performing target motion analysis on
12 contacts held. If I had known that I had a contact that was
13 close and was a possible collision threat, I wouldn't have
14 continued with those evolutions.
15 Q But Captain, that's the dilemma I have. I was taught a
16 long time ago, I think you were too, to listen to your ship as
17 a Captain, it will give you the right answer.
18 Looking at the displays that your sonar men had, which
19 you put your FTOW what he had to work with, and what your
20 Officer of the Deck had to work with, on that given day there
21 was never integration time, there was never time for the
22 ship's sensors to work in concert with the ship's computers
23 and your watchstanders (indiscernible) or as we talked about
24 doing it by hand, to allow the picture to ever come to the
25 point where you could safely -- or call this a safe ascent to
1 periscope depth. I'm having a hard time with that.
2 A Admiral, it was a safe ascent to periscope depth.
3 Q On a collision course?
4 A I didn't collide with anything at periscope depth,
5 Admiral.
6 Q You were on a collision course. If you project your
7 track at 120 with a hanging a rouse track of 166, if neither
8 ship did anything at six and a half minutes you would have
9 collided at periscope depth.
10 A Admiral, at the time I didn't have the benefit of this
11 information.
12 Listen to my ship? I listen to my men.
13 What the FTOW had to work with I think it's been clear
14 that he had the solution. What I saw on his display led me to
15 believe that the contacts were far, distant, on Exhibit 4
16 close to the Oahu coast. That's what I believed it to be.
17 Didn't allow the equipment to integrate, catch up, work
18 in concert with the ship's computers? I disagree. We had
19 information, we didn't have the benefit of slogger data, or
20 the one Exhibit where we've shown the time bearing display
21 that isn't representative of what the Fire Controlman and
22 sonar operators look at.
23 But I agree, if I had stayed on that leg, the 340 leg
24 longer, I would have seen that high bearing rate and would
25 have known that a collision threat, or a threat to own ship
1 existed, but I didn't.
2 Q All right, Commander. Let's move here on the ascent to
3 periscope depth.
4 The testimony that we've received pretty much the
5 Officer of the Deck when you directed him conducted a normal
6 check out of the periscope proceeded from 150 feet to 60 feet.
7 Deck Officer really didn't have a chance to trim, but that's
8 your decision, it's not that important in reality.
9 Q We get to periscope depth, your Officer of the Deck does
10 his initial three searches in low power, looking for close
11 contacts or collision threats, correct?
12 A Correct, sir.
13 Q At that point you assume -- take the scope from him?
14 A I took the scope when Mr. Coen commenced his air search.
15 Q Could you in your own words describe to me what you did
16 with that periscope and what your objectives were, and what --
17 what's your ultimate goals that you're trying to do with your
18 search?
19 A My ultimate goal, Admiral, was to ensure that the
20 surface picture was clear, safe of any obstruction that could
21 have been a threat to own ship, in preparation for the
22 emergency blow that the ship was going to perform.
23 When Mr. Coen completed his first three initial sweeps,
24 I watched on the AVSDU, that was both on -- I'm referring to
25 Exhibit 6, on the starboard side of control as well as the one
1 on the port side of the (indiscernible) Chief of the Watch.
2 Q You mean the PERIVIS?
3 A Excuse me, yes, PERIVIS, thank you.
4 I asked the distinguished visitors, those that were here
5 on the starboard side, please move so I can have an
6 unobstructed view of this, and they -- they accommodated my
7 request.
8 Prior to going to periscope depth I also briefed the
9 control room party, as well as our guests on the importance of
10 maintaining quiet. I said control is church, we say nothing
11 during this period where we're going from 150 feet to PD. It
12 needs to be quiet so the Officer of the Deck can hear the
13 watchstanders in the event there's an issue.
14 Now I'm at PD, the three sweeps that Mr. Coen made in
15 low power revealed no close contacts.
16 Shortly thereafter I heard from the electronics
17 surveillance (phonetic) measure officer, Petty Officer Carter
18 that he had no threat contacts.
19 I felt a sense of relief that there was nothing close
20 by, there was nothing that was a threat to my ship. We safely
21 reached PD.
22 Sonar reported they also had no threat contacts. When I
23 saw Mr. Coen transition from the surface look, elevating the
24 periscope now for the air search, I took the scope from him.
25 Did a low power 360 degree sweep, it was slower than the quick
1 look that the OODs do for a close contact. I can't tell you
2 the time, but knowing what I do, it was slow enough to pan and
3 see the horizon. I recognized that the ship needed to be
4 raised, when I stopped looking astern, I baffed (phonetic) my
5 starboard beam and asked Mr. Coen bring the ship up a couple
6 feet.
8 Q Captain?
9 A Sir.
10 Q I want to make sure I understand this. There's been
11 testimony about Mr. Coen's search. I think the words are a
12 proper search, or proper search standard for the Officer of
13 the Deck, or is it a -- in your standing order about what the
14 Officer of the Deck should do, it's a three 360s, it's the air
15 look, 'cause it wasn't tactical, not necessarily, and there's
16 another 360 degree sweep, as I recall.
17 A Yes, sir. Following the Officer of the Deck's initial
18 three sweeps to determine no close contacts, he then does an
19 air search, maximum elevation panning down until he reaches
20 the horizon, calls out no airborne contacts. And then the
21 next thing he does is he goes into a 360 degree low power
22 search, takes about 45 seconds and then begins there a 90
23 degree high power sector search on the point where he
24 terminates the 360 low power.
25 Q Okay.
1 A It was at the time he commenced his air search that I
2 intervened, took the periscope so that I could confirm there
3 were no close aboard contacts, and then I wanted to look down
4 the lines of bearing to -- in the direction where I knew
5 contacts to be, to perform my high power search and verify
6 they didn't hold those two sonar contacts visually.
7 Q Can you explain the sense of urgency that made you take
8 the periscope from the Officer of the Deck before he completed
9 his proper search, which I assume a proper search in your
10 standing order it's an order, it's a standard, why -- why the
11 rush to take it from the OOD?
12 A If the ship is going to remain at periscope depth,
13 Admiral, to carry out evolutions such as ventilating,
14 transmitting a message, shooting trash, then that periscope
15 search technique, the 2360 low powered search followed by the
16 high powered search is there for safety of ship. We had
17 established based on Mr. Coen's observation that there were no
18 close contacts supported by ESM and sonar, so I was interested
19 in doing my own independent low power search to verify there
20 were no close contacts. And then followed it up with a high
21 power search to look down the line of bearings to make sure
22 that I didn't hold those sonar contacts visually.
23 Q So the proper searches for safety of ship?
24 A While the ship remains at periscope depth, yes, sir.
25 Q So, why interrupt it? Why not let him have the
1 opportunity to do his proper search, as are your orders?
2 I don't think your standing orders had all those
3 exceptions you just went through, they just say conduct a
4 proper search and this is what you're supposed to do. It
5 doesn't say if you're going to dump trash or this and this
6 then you're obliged to this search. It says when you go to
7 periscope depth you're supposed to conduct this proper
8 periscope search with no exceptions. So why interrupt the
9 Officer of the Deck? What's the urgency to interrupt his
10 search?
11 A There was no urgency. I wanted to confirm that what the
12 Officer of the Deck saw, or didn't see, was in fact truth. So
13 I took the scope from him to do the low power search and
14 followed up with a high powered search.
15 Q Did you see a lot of wave slap on the periscope head?
16 A I don't recall a wave slap, but I do recall in my low
17 powered search that the highth of the scope was not adequate
18 to afford me the opportunity to look over the tops of the
19 waves, that's why when I ended up looking just adaft the
20 starboard beam and if you can picture this, I'm looking aft,
21 periscope is trained over in this direction, I told Mr. Coen
22 bring the ship up a couple of feet. And then I started my
23 sweep to the right, went to high power to look, make sure
24 there was nothing.
25 I could see the land mass of Oahu, I couldn't see the
1 land in the mid part, I could see the black points of the
2 mountains. I saw an aircraft take off, I think it was a 747,
3 maybe a DC10. So I made visibility to the horizon at least
4 13, 14 miles appeared to be good, but I knew that the highth
5 of eye wasn't high enough so I told Mr. Coen, bring the ship
6 up a couple of feet. Heard him order a depth of 58 feet.
7 Went back to low power and continued to pan right to 340.
8 During that period while I was panning I turned off the
9 PERIVIS to see if that would make a difference on what I was
10 seeing. It didn't.
11 Looked at the ship's data display for the bearing at
12 340, went to high power, it was during that time I felt the
13 ship surge up, and as it surged up I thought to myself that's
14 a good look, this is good, I'm you mean over the wave tops and
15 I looked down the line of bearing at 340, saw nothing, I was
16 in time six power, flipped over to 020, went to 12, hit the
17 dubbler, saw nothing there, flipped back to low power and
18 continued my pan to the right.
19 I entered ultimately with the scope facing forward then
20 called the emergency deep?
21 Q Since you had Greeneville as Captain, how often have you
22 not been in control when you go to periscope depth?
23 A I can't count the times. There are times when -- it's
24 better for me to quantify it in this manner: If we had three
25 or more contacts, or if my Officer of the Deck needed me there
1 to take his report, if I was in my stateroom, in the wardroom,
2 whatever, I'd come to control so that he could give me the
3 brief and I could see what was going on.
4 If it was one or two contacts, that report would come
5 over the JX and then because of the flat screen panels we had
6 throughout the ship I could select it to PERIVIS and monitor
7 his progress in taking the ship to periscope depth if I wanted
8 to.
9 Was I always on the CONN? I was on the CONN with some
10 of my more junior officers.
11 Q I don't mean in the CONN, I mean in control.
12 A I call the CONN control, Admiral. I was in control --
13 yes, I was in control during periods where I had say a newly
14 qualified Officer of the Deck taking the ship to periscope
15 depth by his -- by himself for the first time. I would do
16 that intentionally so that I could observe him, maybe not let
17 me presence be known. I could stand back off to the side,
18 give him the permission to go to periscope depth and just
19 watch and observe how he did business.
20 There were other times where, you know, newly qualified
21 officer, we put 'em on the morning watch or the afternoon
22 watch so that the XO was up or I was up, we were there to
23 provide him backup or listen to what he was doing.
24 Q So if it's a new officer you'd tend to want to be there
25 to observe his techniques?
1 A In the early days following his initial qualification,
2 yes, sir. But it was also important for me as a Captain to
3 maintain some kind of balance there. If there were a lot of
4 contacts, regardless of the OOD's experience, it was easier
5 for me to come in the control and take that report, whether he
6 be the engineer, most experienced guy or junior.
7 Q I want to go back to the thing about taking the scope.
8 I'm not quite sure how often you're in control or in the CONN
9 on a percentage basis when you went to PD. We know Mr. Coen's
10 a relatively new Officer of the Deck or has a reputation of
11 being a relatively new Officer of the Deck and that he doesn't
12 have a whole lot of time on the CONN. And you say you would
13 frequently go there to observe their techniques, or to watch
14 their standards, but you interrupt his periscope search so you
15 have no chance to watch his technique. You have no chance to
16 get another set of eyes on the problem, and you again conflict
17 I think this Officer of the Deck with what he's supposed to be
18 doing when two-thirds of the way through or half way through
19 his periscope search you take the periscope so you can't do
20 what I say you typically do.
21 So, was it your habit to frequently take the periscope
22 from the Officer of the Deck when you're in the CONN?
23 A No, sir, it was not my habit. There were times, though,
24 if we were involved in a joint tactical fleet exercise and the
25 submarine was coming to periscope depth, in proximity to
1 warships, that after that initial search was done, air search
2 was done, I would take the periscope to look and confirm that
3 we didn't have a close contact or collision threats.
4 In this case, because I was in control, had observed
5 this entire transition up to periscope depth, I heard Mr. Coen
6 say he had no close contacts, I wanted to confirm that. He
7 had been qualified now for more than six months as an OOD and
8 there's a period of time where he stands watch as OOD surface
9 and OOD submerged where he doesn't have his dolphins, but I
10 still have the opportunity to observe him.
11 Mr. Coen was thoughtful, methodical, and thorough. When
12 he reported no close contacts, I took the scope to confirm
13 that.
14 Q All right.
16 All right, Commander.
17 Q I listen to what you're saying and I've -- I take it on
18 board and I didn't look through the periscope so I don't what
19 -- how it was relative to wave height. It always has to be
20 anchored to whatever the institute conditions are. But the
21 things I do know are you were at periscope depth, your ship
22 for 80 seconds or so, there was no tactical situation, scope
23 exposure is (inaudible), your search was only one sector,
24 other than the 360 degree look in high power that you actually
25 did a cued search, which is probably not the right way to say
1 that in the sense that your FTOW was standing by to cue you
2 as we heard yesterday, but never got direction to be cued.
3 In the area that your ship was operating you have no --
4 we never assume we know all the contacts, but even more
5 importantly when you're in sight of land where you could have
6 a sailboat, a fisherman dead in the water, where acoustic
7 cuing would be of no value, 'cause there wouldn't be --
8 wouldn't exist.
9 Can you explain to me how you felt when you called
10 emergency deep that you had an adequate understanding of the
11 visual picture at periscope depth, because as Admiral
12 Griffiths testified, this was clearly your last good chance to
13 have avoided this collision.
14 A Sir, I understand it was not a tactical situation, I
15 agree it was not.
16 I conducted my high power sector search in the direction
17 where known sonar contacts were to exist.
18 The FTOW, if he felt the need to cue me or to train the
19 periscope -- assist me, that is, to train the periscope on the
20 line of bearings could have done so. However, I was able to
21 pull back away from the scope, look over to the ship's data
22 display and train the periscope and get it on the line of
23 bearing 340 and also to 020.
24 I am confident, had the periscope not been pointing in
25 the direction where those contacts were, and the FTOW
1 recognized that, he would have said something, but he didn't.
2 The one single sector that I looked, the 90 degree
3 sector was approximately from, I'd say about 300 all the way
4 over to the right beyond 020, greater than 90 degrees, but I
5 stated that I did a high power sweep from abaft to starboard
6 beam to abaft to port beam, that followed my 360 degree
7 search. So I want to ensure the Court understands that I
8 looked in the two quadrants that were abaft the port and
9 starboard beam in the direction towards land, in the direction
10 towards two known sonar contacts and saw nothing.
11 When I asked the Officer of the Deck to bring the ship
12 shallower, up higher by a couple of feet, I got a good look.
13 I could see over the tops of the rolling swells. In my mind I
14 was confident when I looked down the line of bearing at 020
15 and 340 that there was nothing there. I focused, I put my eye
16 looking at the waves from up above down, focusing outward. As
17 I extended my field of view outward I was looking for some
18 kind of indication the presence of a contact. I don't know
19 why I didn't see the Ehime-Maru. I know that I didn't.
21 Q Captain, go back to the FTOW. You said he didn't get
22 you what you're supposed to get?
23 A No, sir, I said that there was no cuing from the Fire
24 Control Technician of the Watch because he saw that I was
25 looking down the line of bearings where the two sonar contacts
1 were held.
2 Q Well, my understanding was from testimony that this was
3 a fairly precise thing, you had to look right down the contact
4 line. You had to look right down that particular bearing of
5 contact?
6 A If I was on 24 magnification, Admiral, that's true
7 because the field of view would then be two degrees wide, but
8 I wasn't. I was in one and a half times which gives me 32
9 degrees field of view, increase that to times six which
10 reduced that to eight and then at one point hit the dubbler
11 and went to 12 which reduced that to four degrees. I changed
12 that magnification zooming in down on that line of bearing.
13 Q My question goes to, though, isn't there some sort of
14 collaborative effort and the FTOW and the officer on periscope
15 about the search, -- in other words, if you didn't get what
16 you thought you should get from the FTOW, did you say hey
17 FTOW, give me something?
18 A I didn't, sir, and you know, that -- that certainly
19 could have helped, Fire Control, put me on line of bearing to
20 Sierra 12. I didn't do that.
21 Q (indiscernible).
22 A No, sir, I didn't do it. He could have said, hey,
23 Captain, Sierra 12 or Sierra 13 or whatever is 2.5 degrees to
24 your right, you need to train right two and a half degrees.
25 Sir you just passed it, come back to the left.
1 Q There was two reports at periscope depth that stick out,
2 one was no close contacts by the Officer of the Deck, and your
3 -- your report I believe was no visual contacts?
4 A My report was, yes, sir. But when I finished my high
5 power search I called out so that everyone in the control room
6 could hear, I have no visual contacts or hold no visual
7 contacts in high power.
8 Q Okay.
9 Let's go back to this thing about I'm -- I believe the
10 quote was from the FTOW is that I have a good feel for the
11 contact picture, which he quotes you just prior to leaving --
12 just after leaving I believe periscope depth, like 105 feet or
13 something like that.
14 A Just prior to proceeding to periscope depth.
15 Q Okay.
16 A Is when -- I don't recall the exact words under -- under
17 Petty Officer Seacrest oath or testimony, but it sounds like
18 something I would have said.
19 Q It's his testimony. So that's a report from the Captain
20 that -- they're getting from the Captain?
21 A Sure.
22 Q Let me have a no close contacts report and then a no
23 visual contacts report from the Captain. What do you think
24 this does to the team in terms of -- do people all reset, does
25 the sonar watch reset? Does the FTOW kind of reset like he
1 said he outspouted the range based on that, kind of validated
2 the fact that his -- what I thought was low confidence in the
3 four thousand yard report was obviously in error and everybody
4 kind of reset? Does -- do those reports in your view do that
5 to your team?
6 A Sir, when I hear the Officer of the Deck make the report
7 I hold no close contacts, it allows me to gain an extra
8 element of comfort that we're okay. When ESM says I hold no
9 threat contacts, I also get that feeling reenforced. And when
10 sonar says we also hold no threat contacts, it further helps
11 convince me that we are okay on the -- at that interface.
12 My report, I didn't call out no close contacts. What I
13 said, Admiral, is that I hold no visual contacts in high
14 power. That also was to reenforce what had already been
15 stated by the Officer of the Deck, ESM watch and sonar. Does
16 it reset? I can't tell you that it resets, but Admiral, it
17 gives you a comfortable feeling that there are no threats.
18 Q Well, in this comfortable feeling then, when you get no
19 close contacts for you, why didn't that -- why wasn't that
20 reflected in giving the Officer of the Deck then his
21 opportunity to do it? Why wasn't it reflected in your own
22 guidance, in your own standing orders about the time at PD?
23 What -- you know, it goes back to what have the rush?
24 What was the sense of urgency you had? Was it Papa hotel at
25 1415? Why not take another minute or two minutes at periscope
1 depth like you're -- you know, what's the message to your
2 whole team? You have these standing orders, and we've kind of
3 gone through four or five of them, four of them at least, I
4 think, all of which you kind of---flippantly is not a fair
5 characterization, but you -- you blow by them, you don't give
6 the team the opportunity to do what they're bound to do by
7 your own standing orders.
8 What kind of standards does that set then for your team
9 about the way the Commanding Officer sees his own standing
10 orders and the way they should be used, particularly when it's
11 a nontactical situation?
12 When -- when really those orders would make more sense
13 to be -- to be run over or to be -- to move forward if it was
14 a tactical one where we were using your knowledge and your
15 value and your experience, particularly to get to periscope
16 depth in a tactical situation? It seems like it's really
17 confusing for your team. Do you disagree with that?
18 A Is your question, Admiral, because you said a lot here --
19 Q I did.
20 A -- are those indicators that would have confused my
21 team? I'm trying to understand the question.
22 Q I'm trying to understand the message you think you're
23 sending to your team, in a non tactical underway.
24 A Admiral, on that day I --
25 Q Without violating your own standing orders, whether it
1 was for -- preparing to go to periscope depth, the brief, the
2 time at periscope, the time on TMA leg. What does that send
3 to the team about what your standards really are? Does it
4 send a message, Captain, or do you think it -- it's just
5 because you've got -- you know where you are and you know what
6 you want to do and you're not in a hurry but you're getting
7 somewhere fast, so -- what's the message to the team?
8 A It didn't send the right message to the team, Admiral.
9 And looking back on it, if that first TMA leg had been longer
10 there is an opportunity we would have detected that six degree
11 permanent bearing rate and not had that collision.
12 If the periscope depth brief had been performed, it
13 would have been clear, I think, that Mr. Coen and I, I'm not
14 going to speak for Mr. Coen, but certainly for me that I
15 didn't know about Sierra 14.
16 If I had received the report from Mr. Coen, hey Captain,
17 I hold two contacts, Sierra 12, Sierra 13, that would have
18 absolutely confirmed the fact that he didn't know about Sierra
19 14.
20 It's possible if we had remained longer at periscope
21 depth in performing a continuous periscope search, that we
22 could have picked up Ehime-Maru, but I can't -- I can't state
23 that we would have seen it.
24 The fact is, I was confident that I thought I knew what
25 the contact picture was. When the submarine got to periscope
1 depth and Mr. Coen didn't see anything, I didn't see anything,
2 my subordinate watchstanders told me that they had no
3 indications of a threat, I truly believed, Admiral, that we
4 didn't have a threat.
5 Are those four instances where we didn't perform steps
6 that are sequenced by my standing orders?
7 An indication of a lack of formality? No, sir. As the
8 Commanding Officer I have the right to choose when it is
9 appropriate and when it is necessary to carry out those items.
10 A The NWP provides guidance. On that day I thought that I
11 executed the plan properly.
12 Admiral Konetzni said if you do that you better be
13 right. I'll say it again, I was wrong. Regrettably one of
14 those four things could have precluded this from happening.
15 Q I just want to put in context with your mission, 'cause
16 your mission was a DV embark, which seems to me to imply that,
17 you know, -- see, this is -- again it's the conflict here.
18 You imply over and over again that you weren't in a rush, but
19 everything you do indicates you were in a hurry; PD five
20 minutes no brief, periscope depth, no second TMA leg, no TMA
21 leg for Sierra 14, and so if you don't explain your urgency
22 it's -- I mean, we're going to have to draw our own
23 conclusions about what you're doing.
24 Sounds to me like you're trying to get back to Papa
25 hotel and deliver DVs off at the right time so they're not
1 late for anything. That's what it sounds like.
2 We've all been on our individual bridges, we all know
3 how Captains build their own internal clock. We know how you
4 put an in a pluck together where you have to go on SOA, we
5 know how that works. And it seems to me like there's -- that
6 you came to the CONN with a sense of urgency already, and you
7 haven't explained it yet. And everything you do seems to
8 indicate that you don't want to take time to do the smallest
9 detail that would help you avoid a problem, in a situation
10 that's clearly non tactical.
11 Can you clear that up for us?
12 A Sir, again, I can only tell you that I wasn't rushed. I
13 didn't have a sense of urgency to get back to Papa hotel.
14 It was physically not possible from where the submarine
15 was positioned here on Exhibit 4 to get to Papa hotel, time
16 distance, it couldn't happen. I knew that. Knowing that, it
17 was my desire to get the submarine back on the surface, so
18 once we transitioned from a submerged mode to a surface mode I
19 could get my Officer of the Deck up on the bridge to
20 communicate with Pearl Harbor control the fact that we
21 wouldn't arrive. I wanted to make sure that the ship was back
22 on the surface by 1415, which was the absolute latest in that
23 plus or minus period where I could communicate.
24 Also, I know that, from experience, when I try to talk
25 to Papa hotel, if I am sometimes outside eight or nine
1 nautical miles, I have difficulty communicating on the VHF
2 radio, the hand held bridge to bridge, or using the one that's
3 in the control room here on Exhibit 6 just after the number
4 two scope here for the navigation plotting table.
5 My only desire was to get the submarine back to the
6 surface with an Officer of the Deck on the bridge manning so I
7 could tell Papa hotel -- excuse me, Pearl Harbor control I
8 wasn't coming in on time. And I needed another half an hour
9 or 45 minutes before the ship could moore.
10 (See Next Reporter's Transcript.)