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U.S. Navy ship crews working 10-20 hours some days

City Council president Sean Elo-Rivera eyes Dem central committee

An audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office found deficiencies aboard 16 San Diego Navy ships.
An audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office found deficiencies aboard 16 San Diego Navy ships.

Suicide by Navy

Crew shortages, limited training, and exhaustion at the nation’s Naval bases — including San Diego’s — are responsible for both a service-wide maintenance meltdown and a mental health crisis, and at least one suicide has resulted, says a February 8 audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office regarding deficiencies found aboard 16 ships sampled in the fleet. “According to 10 of the 16 ships’ crews, crew shortages and additional demands to perform maintenance lead to mental health and morale issues that may result in sailors taking leave for medical reasons such as to receive mental health evaluations, which further increases crew shortages.”

Adds the document, “several of the ships’ crews said that personnel slots might remain unfilled for months while affected individuals receive mental health evaluations or until replacement personnel can be assigned. Members of one ship’s crew stated that they lost one person to suicide, and a dozen other personnel experienced mental health issues over a period of 7 months.” Notes the report, “Submarine, surface ship, and aircraft carrier personnel described working days of 10 to 20 hours. Sailors performing maintenance described adapting schedules to work on tasks through the night while in port, and forgoing sleep.”

According to the document, “a detachment from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard provides support to submarines homeported at Naval Station San Diego.” In addition to mental suffering, the audit calls out big holes found in the Navy’s information about submarine maintenance.

“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – San Diego Detachment had a total of 599 days of maintenance delay.” But “the Navy could not provide reliable data for the remaining types of data we requested for submarines and could not provide any reliable data for surface ships and aircraft carriers.”

Rank-and-file sailors interviewed by the auditors were more forthcoming. “Ships’ crews also provided examples of the Navy discontinuing some training that could provide them with critical skills. For example, crewmembers from one Submarine stated basic soldering courses existed 15 years ago but were discontinued because the Navy deemed the courses unbeneficial to the fleet.” On top of that, “formal maintenance training provided to sailors by the Navy is ‘watered down.’

Specifically, in 2017, the Navy shortened the length of its job training schools to get sailors to the fleet faster, according to Navy officials. According to sailors, some schools that previously dedicated six months to teaching maintenance skills now dedicated three weeks.”

Political Moneyball

District Attorney Summer Stephan, first elected to her job after getting appointed by the county board of supervisors in 2018, has piled up a sizable haul of $345,882 in her 2022 reelection war chest, a January 31 disclosure filing covering 2021 shows.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Summer Stephan, raising money like she’s done this before.

Big donors include developer Robert Ito ($1150) and real estate’s Marten Barry, Kathy Kassardjian, and William Ayyad ($1800 each). La Jolla lawyer Scott O’Mara, who specializes in representing cops and firefighters, came up with $1000. “We provide legal services to safety personnel and their families to protect them in the event of an injury or a medical problem,” says O’Mara’s website. “In addition, Attorney Scott O’Mara has been involved in many landmark cases where his work has resulted in precedent-setting decisions that have expanded benefits to all safety members in California.” Further out on the campaign calendar, Republican County Supervisor Joel Anderson had a balance of $14,390 in his 2024 reelection fund at the end of last year, filings show. 2021 donors included GOP contractor Douglas Barnhart and wife Nancy ($1800), Republican ex-Assemblyman Martin Garrick ($900), and Mission Valley development mogul Tom Sudberry and wife Jane ($1800). Meanwhile, Anderson’s 2020 election committee was still doing business, taking in total monetary contributions of $46,117. A $99,000 loan that Anderson personally made to the fund on October 14, 2020, was still owed as of the last day of 2021, the committee’s filing shows, with payment due December 31 of this year. An outstanding balance of $20,000 was repaid in 2021 to Washington, D.C.-based 1892, LLC., which bills itself on its website as “bringing Moneyball to campaigns.”

Toni’s campaign dinner for six

In December, Sean Elo-Rivera beat out fellow Democrat Jen Campbell to take over as the San Diego city council president. Now he is continuing to expand his political turf. On January 28, he set up a campaign committee to collect donations for a 2024 run for the county Democratic Party Central Committee...

Toni Atkins, building strong relationships with builders.

Toni Atkins continues to collect big money from Sacramento special interests, including the California Conference of Carpenters — Building Communities Fund, which on February 7 came up with $50,000 for the San Diego Democratic state senate Pro Tem’s ballot measure committee. By the end of last year, the fund had $241,014 in the bank and was conserving its cash, according to campaign disclosures filed with the Secretary of State’s office. Among the more significant expenses booked, on December 16, the group paid Atkins President pro Tempore assistant Meredith McNamee $252.66 for a “Dinner w/Candidate + 6 Supporters.”

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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An audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office found deficiencies aboard 16 San Diego Navy ships.
An audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office found deficiencies aboard 16 San Diego Navy ships.

Suicide by Navy

Crew shortages, limited training, and exhaustion at the nation’s Naval bases — including San Diego’s — are responsible for both a service-wide maintenance meltdown and a mental health crisis, and at least one suicide has resulted, says a February 8 audit report by the United States Government Accountability Office regarding deficiencies found aboard 16 ships sampled in the fleet. “According to 10 of the 16 ships’ crews, crew shortages and additional demands to perform maintenance lead to mental health and morale issues that may result in sailors taking leave for medical reasons such as to receive mental health evaluations, which further increases crew shortages.”

Adds the document, “several of the ships’ crews said that personnel slots might remain unfilled for months while affected individuals receive mental health evaluations or until replacement personnel can be assigned. Members of one ship’s crew stated that they lost one person to suicide, and a dozen other personnel experienced mental health issues over a period of 7 months.” Notes the report, “Submarine, surface ship, and aircraft carrier personnel described working days of 10 to 20 hours. Sailors performing maintenance described adapting schedules to work on tasks through the night while in port, and forgoing sleep.”

According to the document, “a detachment from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard provides support to submarines homeported at Naval Station San Diego.” In addition to mental suffering, the audit calls out big holes found in the Navy’s information about submarine maintenance.

“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – San Diego Detachment had a total of 599 days of maintenance delay.” But “the Navy could not provide reliable data for the remaining types of data we requested for submarines and could not provide any reliable data for surface ships and aircraft carriers.”

Rank-and-file sailors interviewed by the auditors were more forthcoming. “Ships’ crews also provided examples of the Navy discontinuing some training that could provide them with critical skills. For example, crewmembers from one Submarine stated basic soldering courses existed 15 years ago but were discontinued because the Navy deemed the courses unbeneficial to the fleet.” On top of that, “formal maintenance training provided to sailors by the Navy is ‘watered down.’

Specifically, in 2017, the Navy shortened the length of its job training schools to get sailors to the fleet faster, according to Navy officials. According to sailors, some schools that previously dedicated six months to teaching maintenance skills now dedicated three weeks.”

Political Moneyball

District Attorney Summer Stephan, first elected to her job after getting appointed by the county board of supervisors in 2018, has piled up a sizable haul of $345,882 in her 2022 reelection war chest, a January 31 disclosure filing covering 2021 shows.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Summer Stephan, raising money like she’s done this before.

Big donors include developer Robert Ito ($1150) and real estate’s Marten Barry, Kathy Kassardjian, and William Ayyad ($1800 each). La Jolla lawyer Scott O’Mara, who specializes in representing cops and firefighters, came up with $1000. “We provide legal services to safety personnel and their families to protect them in the event of an injury or a medical problem,” says O’Mara’s website. “In addition, Attorney Scott O’Mara has been involved in many landmark cases where his work has resulted in precedent-setting decisions that have expanded benefits to all safety members in California.” Further out on the campaign calendar, Republican County Supervisor Joel Anderson had a balance of $14,390 in his 2024 reelection fund at the end of last year, filings show. 2021 donors included GOP contractor Douglas Barnhart and wife Nancy ($1800), Republican ex-Assemblyman Martin Garrick ($900), and Mission Valley development mogul Tom Sudberry and wife Jane ($1800). Meanwhile, Anderson’s 2020 election committee was still doing business, taking in total monetary contributions of $46,117. A $99,000 loan that Anderson personally made to the fund on October 14, 2020, was still owed as of the last day of 2021, the committee’s filing shows, with payment due December 31 of this year. An outstanding balance of $20,000 was repaid in 2021 to Washington, D.C.-based 1892, LLC., which bills itself on its website as “bringing Moneyball to campaigns.”

Toni’s campaign dinner for six

In December, Sean Elo-Rivera beat out fellow Democrat Jen Campbell to take over as the San Diego city council president. Now he is continuing to expand his political turf. On January 28, he set up a campaign committee to collect donations for a 2024 run for the county Democratic Party Central Committee...

Toni Atkins, building strong relationships with builders.

Toni Atkins continues to collect big money from Sacramento special interests, including the California Conference of Carpenters — Building Communities Fund, which on February 7 came up with $50,000 for the San Diego Democratic state senate Pro Tem’s ballot measure committee. By the end of last year, the fund had $241,014 in the bank and was conserving its cash, according to campaign disclosures filed with the Secretary of State’s office. Among the more significant expenses booked, on December 16, the group paid Atkins President pro Tempore assistant Meredith McNamee $252.66 for a “Dinner w/Candidate + 6 Supporters.”

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The Amalgamated: ska, stability, sobriety

“We recorded during a monsoon and a freak tornado that hit Ramona”
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San Diegans who stay on the I-5

Stories Tim Brookes wrote for the Reader
Comments
1

Considering this report about exhaustion from long hours for the military, one wonders about the circumstances and condition of the crew on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier that lost an in-coming fighter jet overboard to the South China Sea in late January. Public video of the disaster was unauthorized and leaked. That same ship has just returned to San Diego after a long deployment. Maybe we will hear more details now.

Feb. 16, 2022

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