Monday, December 18, 2006

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle

I was wrong. In my cynical mind, I thought the whole let's-talk-to-the-public-about-our-live-firing on the Great Lakes was nothing more than show. I thought the answer had been predetermined.

Boy, do I have a great deal to learn; this is, indeed, a new Coast Guard.

From the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press, posted this afternoon:
The U.S. Coast Guard, responding to safety and environmental concerns, said Monday it was withdrawing plans to periodically close 2,500 square miles of the Great Lakes for live machine-gun firing exercises.

The plan had been criticized by several U.S. and Canadian mayors, business leaders and environmentalists who said it could be unsafe and disruptive. Environmentalists also said they worried about the consequences of lead ammunition being deposited in the Great Lakes.

"The Coast Guard appreciates the thoughtful comments we received and we will work with the public to ensure the Coast Guard can meet any threat to public safety or security," said Rear Adm. John E. Crowley Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

"We are committed to addressing the concerns that training be safe, preserve the diverse uses of the Lakes, and protect the environment," Crowley said.
But the real kicker is several lines lower in the article:
Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., said Monday he learned about the decision from Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard's commandant, who "was dissatisfied with the process by which the Coast Guard undertook this activity."
So we're all on the same piece of paper, let's review some recent actions.

1. Admiral Allen decided to shut down the entire 123-fleet, killing a huge Deepwater project and bringing to light a Deepwater failure.

2. Admiral Allen canned the Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy presumably around issues of demonstrated leadership and continued poor behavior by cadets.

3. Admiral Allen reverses a decision to conduct live-firing on the Great Lakes after becoming dissatisfied with the process by which the Coast Guard arrived at the original decision.

My guess about number 3, he wasn't fully briefed when the decision was actually made.

Another guess, if the Admiral doesn't start getting good military counsel from those around him, if he doesn't start getting the full truth, he's going can the yes-men and yes-women around him and find some folks who are willing to deliver.

This is a new Coast Guard. Time for this old salt to see how far along Admiral Allen wants to take us... and to help in anyway I can.

London Steverson
called Admiral Allen the Correct-Answer Man. I think he's got that right.

In the mean time, what other foolish prognostications have I made?


  1. Admiral Allen is the best thing to happen to Coast Guard in a very long time. He's not worried about doing the politically correct thing, just the correct thing.

  2. Ain't that the truth. And, it seems he is absolutely consistent in that: he always does the RIGHT thing, no matter the consequences.

    We could all learn a thing or two.